Troubleshooting: Why Your Application Build Fails to Run with `No Main Manifest Attribute` Error – With Real-life Example

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the 'No Main Manifest Attribute' Error
  3. Reasons for 'No Main Manifest Attribute' Error
  4. Real-life Example of 'No Main Manifest Attribute' Error
  5. Troubleshooting Tips for Resolving 'No Main Manifest Attribute' Error
  6. Conclusion
  7. Additional Resources (if any)


When developing applications in Python, you may find that your build fails to run with a "no main manifest attribute" error. This error can be frustrating, especially if you are not sure what causes it. In this article, we will explore the reasons why this error occurs and how to fix it with a real-life example.

Firstly, let's define what a manifest attribute is. A manifest is a file that contains metadata about the application, such as the version number and author information. The manifest attribute specifies the main class for the application to execute.

When Python fails to find a main manifest attribute, it means that the application cannot be launched. This error often occurs when you forget to include the main module in your application or place it in the wrong directory. Additionally, this error can also occur when you are working with external libraries that have their own manifests.

In order to fix this error, you should carefully review your code and make sure that the main module is included and placed correctly. You should also check that any external libraries being used have their own manifest attributes specified correctly.

To demonstrate this error, let's consider an example. Suppose you have a Python application with three modules,,, and You then try to run the application with the command "python", but it fails to launch with a "no main manifest attribute" error. After reviewing your code, you realize that is not included in the manifest file. To fix the error, you add the following line to the manifest file: "Main-Class: main.main".

In summary, the "no main manifest attribute" error can cause your Python application build to fail. However, by understanding the cause of the error and carefully reviewing your code, it can be easily fixed.

Understanding the ‘No Main Manifest Attribute’ Error

The "No Main Manifest Attribute" error is a common issue that occurs when running an application on a Java Virtual Machine. This error occurs when the Java runtime environment cannot find the main entry point of your application.

The main entry point of a Java application is typically defined in the manifest file, which is a meta-information file that contains information about the application. If the manifest file is missing or improperly formatted, the Java runtime environment will not be able to find the main entry point of your application, resulting in the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error.

When troubleshooting this error, it is important to check that the main class is defined correctly in the manifest file. The main class should be specified using the "Main-Class" attribute in the manifest file.

In addition, it's important to ensure that the manifest file is properly formatted, with each attribute listed on a separate line and ended with a line break. Additionally, the main class name and the name of the JAR file containing the main class must match.

By understanding the root cause of the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error and checking the manifest file for formatting and accuracy, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve this error to successfully run your Java application.

Reasons for ‘No Main Manifest Attribute’ Error

The "No Main Manifest Attribute" error is a common error that occurs when you try to run your Java program, especially through the command prompt. This error happens when the Java Virtual Machine cannot find the main class or the main method of the program. Here are some reasons why this error could occur:

  1. Missing or Incorrect Manifest File: The "No Main Manifest Attribute" error often occurs due to missing or incorrect specification in your manifest file. The manifest file specifies the entry point of your application. It must contain the line "Main-Class," followed by the fully qualified name of the class that has the main method.

  2. Incorrect Package: If you've defined your class file inside a package, you need to specify the package name in the manifest file. Otherwise, you might get the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error.

  3. Missing or Incorrect Main Method: The "No Main Manifest Attribute" error can also occur if your program doesn't have a main method, or if the main method is not defined correctly.

  4. Incorrect Command to Run the Program: Make sure you use the correct command to run the program, such as "java -jar" or "java -cp" depending on the type of application you're running.

If you encounter the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error, carefully check your manifest file, class file, and command to run the program to ensure that they're correct. With perseverance, you can eliminate the error and successfully run your Java program.

Real-life Example of ‘No Main Manifest Attribute’ Error

A real-life example of the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error would be trying to run a Java application using a command similar to the one below:

java -jar myapplication.jar

Here, the "myapplication.jar" file is the executable Java application. Upon executing this command, the following error message may appear:

no main manifest attribute, in myapplication.jar

This error message indicates that the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) cannot find the main class of the application that it is supposed to run. This is because the application's JAR file is missing the necessary manifest file.

