Embedded gecko-browser in java-application with DJNativeSwing

Published: 03/22/10 12:51 PM

The excellent library DJ Native Swing allows a java-program to use an embedded native Browser (among other things).
On Windows-Systems it uses an Internet-Explorer per default. However this browser isn’t exactly known for being standards-compliant. In order to use a mozilla firefox / gecko-browser, you can use XulRunner.
In order to bundle the XulRunner with your application (thus run a certain version without the need to install xulrunner), you can set the following properties in your java-application:

String xulHome = new File("lib/xulrunner").getAbsolutePath();
System.setProperty("org.eclipse.swt.browser.XULRunnerPath", xulHome);

This code needs to have the following directory-structure:

  • yourapp.jar
  • lib (directory)
    • xulrunner (directory)
      • xulrunner-files (e.g. xpcom.dll)

A complete example on how to set up a frame with a browser can be found in the example source code of DJ Native Swing.


You can’t expect that a native application embedded in swing will completely behave like a swing component.
There are several issues. Some of them have been solved by the developers of DJ Native Swing. Some not.

Currently you cannot display a Browser in a translucent (semitransparent) or shaped window.

There’s a good collection of thoughts and tests about embedding a browser in Netbeans.

And while you search the net for a useable Swing-Webbrowser, you’ll stumble across lots of wanna-be-solutions. All of them have issues concerning the integration in swing or the standards-compliant rendering.

6 Kommentare zu “Embedded gecko-browser in java-application with DJNativeSwing”

  1. Florian S. sagt:

    Thanks for your post!
    I tried it exactly like this but I get:
    org.eclipse.swt.SWTError: XPCOM error -2147467261
    Do you have any ideas?


  2. Florian S. sagt:

    I just found the solution!
    Don’t user xulrunner 2.x!
    I use the older one (1.9.x) and now it works!
    Thanks for your great blog entry!!

  3. Thomas Praxl sagt:

    You’re welcome! Thanks for posting not only the problem but also the solution and for your feedback.

  4. Hi Thomas,

    Unless I am mistaken, this line is not necessary (set internally by DJ NativeSwing):
    System.setProperty(“org.eclipse.swt.browser.XULRunnerPath”, xulHome);

    More importantly, there were efforts for NetBeans integration, which are summed up in a NetBeans.txt file that is part of the distribution.

    I hope these details will help other users who stumble on your post :)


  5. Thomas Praxl sagt:

    Hi Christopher,

    thanks for the tips. Is there a link to the Netbeans integration summary? I’d be glad to provide that with the blog-article.

  6. [...] Is it true that this technology is based on the launching of current operational system’s default browser within java application? (http://blog.macrominds.de/2010/03/embedded-gecko-browser-in-java-application-with-djnativeswing/) [...]

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