Ant Setup for Java Developers


ICU4J source layout was changed after 4.2.  There are several ways to set up the ICU4J development environment.

Get the source code by following the Quick Start instruction. Go into the icu4j/ directory to see the build.xml file. You can run targets displayed by "ant -p".

Main targets:

  all                      Build all primary targets
  apireport                Run API report generator tool
  apireportOld             Run API report generator tool (Pre Java 5 Style)
  build-tools              Build build-tool classes
  charset                  Build charset classes
  charset-tests            Build charset tests
  charsetCheck             Run only the charset tests
  check                    Run the standard ICU4J test suite
  checkDeprecated          Check consistency between javadoc @deprecated and @Deprecated annotation
  checkTest                Run only the specified tests of the specified test class or, if no arguments are given, the standard ICU4J test suite.
  checktags                Check API tags before release
  cldrUtil                 Build Utilities for CLDR tooling
  clean                    Clean up build outputs
  collate                  Build collation classes
  collate-tests            Build core tests
  collateCheck             Run only the collation tests
  core                     Build core classes
  core-tests               Build core tests
  coreCheck                Run only the core tests
  coverageJaCoCo           Run the ICU4J unit tests and generate code coverage report
  currdata                 Build currency data classes
  demos                    Build demo classes
  docs                     Build API documents
  docsStrict               Build API documents with all doclint check enabled
  draftAPIs                Run API collector tool and generate draft API report
  exhaustiveCheck          Run the standard ICU4J test suite in exhaustive mode
  findbugs                 Run FindBugs on all library sub projects.
  gatherapi                Run API database generator tool
  gatherapiOld             Run API database generator tool (Pre Java 5 style)
  icu4jJar                 Build ICU4J all-in-one core jar
  icu4jSrcJar              Build icu4j-src.jar
  icu4jtestsJar            Build ICU4J all-in-one test jar
  indicIMEJar              Build indic IME 'icuindicime.jar' jar file
  info                     Display the build environment information
  init                     Initialize the environment for build and test. May require internet access.
  jar                      Build ICU4J runtime library jar files
  jarDemos                 Build ICU4J demo jar file
  jdktzCheck               Run the standard ICU4J test suite with JDK TimeZone
  langdata                 Build language data classes
  localespi                Build Locale SPI classes
  localespi-tests          Build Locale SPI tests
  localespiCheck           Run the ICU4J Locale SPI test suite
  main                     Build ICU4J runtime library classes
  packaging-tests          Build packaging tests
  packagingCheck           Run packaging tests
  perf-tests               Build performance test classes
  regiondata               Build region data classes
  release                  Build all ICU4J release files for distribution
  releaseBinaries          Build ICU4J binary files for distribution
  releaseCLDR              Build release files for CLDR tooling
  releaseDocs              Build ICU4J API reference doc jar file for distribution
  releaseSourceArchiveTgz  Build ICU4J source release archive (.tgz)
  releaseSourceArchiveZip  Build ICU4J source release archive (.zip)
  releaseSrcJars           Build ICU4J src jar files for distribution
  releaseVer               Build all ICU4J release files for distribution with versioned file names
  runTest                  Run the standard ICU4J test suite without calling any other build targets
  samples                  Build sample classes
  secure                   (Deprecated)Build ICU4J API and test classes for running the ICU4J test suite with Java security manager enabled
  secureCheck              Run the secure (applet-like) ICU4J test suite
  test-framework           Build test framework classes
  tests                    Build ICU4J test classes
  timeZoneCheck            Run the complete test for TimeZoneRoundTripAll
  tools                    Build tool classes
  translit                 Build translit classes
  translit-tests           Build translit tests
  translitCheck            Run the ICU4J Translit test suite
  translitIMEJar           Build transliterator IME 'icutransime.jar' jar file
  xliff                    Build xliff converter tool

Default target: main

The typical usage is - "ant check", which will build main ICU4J libraries and run the standard unit test suite.

For running ant you may need to set up some environment variables first. For example, on Windows:
set ANT_HOME=C:\ant\apache-ant-1.7.1
set JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_07
set PATH=%JAVA_HOME%\bin;%ANT_HOME%\bin;%PATH%

Test arguments and running just one test or the tests of just one test class

You can pass arguments to the test system by using the 'testclass' and 'testnames' variables and the 'checkTest' target. For example:

 Command Line
 ant checkTest -Dtestclass='' Runs all the tests in test class 'TestUScript'.
 ant checkTest -Dtestclass=''
 Runs the tests 'TestNewCode' and 'TestHasScript' in test class 'TestUScript'.
 ant checkTest -Dtestnames='TestNewCode,TestHasScript' Error: test class not specified.
 ant checkTest
 Runs the standard ICU4J test suite (same as 'ant check').

