Documentation for JIRA 5.2. Documentation for other versions of JIRA is available too.

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Please be aware that the content on this page is is not included in our Atlassian Support Offerings and consequently Atlassian can not guarantee providing any support for it. Please be aware that this material is provided for your information only and using it is done so at your own risk.

Commercial users at any level receive access to JIRA's source code (note, evaluation license holders are not permitted access to JIRA's source code). This topic explains how to build this source code into a deployable JIRA application.

Building all of JIRA from source is only necessary if you need to make extensive modifications to JIRA's source code and are using a WAR approach.

You should not need to rebuild JIRA if:

  • You need to change many JSP files. JSP files are the template files for many JIRA webpages. They can also be more easily changed directly in the standalone JIRA installation directory.
  • Create a JIRA plugin that adds functionality to JIRA. For more information, read the JIRA Plugin Guide. Changes and enhancements to JIRA's functionality can often be made with JIRA plugins without requiring core JIRA source code modifications.
  • Recompiling a small number of source files can be done using the instructions in the standalone external-source directory.

(warning) There is a known issue where the Workflow Designer source is missing from the JIRA source code which is being tracked under JRA-29615 - Getting issue details... STATUS - please keep this is mind when building JIRA from source.

 On this page:

Building a JIRA WAR file from a JIRA Source release

  1. Ensure you have JDK 1.6 or higher and have a Subversion client installed.
  2. Download Maven 2.1.0 from the Apache archives of the Maven website.
    (warning) We have not yet tested building JIRA from source using Maven 3 at this time.
  3. Extract Maven to an appropriate location on your operating system. For example,
    On Windows, extract to:


    On Mac/Linux, extract to:

  4. Set the M2_HOME environment variable. For example,
    On Windows:

    > set M2_HOME=C:\apache-maven-2.1.0

    Alternatively, the Windows environment variables can be configured by choosing My Computer >> Properties >> Advanced >> Environment Variables.

    On Mac/Linux:

    export M2_HOME=/usr/local/apache-maven-2.1.0
  5. Add Maven's bin directory to your path. For example,
    On Windows:

    > set PATH=%M2_HOME%\bin

    You can set this via My Computer >> Properties >> Advanced >> Environment Variables again if you wish.

    On Mac/Linux:

    export PATH=$PATH:$M2_HOME/bin

  6. Install all of the following restricted third party (.jar) libraries to your local Maven repository (.m2), ensuring that you download the version specified below. All of these libraries are required to successfully build JIRA from source. If any of these libraries are missing, the build process will fail.
    (info)Due to licensing restrictions, we are unable to distribute these third party libraries from Atlassian's public Maven repository. If you have built previous versions of JIRA from source, you may already have some of these libraries in your local Maven repository.


    Maven groupId and artifactId


    Download URL











    (Download 'JMX 1.2.1 Reference Implementation')








    (Download 'Class Files 1.0.1B')



    1.3.2 (Download 'ojdbc6.jar' under 'Oracle Database 11g Release 2 ( JDBC Drivers')

    To install these restricted third party libraries:

    1. Download each one (from its link above) into a directory on your file system, for example, downloads in your home directory area.
      (warning) The jmxri, jmxtools, jndi, jta and mail libraries are downloaded as .zipfiles and before you can install these libraries into your local Maven repository, either:
      • a key .jar file must be extracted from them or
      • they need to be in .jar form.
      1. For jmxri and jmxtools:
        • On Windows:
          Use Windows Explorer to enter the downloads directory and extract the jmxri.jar and jmxtools.jar files from the jmx-1_2_1-bin\lib subdirectory of the file.
        • On Linux:

          cd $HOME/Downloads
          unzip jmx-1_2_1-bin/lib/jmxri.jar jmx-1_2_1-bin/lib/jmxtools.jar
      2. For jndi:
        • On Windows:
          Use Windows Explorer to enter the downloads directory and extract the jndi.jar file from the lib subdirectory of the file.
        • On Mac/Linux:

          cd $HOME/Downloads
          unzip lib/jndi.jar
      3. For jta:
        • On Windows:
          Use Windows Explorer to enter the downloads directory and rename the file to jta-1_0_1B-classes.jar
        • On Mac/Linux:

          cd $HOME/Downloads
          mv jta-1_0_1B.jar
      4. For mail:
        1. On Windows:
          Use Windows Explorer to enter the downloads directory and extract the mail.jar file from the javamail-1.3.2 subdirectory of the file.
        2. On Mac/Linux:

          cd $HOME/Downloads
          unzip javamail-1.3.2/mail.jar
    2. Once you have downloaded, expanded and renamed each of these libraries, install them into your local Maven repository. For example, in your downloads directory, enter the following commands:

      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=javax.activation -DartifactId=activation -Dversion=1.0.2 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=activation-1.0.2.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=javax.jms -DartifactId=jms -Dversion=1.1 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=jms-1.1.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=com.sun.jmx -DartifactId=jmxri -Dversion=1.2.1 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=jmxri.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=com.sun.jdmk -DartifactId=jmxtools -Dversion=1.2.1 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=jmxtools.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=jndi -DartifactId=jndi -Dversion=1.2.1 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=jndi.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=jta -DartifactId=jta -Dversion=1.0.1 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=jta-1_0_1B-classes.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DgroupId=javax.mail -DartifactId=mail -Dversion=1.3.2 -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=mail.jar
      mvn install:install-file -DartifactId=ojdbc6 -Dversion= -Dpackaging=jar -Dfile=ojdbc6.jar
  7. Download the JIRA source archive from
    (info) You will need to log in as a user with a commercial license to access this page.

  8. Extract the JIRA source archive to a location of your choice. This will create a subdirectory with the name atlassian-jira-X.Y-source, where X.Y is your version of JIRA. For example, C:\atlassian-jira-4.3-source
  9. Change directory into this subdirectory and build JIRA by executing the following Maven 2 command. For example,
    On Windows:

    C:\atlassian-jira-4.3-source\> build.bat

    On Mac/Linux:


    The build script will download several dependencies from Atlassian's public Maven repository.

    On rare occasions, however, the build process may fail and you may receive an error similar to the one encountered when an Atlassian product is unable to install a plugin from Atlassian's public Maven repository. This problem is caused by the JVM being unable to access its default 'cacerts' file, which contains a certificate that trusts Atlassian's public Maven repository.

    To resolve this problem:

  10. A WAR file called jira-webapp-dist-X.Y.war (where X.Y is your version of JIRA), will be built in the jira-project/jira-distribution/jira-webapp-dist/target subdirectory of your extracted JIRA source directory.

    For example, if the subdirectory created above was C:\atlassian-jira-4.3-source, the WAR file will be found in:

    (info) An unpacked version of your JIRA source build can also be found in the jira-project/jira-distribution/jira-webapp-dist/target/jira-webapp-dist-X.Y subdirectory of your extracted JIRA source directory.
  11. The WAR file generated can now be installed into your application server to run the JIRA application you just built. For more information, refer to the JIRA WAR Configuration Overview. For specific installation instructions, you can follow these procedures, skipping stages 1 and 3:

Developing using the IDE Connectors

Learn about the IDE Connectors from the IDE Connector Documentation.

Obtaining the source of JIRA's dependencies

When building JIRA from source, Maven will fetch the binary (compiled) dependencies that it requires automatically during the build process, so you do not have to do it manually (with the exception of the third party libraries mentioned above).

It is worth noting that JIRA's source distribution not only ships with JIRA's source code, it also includes the source of the internal Atlassian projects that JIRA depends on (e.g. atlassian-bonnie, atlassian-core, etc.). These internal Atlassian dependencies are also built from source when you build JIRA.

Other dependencies are available on Atlassian's public repository. The source of these dependencies is usually available on the library's website (try googling for the library name), or can be identified in the SCM information of the relevant library.

If you have any questions regarding the build process, please post to the JIRA Development Forum, which is monitored continually by the development community, and by Atlassian as often as possible.

Compiling Single Class Patches

If you just want to compile one class (perhaps a service), we have a step-by-step guide for how to do this in IDEA. See How to Make a JIRA Patch for details.

1 Comment

  1. This Guide is not complete; you don't need 1-5!

    Maven is included in the source! 

    If you need a proxy, add it to settings.xml. You will also need a https proxy: add this to after as option to the mvn call!

    -Dhttps.proxyHost=meinHost -Dhttps.proxyPort=meinProxyport