The NetBeans source code is available under the
Common Development and Distribution License
The source code is available in a CVS repository. All
development of NetBeans happens using the CVS server on this site,
and development proposals and decisions happen on the
public mailing lists.
You can get to the sources in several ways.
- Through CVS - see the CVS page for
- Download an archived snapshot from the downloads page;
click All NetBeans products - including sources and select version, release type and date.
- Browse them online
If you are interested in making a build from sources, see the
So what exactly is here?
What is available here is the entire source tree and history of
the NetBeans IDE. Generally, there is a "stable" branch and a
"development branch." The development
branch is where ongoing development happens - it will be more or less
stable depending on what point
in the release cycle it is.
For a a description of the physical organization
of the sources in the CVS repository, see the CVS
Branches and Labels doc.
There are some things that can't be here for legal
reasons. There are a few parts of the NetBeans IDE that are
third party software, or fall under a license that doesn't
allow their sources to be made public here.
Examples of items in question include:
- Java Compiler - The Java parser in NetBeans is a wrapper
around the Java language compiler (javac). The javac sources are available
under the GPL v2 license from the OpenJDK site.
NB 5.x and earlier versions use a previous version of the javac compiler that
was under a more restrictive Sun BCL license.
- XML Parsers (Xerces, Crimson, Xalan, DOM, SAX, JAXP, ...)
- used throughout the IDE for
XML parsing and manipulation.
- JavaHelp Runtime library 2.x - the IDE uses JavaHelp to
online documentation. The extra binaries distribution may also include
JavaHelp development-time library to rebuild search databases.
- Apache Ant 1.6.x - a Java-based build tool that NetBeans
build system depends on.
- JUnit 3.8.x - a testing framework used to run unit tests
- Tomcat 5.x.x - an
embedded servlet container for Java Servlet and JSP development.
- JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL)
A given release of NetBeans may have more or fewer non-CDDL-licensed
extra files in it. Ask on the nbdev list to be sure.
See the getting involved page