Ostermillerutil Java Utilities Browser Opener - com.Ostermiller.util Java Utilities

Open a browser from a Java application on Windows, Unix, or Macintosh.

Internationalization - included languages:
  • Česky
  • Dansk
  • Deutsch
  • English
  • Español
  • Français
  • Italiano
  • Polska
Translations gladly accepted. Please translate Browser.properties.
You may want to use: Attesoro - A Java Translation Editor
  • Windows - Opens the url in the system browser by calling a url.dll that can open the url using FileProtocolHandler. This dll fails to open file urls with spaces. In that case, a url shortcut is written to the hard drive, and the shortcut is then opened.
  • Macintosh - Opens the url trying first the using the Cocoa NSWorkspace and then the MRJ classes provided by Apple. NSWorkspace is used because the MRJ toolkit for Mac OS X does not implement openURL() yet. This class links to the Cocoa NSWorkspace and the MRJ dynamically at runtime, so this class will compile even on computers such as Windows and Linux which do not have the Cocoa NSWorkspace and the MRJ and installed.
  • Unix, Linux, and other systems - Checks to see if the following browsers are in the path using the 'which' command: Mozilla, Netscape, and Lynx. It can open the url in any of these browsers.

Usually the browser chooses if the url should be opened in a new window or not. Internet Explorer on windows opens each URL in the same window while Mozilla opens each in a new window. This can be annoying for developers trying to open a bunch of urls using this class, but have each url in its own window. Workaround methods that use Javascript to try and open urls in new windows have been provided for cases in which all in the same window is not desirable.


// Initialize the class.
// Needs to be done once.

// Display this page

There is also a configuration dialog box (Swing) that can be used in GUI applications that use this class. This allows users to choose their own browser or command line which should be used to open the url. The default command line parsing in Java tokenizes only on spaces. This class uses a custom command line parser that allows quoted strings and escape characters so that the command line to the browser can be specified more easily on a variety of platforms.

Browser Configuration Dialog

The original idea for this class came from a JavaWorld Java Tip. That implementation has some serious problems:

  1. Security - With the JavaWorld example it would be possible to give the class a url to open that would fool the command line parser and possibly allow something other than the browser to be executed. (Any url with white space in it would break the example.) com.Ostermiller.util.Browser manipulates the url and urlencodes characters which might confuse the command line parser.
  2. Out of date - There are a variety of browsers available on Linux. It would be nice to check for something better than Netscape. com.Ostermiller.util.Browser checks for a variety of browsers.
  3. Blocking - If you are using Netscape under Linux, a Java program using this library will wait for Netscape to close before continuing. com.Ostermiller.util.Browser waits for one second to check if it is still running rather than blocking.

Locale specific string for this class are in the com.Ostermiller.util.Browser resource bundle. Translations are welcome and appreciated.


OstermillerUtil Java Utilities Copyright (c) 2001-2020 by Stephen Ostermiller and other contributors

The OstermillerUtils library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

License FAQs - Why GPL? How about the LGPL or something else?