I'd like to use Briss, a Java application for cropping pdf files. The application consists of a compressed folder containing several Java .jar files. Presumably one of them is the executable, and the others are auxiliary modules that the executable uses. The application has a GUI, but is run from the Terminal by running the following command line:

java -jar briss-0.9.jar

How can I 'install' this application so that I can run it by typing the above command in a freshly opened Terminal window?

One way to do it would be to dump all the .jar files inside /usr/local/bin, but I'd rather not pollute the bin folder with a horde of files, and also I'd like to keep the files together, so that, for instance, the application can be easily and cleanly 'uninstalled'.

1 Answer 1


Copy the files to somewhere static such as ~/Applications, then add the following to your profile:

alias briss="java -jar /path/to/briss-0.9.jar"

Then you can run ‘briss’ from Terminal from anywhere.

You may need to create ~/Applications if you haven't used it before. Upon creation, macOS automatically gives the folder the Applications folder icon. The location of your profile depends on your shell — the default macOS shell is bash and the profile is ~/.bash_profile.

  • I've followed your suggestion: When I open a new Terminal window and execute cat .bash_profile, the resulting output ends with the line alias briss="java -jar ~/Applications/briss-0.9/briss-0.9.jar". However, running briss from the same Terminal window results in the following message: -bash: briss: command not found.
    – Evan Aad
    May 23, 2017 at 9:02
  • 1
    @Evan Have you restarted your shell, or sourced the profile again (. ~/.bash_profile)?
    – grg
    May 23, 2017 at 9:02

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