Add your changes to the netbeans.conf file.

If you want NetBeans to always start with some specific options such as --userdir, --jdkhome, --fontsize, etc., you might be tempted to write a wrapper script around the NetBeans launcher so that you don't have to type them on the command line. A wrapper script will work, of course, but a better way is to put your custom options into the NetBeans configuration file -- netbeans.conf.

You can actually have two versions of the netbeans.conf file. If you want to change the settings globally for all users using a shared NetBeans installation, modify the global instance of the file:


To make local changes that will apply only to a specific user, put them into the etc/netbeans.conf file in the user's userdir.


You may have to create the local verstion of the file as it not created by NetBeans by default. The easiest way is to copy the global netbeans.conf file from the NetBeans installation folder and make the desired changes.

The netbeans.conf file can include the following entries:


the default location and name of the userdir. Note that this entry is only valid in the global configuration file. It cannot be redefined in the local netbeans.conf file, because the launcher already needs to know the location of the userdir when the local netbeans.conf file is being processed..


any parameters passed to JVM or NetBeans such as memory configuration parameters, debugging options, --fontsize, various experimental switches, etc.


default location of the JDK to run NetBeans on. Can be overriden with the --jdkhome switch.


paths to additional NetBeans clusters separated by colons (Unix), or semilcolons (Windows).

Any line in netbeans.conf starting with '#' is a comment. Comments are ignored during processing.

The startup options and settings passed via command-line and found in configuration files may overlap. The conflicting options are resolved by the following rules:

  1. Command-line options override settings in either of the configuration files.
  2. Settings in local version of netbeans.conf override the same settings in the global copy of the file.


A typical contents of the global netbeans.conf file may look like this:

# ${HOME} will be replaced by JVM user.home system property netbeans_default_userdir="${HOME}/.netbeans/4.1"

# default location of J2SE JDK, can be overridden by using --jdkhome <dir> switch netbeans_jdkhome="C:\Program Files\jdk1.5.0_02"

# options used by netbeans launcher by default, can be overridden by explicit command line switches netbeans_default_options="-J-Xms32m -J-Xmx128m -J-XX:PermSize=32m -J-XX:MaxPermSize=96m -J-ea"

# clusters' paths separated by path.separator (semicolon on Windows, colon on Unices) #netbeans_extraclusters="/absolute/path/to/cluster1;/absolute/path/to/cluster2"

Source: NetBeans User FAQ