I downloaded JabRef-3.2.jar. I can execute it from the command line:

java -jar JabRef-3.2.jar

which works fine. But I would like to have a Launcher in my start menu, if possible with an appropriate icon. How can I do this?

Note: I am running Xubuntu 15.04.

  • 2
    The JabRef team is working in on getting a snap running for JabRef. See pull request. Installation: sudo snap install jabref --edge --devmode. Update: sudo snap refresh jabref --edge --devmode. There will be stable version as soon as a) JabRef 4.0 is released and b) this snap is considered stable. Any feedback and support is appreciated.
    – koppor
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:23
  • 1
    @koppor Good to know. Hope it gets out soon.
    – becko
    Aug 7, 2017 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


First, change directory

cd ~/.local/share/applications

Then, open nano editor:

nano JabRef.desktop

Add the following to the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=java -jar /path/to/your/JabRef-3.2.jar

Then, Ctrl + X --> Y --> Enter.

It should create an icon for you to launch, just search for it in Menu.

  • Where can I get Jabref's icon?
    – becko
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:03
  • Here are some examples
    – Raphael
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:07
  • Download an ico from there and save it to any folder. Its recommended to keep the icon anywhere except /media/* folder.
    – Raphael
    Jan 15, 2016 at 13:10
  • 2
    What if I want to run a command like $ > jabref ? Nov 14, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    Nice answer, and I suceeded in creating my launcher icon. Nevertheless I still have two problems: first, unlike other icons, I need to double-click it, rather than simply clicking once to have JabRef open. Secondly, JabRef still does not apply in the "Open With" menu, and I do not know how to tell my system to use it regularly to open .bib files. Jul 18, 2017 at 5:21

Desktop, File Browser & Command Line

Personally, I have created a /home/bin directory to keep scripts for occasions like this.

$ sudo mkdir /home/bin

Just make sure that for every user the directory /home/bin is accessible:

$ sudo chmod +rx /home/bin

Furthermore the new directory should be listed as PATH="/home/bin:$PATH" in the ~/.profile file of every user or wherever PATH happens to be defined on your system.

Save below bash script as jabref in the newly created /home/bin/ directory.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Run the latest version.
java -jar $(ls -1v $INSTALLDIR/JabRef*.jar |tail -n 1) $@ &

The bash script should be made executable with:

$ sudo chmod +x jabref

The script will open the latest version of JabRef*.jav previously saved in /home/opt/jabref/ with any yet existing desktop launcher or any file browser integration. Simply typing jabref at the command line also works.

  • A little late, but this works great, even with the i3wm DE.
    – Ébe Isaac
    Nov 2, 2018 at 10:52

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