In J2EE web development, Web Application Archive(WAR) file is just a normal JAR file, which consists all of your web application components like, servlets, Java classes, libraries, resources and etc. Read Wiki for detail.


Current web application WAR file is generated via Ant or Maven tool, copy to *nix environment for deployment, but no idea how to extract the WAR file?


WAR file is just a JAR file, to extract it, just issue following jar command – “jar -xvf yourWARfileName.war“.

See output…

#jar -xvf mkyongApp.war

  created: WEB-INF/
  created: WEB-INF/classes/
  created: WEB-INF/classes/META-INF/
  created: WEB-INF/classes/com/
  created: WEB-INF/classes/com/mkyong/
extracted: WEB-INF/classes/applicationContext-mail.xml
extracted: WEB-INF/classes/com/mkyong/batch/batchProcessor.class
In most application server like GlassFish, JBoss or web container like Tomcat, you don’t need to extra the “WAR” file, just copy to correct folder, and it will extract by the deployed server during start up.