The JUnit-generated test result reports are in out/junit-results/checkTest. Go into the 'html/' subdirectory and load 'index.html' into a browser.

Generating Test Code Coverage Report

#10513 added code coverage target "coverageJaCoCo" in the ICU4J ant build.xml. To run the target:

  1. Download JaCoCo library from EclEmma site.
  2. Extract library files to your local system - e.g. C:\jacoco-0.7.6
  3. Set environment variable JACOCO_DIR pointing to the directory where JaCoCo files are extracted - e.g. set JACOCO_DIR=C:\jacoco-0.7.6
  4. Set up ICU4J ant build environment.
  5. Run the ant target "coverageJaCoCo" in the top-level ICU4J build.xml
Following output report files will be generated in /out/jacoco directory.
  • report.csv
  • report.xml

Building ICU4J API Reference Document with JCite

Since ICU4J 49M2, JCite (Java Source Code Citation System) is integrated into ICU4J documentation build. To build the API documentation for public release, you must use JCite for embedding some coding examples in the API documentation. To set up the environment:

  1. Download JCite binary (you need 1.13.0+ for JDK 7 support) from
    • Note that JCite no longer is available for download from the official web site, which links to Google Code, which was closed down in 2016.
    • The Internet Archive has a copy of the last version of JCite found on Google Code before it was closed down:
  2. Extract JCite file to your local system - e.g. C:\jcite-1.13.0
  3. Set environment variable JCITE_DIR pointing to the directory where JCite files are extracted. - e.g. set JCITE_DIR=C:\jcite-1.13.0
  4. Set up ICU4J ant build environment.
  5. Run the ant target "docs" in the top-level ICU4J build.xml
  6. If the build (on Linux) fails because package com.sun.javadoc is not found then set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to <path>/java/jdk. The Javadoc package is in <path>/java/jdk/lib/tools.jar.
Note: The ant target "docs" checks if JCITE_DIR is defined or not. If not defined, it will build ICU4J API docs without JCite. In this case, JCite taglet "{@.jcite ....}" won't be resolved and the embedded tag is left unchanged in the output files.

Build and test ICU4J Eclipse Plugin

Building Eclipse ICU4J plugin
  1. Download and install the latest Eclipse release from (The latest stable milestone is desired, but the latest official release should be OK).
  2. cd to <icu4j root> directory, and make sure $ ant releaseVer runs clean.
  3. cd to <icu4j root>/eclipse-build directory.
  4. Copy to, edit the properties files
    • eclipse.home pointing to the directory where the latest Eclipse version is installed (the directory contains configuration, dropins, features, p2 and others)
    • java.rt - see the explanation in the properties file
  5. Run the default ant target - $ ant The output ICU4J plugin jar file is included in <icu4j root>/eclipse-build/out/projects/

Plugin integration test
  1. Backup Eclipse installation (if you want to keep it - just copy the entire Eclipse installation folder)
  2. Delete ICU4J plugin included in Eclipse installation - <eclipse>/plugins/  XX.YY.Z is the ICU version, and YYYYMMDD-HHMM is build date. For example,
  3. Copy the new ICU4J plugin jar file built by previous steps (e.g. to the same folder.
  4. Search a text "" in files under <eclipse>/features. The RCP feature has a dependency on the ICU plugin and its feature.xml (e.g. <eclipse>/features/org.eclipse.e4.rcp_1.6.2.v20171129-0543/feature.xml) contains the dependent plugin information. Replace just version attribute to match the version built by above steps. You can leave size attributes unchanged. The current ICU build script does not append hour/minute in plugin jar file, so the version format is XX.Y.Z.vYYYYMMDD.

             version="58.2.0.v20170418-1837" -> "61.1.0.v20180502" 

  5. Open <eclipse>/configuration/org.eclipse.equinox.simpleconfigurator/ in a text editor, and update the line including plugin information.,58.2.0.v20170418-1837,plugins/,4,false


  6. Make sure Eclipse can successfully starts with no errors. If ICU4J plug-in is not successfully loaded, Eclipse IDE won't start.

ICU4J plugin test - Note: This is currently broken []

  1. Start the Eclipse (with new ICU4J plugin), and create a new workspace.
  2. Import existing Eclipse project from <icu4j root>/eclipse-build/out/projects/
  3. Run the project as JUnit Plug-in Test.

Building ICU4J Release Files

See Release Build