How do I make my custom startup parameters permanent?

To make start-up parameters from the command line permanent, you add them to the netbeans.conf file. You may use this plugin to edit the netbeans.conf file more easily (thanks to Claudio Miranda).

If you want NetBeans to always start with some specific options such as --userdir , --cachedir , --jdkhome , --fontsize , etc., you might be tempted to write a wrapper script around the NetBeans launcher so that you don't have to type them on the command line. A wrapper script will work, of course, but a better way is to put your custom options into the NetBeans configuration file -- netbeans.conf.

Finding the Configuration File

There are actually two versions of the netbeans.conf file, a global and a local one.

Global: If you want to change the settings globally for all users using a shared NetBeans installation, modify the global instance of the file. You find it in the NetBeans installation directory:


Local: To make individual changes that will apply only to a specific user, put them into the etc/netbeans.conf file in the user's userdir .


The local file does not exist by default! If you don't see a ${userdir}/etc directory you have to create the file yourself. The easiest way to do that is to copy the global netbeans.conf file from the NetBeans installation folder to the local ${userdir}/etc folder, and then make the desired changes.

Examples of the netbeans.conf file path:

On Mac OS X: Ctrl-click /Applications/NetBeans/NetBeans IDE 6.5.app in the Finder and choose 'show package contents', then browse to /Applications/NetBeans/NetBeans\ IDE\ 6.5.app/Contents/Resources/NetBeans/etc/netbeans.conf.

On Windows: C:\Program Files\Netbeans\etc\netbeans.conf

On Linux the installer lets the user choose where you want to install NetBeans. You may find it under /home/yourname/netbeans/etc/netbeans.conf or /opt/netbeans/etc/netbeans.conf.

Editing the Configuration File

The netbeans.conf file can include the following entries:

The default location and name of the userdir . Note that this entry is only valid in the global configuration file. (It cannot be redefined in the local netbeans.conf file, because the launcher already needs to know the location of the userdir when the local netbeans.conf file is being processed.)
netbeans_default_cachedir (Since 7.2)
The default location and name of the cachedir . Note that this entry is only valid in the global configuration file. (It cannot be redefined in the local netbeans.conf file, because the launcher already needs to know the location of the cachedir when the local netbeans.conf file is being processed.)
Any parameters passed to the JVM or NetBeans during start-up, such as memory configuration parameters, debugging options, --fontsize , Look and Feel switches, various experimental switches, etc..
The default location of the JDK to run NetBeans on. Can be overriden with the --jdkhome option.
The paths to additional NetBeans clusters separated by colons (Unix, Macintosh OS X), or semicolons (Microsoft Windows).

When you need to embed spaces or quotes inside a command-line option, use a backslash escape character before each quote. For example, netbeans_default_options="-J-client ... -J-XX:OnError=\"userdump %p\""

Any line in netbeans.conf starting with '#' is a comment. Comments are ignored during processing.

The startup options and settings passed into NetBeans via the command-line and the ones found in configuration files may overlap. The conflicting options are resolved by the following rules:

  1. Settings in local version of netbeans.conf override the same settings in the global copy of the file.
  2. Command-line options override settings in either of the configuration files.

Examples of the netbeans.conf file content:

A typical content of the global netbeans.conf file may look like this:

# ${HOME} will be replaced by JVM user.home system property

# Options used by NetBeans launcher by default, can be overridden by explicit
# command line switches:
netbeans_default_options="-J-Xss2m -J-Xms32m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-XX:MaxPermSize=200m 
-J-Dapple.laf.useScreenMenuBar=true -J-Dnetbeans.winsys.statusLine.in.menuBar=true -J-Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true"

# Default location of JDK, can be overridden by using --jdkhome <dir>:
netbeans_jdkhome="C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_20"

# Additional module clusters, using ${path.separator} (';' on Windows or ':' on Unix):

Applies to: NetBeans IDE 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, 7.x

Platforms: All


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