Java Tools Tutorials - Herong's Tutorial Examples - v6.23, by Herong Yang
JAR - Java Archive File Format
This section describes the Java archive, JAR, file format, which is an extension of the ZIP file format.
What Is JAR (Java Archive)? - JAR is a file format that compresses many files into a single package file. A JAR may contain additional package attributes and supporting data. It has some interesting features:
The main purpose of a JAR file is to aggregate your .class files, not your .java files, into a single file to distribute them to your customers. A JAR file can be directly included in the class path if you want to access those class files in the JAR file. No need to extract those class files into Java class directories.
Usually, JAR files are managed by the 'jar' tool provided in the JDK package.
But JAR files can also be managed by most ZIP tools, since JAR files are really ZIP files.
Table of Contents