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Using JSS

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If you have already built JSS, or if you are planning to use a binary release of JSS, here's how to get JSS working with your code.

Gather Components
Setup your runtime environment
Initialize JSS in your application

Gather components

    You need the JSS classes and the NSPR, NSS, and JSS shared libraries.

  1. NSPR and NSS Shared Libraries

    JSS uses the NSPR and NSS libraries for I/O and crypto. JSS version 3.0 linked statically with NSS, so it only required NSPR. JSS versions 3.1 and later link dynamically with NSS, so they also require the NSS shared libraries.

    The exact library names vary according to the convention for each platform. For example, the NSPR library is called nspr4.dll or libnspr4.dll on Windows and on Solaris. The following table gives the core names of the libraries, omitting the platform-specific prefix and suffix.

    JSS Dependencies
    Core Library NameDescription Binary Release Location
    nspr4 NSPR OS abstraction layer
    plc4 NSPR standard C library replacement functions
    plds4 NSPR data structure types
    nss3 NSS crypto, PKCS #11, and utilities
    ssl3 NSS SSL library
    smime3 NSS S/MIME functions and types
    nssckbi PKCS #11 module containing built-in root CA certificates. Optional.
    freebl_* Processor-specific optimized big-number arithmetic library. Not present on all platforms. More information...
    fort FORTEZZA support. Optional
    swft PKCS #11 module implementing FORTEZZA in software. Optional.

    If you built JSS from source, you have these libraries in the mozilla/dist/<platform>/lib directory of your build tree. If you are downloading binaries, get them from the binary release locations in the above table. You need to select the right version of the components, based on the version of JSS you are using. Generally, it is safe to use a later version of a component than what JSS was tested with. For example, although JSS 4.2 was tested with NSS 3.11.

    Component Versions
    JSS VersionComponentTested Version
    JSS 4.2NSPR4.6.4
    JSS 3.4NSPR4.2.2
    JSS 3.3NSPR4.2.2
    NSS3.6.1 or 3.7
    JSS 3.2NSPR4.2 or 4.1.2
    JSS 3.1.1NSPR4.1.2
    JSS 3.1NSPR4.1.2
    JSS 3.0NSPR3.5.1

  2. JSS Shared Library

    The JSS shared library is jss4.dll (Windows) or (Unix). If you built JSS from source, it is in mozilla/dist/<platform>/lib. If you are downloading binaries, get it from

  3. JSS classes

    If you built JSS from source, the compiled JSS classes are in mozilla/dist/classes[_dbg]. You can put this directory in your classpath to run applications locally; or, you can package the class files into a JAR file for easier distribution:

    cd mozilla/dist/classes[_dbg]
    zip -r ../jss42.jar .

    If you are downloading binaries, get jss42.jar from

Setup your runtime environment

    You need to set some environment variables before building and running Java applications with JSS.

      Include the path containing the JSS classes you built, or the path to jss42.jar. (The path to jss34.jar ends with the string "/jss42.jar". It is not just the directory that contains jss42.jar.)

      LD_LIBRARY_PATH (Unix) / PATH (Windows)
      Include the path to the NSPR, NSS, and JSS shared libraries.

Initialize JSS in your application

    Before calling any JSS methods, you must initialize JSS by calling one of the CryptoManager.initialize methods. See the javadoc for more details.