Adding extra jar files to Ant path in Fedora/RHEL

The default RPM packaged version of ‘Ant’ that comes with Fedora/JPackage doesn’t doesn’t respect the $ANT_HOME environment variable the same way as if you have downloaded and installed it directly from Apache itself.

These days, having a little more to do with J2EE work as they are good sample applications for testing our JVM, I’m having to pick up various build tools that I don’t normally use, like Apache Ivy and Maven. Ivy works as an additional jar to supercharge Ant’s capabilities, and hence a post as a self reminder. There are essentially 2 ways of accomplishing the task:

  1. Put “ivy.jar” into our custom development distro by default into /usr/share/ant/lib. This is a nice option for all developers, since we won’t need to do anything extra for it to work. But it isn’t tracked by package management (ie not an RPM), and neither should developers put in the file into /usr/share/ant/lib just because we have local superuser rights, since management of these issues should be done by the sysadmin, automatically if possible.

  2. Workaround this situation by having a local override of the Ant configuration. Create the following directory structure in your $HOME/.ant directory, eg.

    [vincentliu@workstation08 ~]$ tree $HOME/.ant /home/vincentliu/.ant |– ant.conf -- lib– ivy.jar

In the ant.conf file, have the following lines:

[vincentliu@workstation08 ~]$ cat $HOME/.ant/ant.conf
# Need to override the existing $ANT_HOME path that JPackage customized
# to add in the ivy package as part of Ant's classlib

Copy the ivy.jar file into $HOME/.ant/lib directory. And these changes will allow you to compile use Apache Ivy natively without littering multiple copies of it per project.