You know one of the things that suck about working in Java?
Or more precisely the Java runtime. The need to have the Java runtime pre-installed in order to run your game is a bit of a pain. Fortunately Badlogicgames, the people behind LibGDX have released Packr.
In their own words:
Packages your JAR, assets and a JVM for distribution on Windows (ZIP), Linux (ZIP) and Mac OS X (.app), adding a native executable file to make it appear like the app is a native app. Packr is most suitable for GUI applications.
To be honest, that explanation kinda sucks, their description on Reddit is much better.
This has been a pain point for a few of our users, though Minecraft made pretty much anyone on this planet install Java anyways 🙂
I wrote a little tool called packr which does the following:
- bundle your jar/assets with an embedded JRE
- add a native executable for the respective platform to make your app look native
- minimize the JRE (zipped: 23mb, extracted 40mb)
This should make the user experience a bit better, as there aren’t any things the user needs to have installed before trying your game/app. All they need to do is download a ZIP/App Bundle and execute the native executable.
It’s very easy to use, either via CLI arguments, a JSON config file, or by invoking it directly from code (it’s really a library).
There are a couple limitations right now:
- Icons aren’t set yet on any platform, need to do that manually.
- Windows is 32-bit only, Linux is 64-bit only, Mac OS X is 64-bit only
- JRE minimization is very conservative, depending on your app, you can carve out stuff from a JRE yourself, disable minimization and pass your custom JRE to packr
If this sounds useful to you, you can learn more at the Packr github page.