The manifest file is used to provide metadata about the JAR file, such as the main class that should be loaded when the JAR file is run. Without this metadata, the JVM doesn't know which class to execute.

To fix this error, you need to create a manifest file and add it to your JAR file. The manifest file should contain a line that specifies the main class of the application, as shown below:

Main-Class: mypackage.MyMainClass

Here, "mypackage.MyMainClass" represents the fully qualified name of the main class for your application.

By adding this line to your manifest file and then updating your JAR file, you should be able to run your Java application without any issues.

Troubleshooting Tips for Resolving ‘No Main Manifest Attribute’ Error

If you have encountered the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error when trying to run your application build, there are a few troubleshooting tips that you can follow to resolve the issue. This error typically indicates that the build is missing a main class that can be executed. Here are some things you can do:

  • Check your build file: Make sure that your build file, such as a .jar or .war file, contains the appropriate information specifying the main class to be executed. This information is typically located in the manifest file.
  • Check your manifest file: If your build file contains a manifest file, make sure that it includes the appropriate information for the main class, such as the "Main-Class" attribute. The value for this attribute should be the fully qualified name of the main class, including the package name.
  • Check your main class: Make sure that your main class is implemented correctly and is located in the appropriate package. The main class should have a "public static void main(String[] args)" method defined, which is the entry point for executing the application.
  • Check your dependencies: If your application relies on external libraries or dependencies, make sure that those dependencies are included in your build and are specified correctly in your manifest file.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can often resolve the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error and successfully run your application build. However, if you continue to encounter issues, it may be helpful to consult with other developers or seek out additional resources to help you troubleshoot the problem.


In , the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error is a common issue that developers can run into when trying to run their applications. The error message simply means that there is no manifest file that specifies the main class for the application to run. This is a critical file that needs to be included in the application build process.

To fix this error, you need to create a manifest file with the main class specified. This can be done manually, or through your build tool's configuration. Once you have done this, the error should disappear and you can run your application as intended.

While this error can be frustrating, it is easily solvable through careful attention to the details of your build process. We hope that this article has helped you understand the error and how to resolve it, and that you can now confidently build and run your Python applications without running into this issue.

Additional Resources (if any)

For those who want to dive deeper into understanding the "No Main Manifest Attribute" error and how to fix it, there are a few additional resources worth checking out:

  • The official Java documentation on creating JAR files. While this is Java-specific, the principles are similar for other languages that use JAR files.

  • The Stack Overflow answer that was mentioned earlier in this article. This thread has a lot of useful information and insights from experienced developers, and can be a valuable resource for troubleshooting other issues as well.

  • The Java Tutorials website is a great resource for learning more about Java programming (which may be helpful for understanding how JAR files work). While this isn't specific to Python, it can still be useful for developers who want to expand their knowledge.

  • Finally, for those who prefer video tutorials, there are many great resources on YouTube that cover topics like this. For example, this tutorial walks you through the steps to create a JAR file with a main class, and explains some of the common issues that can come up along the way.

By taking advantage of these resources, you can build your skills and knowledge as a developer and be better equipped to tackle future challenges as they arise.

Throughout my career, I have held positions ranging from Associate Software Engineer to Principal Engineer and have excelled in high-pressure environments. My passion and enthusiasm for my work drive me to get things done efficiently and effectively. I have a balanced mindset towards software development and testing, with a focus on design and underlying technologies. My experience in software development spans all aspects, including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, and infrastructure. I specialize in developing distributed systems, web services, high-volume web applications, and ensuring scalability and availability using Amazon Web Services (EC2, ELBs, autoscaling, SimpleDB, SNS, SQS). Currently, I am focused on honing my skills in algorithms, data structures, and fast prototyping to develop and implement proof of concepts. Additionally, I possess good knowledge of analytics and have experience in implementing SiteCatalyst. As an open-source contributor, I am dedicated to contributing to the community and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends.
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