Yes, I know that this question has been asked many times before, but none of the answers really helped.
I'd like to package the Minecraft launcher (which has no proprietary code, AFAIK,) into a .deb file so that I can put it on a flash drive and share it with my friends. I have managed to install Minecraft it manually (put some files into /opt/minecraft, download an icon, and create a .desktop file in /usr/share/applications,) and I have made a shell script that completely automates the process, but it relies on wget to retrieve a few files, including the .desktop file. (It isn't a self-extracting archive, after all.)

I'd like to be able to do this offline, as a lot of my friends have slow or no internet. (One of their internet lines was buried so shallowly that it actually got knocked out by the lawnmower.)
I won't be loading it into a PPA or anything like that; I just want it to be a "formal" package that can be easily installed and uninstalled. (One thing that I would like is for sudo apt-get purge minecraft to also remove the .minecraft folder. It would also be nice to define the dependedcies as being able to accept OpenJDK or Sun's JVM.)

Oh, just so you know, the Minecraft launcher is a .jar file, but I can very, very easily launch it via shell scripts. The exact command is right on the download page.

4 Answers 4


I can feel your pain. Some time ago I asked myself the same question just trying to package a little shell script with a launcher. The best I could find was this video (can't remember the original file name - so I had to upload it to U1). Following the steps in the video I was able to create a .deb in ~2 hours.

Other helpful resources (just quickly scan through it):
Ubuntu Forum
Package Basics

All the tutorials I could find were much, much too long, incomplete, or not usable for a beginner (too complicated.) I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that have written little useful scripts and would like to package and share them but its just to time consuming & frustrating when trying to create a .deb for the first time.

  • Hey, I'm having trouble with the download. The part of the video I got was really useful, but Ubuntu One's servers appear to be highly unstable. Do you have a MediaFire or Dropbox account? (P.S., LMK if you're going to get a Dropbox account. We both get an extra 1/4 Gig if I officially Refer you.) Nov 11, 2012 at 22:00
  • Aha, I got a PPA set up. I'm still not having any luck making .deb's, but a PPA works almost as well. Nov 12, 2012 at 7:03
  • Downloading the video using wget "http://ubuntuone.com/0lj3md7kX1NqLQ7DoiBTGV" works for me. Nov 13, 2012 at 18:52
  • My internet is too slow even to download it with wget before the Ubuntu One servers glitch up. Also, it gets really buggy when it tries to resume a download. Perhaps you could make a torrent? :) Nov 13, 2012 at 21:38
  • 1
    Aha. just found out about the -c flag for wget, and I got it downloaded. That video, plus the link to the post on the Ubuntu forum, finally got me making Debians. (See this for my first successful result!) Dec 12, 2012 at 23:04

http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/maint-guide/ is a good start. It'll also tell you that packages should never touch /home :)

  • 0.o that tutorial was a bit over my head, are there any easier ones out there? Nov 11, 2012 at 16:07

As far as I know, it's actually not really proper to redistribute the launcher either, but I'm not sure of the specifics.

I can recommend having a look at minecraft-installer by Graham Edgecombe, which is a debian package which automatically downloads and sets up the launcher with icons and shortcuts. So downloading the launcher happens when you are installing the package, (the package doesn't actually contain any part of minecraft, only scripts to get it and set it up).

I have a slight bias since a made a few contributions to the project ;)

  • The whole point of me wanting the .deb file was so that I could ship it to my friends who don't currently have internet. I've already created a minecraft-installing shell script. Nov 11, 2012 at 16:16

When you've built your application using Apache's Maven (best thing to do btw), you can use the pkg:pkg plugin from Tarent. You can find this open source package here: https://evolvis.org/projects/mvn-pkg-plugin.

A tutorial is available. One on an older version is here.

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