Building from Source

Building PDFBox from source is only necessary if you're wanting to contribute code to the PDFBox project. Most users should use the binary releases instead.

Obtaining the Source

You can obtain the latest source of PDFBox from our SVN repo. The current trunk is 3.0.0-SNAPSHOT. There is a separate branch for the 1.8.x and the 2.0.x series. You can fetch the latest trunk version using Subversion:

svn checkout
cd trunk

You can also browse the Subversion repository using ViewVC.

We also have a read-only Git mirror which is further mirrored to GitHub as apache/pdfbox.

The sources for the Java ImageIO plugin for the JBIG2 image format are available in the Apache Git Repository or can be loaded from GitHub:

git clone
cd pdfbox-jbig2

Build dependencies

PDFBox 1.8

PDFBox 2.0

Java ImageIO plugin for JBIG2

Java Cryptography Extension (JCE)

Building PDFBox 2.0 requires a JDK with "unlimited strength" cryptography, which requires extra files to be installed. For JDK 7, see Java Cryptography Extension (JCE). If these files are not installed, building PDFBox will fail the following test:

TestPublicKeyEncryption.setUp:70 JCE unlimited strength jurisdiction policy files are not installed

Building with Maven

In the root directory of PDFBox:

mvn clean install

Building with Ant (Deprecated, removed in 2.0.0)

The old Ant build is still available, and can be used especially for building .NET binaries with IKVM:

  1. Install ANT. PDFBox currently uses 1.6.2 but other versions probably work as well.

  2. (optional) Setup IKVM, if you want to build the .NET DLL version of PDFBox.

    1. IKVM binaries
    2. In the, set the ikvm.dir property:
  3. Run "ant" from the root PDFBox directory. This will create the .zip package distribution. See the build file for other ant targets.

NOTE: If you want to run PDFBox from an IDE them you will need to add the 'Resources' directory to the project classpath in your IDE.

Dependencies for Ant Builds

The above instructions expect that you're using Maven or another build tool like Ivy that supports Maven dependencies. If you instead use tools like Ant where you need to explicitly include all the required library jars in your application, you'll need to do something different.

The easiest approach is to run mvn dependency:copy-dependencies inside the pdfbox directory of the latest PDFBox source release. This will copy all the required and optional libraries discussed above into the pdfbox/target/dependencies directory. You can then simply copy all the libraries you need from this directory to your application.