Use Emacs to edit compressed .ear and .war files

If you’re like me, you’ve often found yourself needing to change a setting, or view some information, buried deep inside a .ear or .war or .sar file. Well, you probably know that emacs can handle looking inside and editing files within a .tar or .jar file. Since .ear and .war files are just .jar files at their core, you can easily extend this feature to those file types.

Just add this to your ~/.emacs file:

(setq auto-mode-alist
'(("\\.war\\'" . archive-mode))
'(("\\.ear\\'" . archive-mode))
'(("\\.sar\\'" . archive-mode))

And you’ll get something that look like this:

emacs hudson.war

emacs editing a war file







6 responses to “Use Emacs to edit compressed .ear and .war files”

  1. Norman Richards Avatar
    Norman Richards

    I’ve been an emacs user for nearly 20 years, and I did not realize that you could edit a file inside a ZIP from within emacs. Thank you so much. :)

  2. Devon Avatar

    Hey, no problem:)

  3. gavenkoa Avatar

    Because i have

    (prefer-coding-system ‘utf-8-unix)

    also need

    (modify-coding-system-alist ‘file “\\.\\(war\\|ear\\|sar\\|egg\\)\\’” ‘no-conversion)


    (add-to-list ‘auto-mode-alist ‘(“\\.\\(war\\|ear\\|sar\\|egg\\)\\’” . archive-mode))


  4. Yahya Avatar

    Thanks. It is a great tool, that I’ve just discovered

  5. RDC Avatar

    how can we replace any jar file from the ear file ? is it possible using emacs or any other way with out unpacking the ear …

    1. Devon Avatar

      RDC: I’m not sure…. You could run with an exploded ear I guess. I CAN edit contents of a jar/war that’s inside of a compressed ear using emacs, but as for replacing the entire file/archive, I’m just not sure.

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