// Tutorial //

Exec Maven Plugin - Running Java Programs from Maven Build

Published on August 3, 2022
Default avatar

By Pankaj

Exec Maven Plugin - Running Java Programs from Maven Build

While we believe that this content benefits our community, we have not yet thoroughly reviewed it. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please let us know by clicking the “report an issue“ button at the bottom of the tutorial.

Maven exec plugin allows us to execute system and Java programs from the maven command.

There are two goals of the maven exec plugin:

  1. exec:exec - can be used to execute any program in a separate process.
  2. exec:java - can be used to run a Java program in the same VM.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to use exec:java to run a Java program from our maven project.

Step 1: Adding exec-maven-plugin Configurations to pom.xml

If you want to use any maven plugin, you need to configure it in the pom.xml build section. Just add the below plugin configuration to your project pom.xml file.


The most important point to note here is the “mainClass” element inside the “configuration”. This is where we specify the Java class that will be executed by the exec:java goal.

Here is the content of the Java class. It’s a simple class where we are printing Java version details and the current time.

package com.journaldev.maven.utils;

import java.time.LocalDateTime;

public class BuildInfo {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		String javaVersion = Runtime.version().toString();
		String time = LocalDateTime.now().toString();
		System.out.println("********\nBuild Time: " + time 
				+ "\nJava Version: " + javaVersion + "\n********");


Step 2: Running the maven build with exec:java goal

Here is the output when we run the maven build with the exec:java goal.

$ mvn exec:java
[INFO] Scanning for projects...
[INFO] ---------------< com.journaldev.maven:maven-example-jar >---------------
[INFO] Building maven-example-jar 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT
[INFO] --------------------------------[ jar ]---------------------------------
[INFO] --- exec-maven-plugin:1.6.0:java (default-cli) @ maven-example-jar ---
Build Time: 2020-01-10T12:44:17.718061
Java Version: 13.0.1+9
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] Total time:  0.591 s
[INFO] Finished at: 2020-01-10T12:44:17+05:30
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exec Maven Plugin Java Example
Exec Maven Plugin Java Example


Thanks for learning with the DigitalOcean Community. Check out our offerings for compute, storage, networking, and managed databases.

Learn more about us

Want to learn more? Join the DigitalOcean Community!

Join our DigitalOcean community of over a million developers for free! Get help and share knowledge in our Questions & Answers section, find tutorials and tools that will help you grow as a developer and scale your project or business, and subscribe to topics of interest.

Sign up now
About the authors
Default avatar


Still looking for an answer?

Ask a questionSearch for more help

Was this helpful?
DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
May 31, 2020

Thank you Pankaj for the Maven tutorial, one of the best tutorial I came across in internet.

- Durga Prasad Patro

    Try DigitalOcean for free

    Click here to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!
    Try DigitalOcean for free