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How do I download the Java Runtime Environment needed to run FreeMind.

To download JRE for Windows, go to Download on Sun, go to the section Download J2SE v 1.4. ... and now choose the column JRE, not SDK. The installation file of JRE has approximately 15 MB.

I start FreeMind but nothing happens

First of all, we assume that you are working under Windows. Now, please start freemind.bat in the installation directory. You'll probably get:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: java/util/logging/Logger 
at freemind.main.FreeMind.getLogger( 
at freemind.main.FreeMind.<init>( 
at freemind.main.FreeMind.main( 

The answer to this behaviour is that you've got Java1.3 or lower installed, and this version of java is found (try java -version on the commandline to verify this). Most likely, you've installed Oracle. Change JAVA_HOME and the PATH variables to point to your actual java (1.4 or 5.0). This can be done as follows: Goto Settings -> System -> search for Environment Variables and change or create the values accordingly.

Another reason Freemind won't start or will give you the effect of having the icon in the Windows taskbar but nothing else is when you install Freemind in a folder that starts with a "!" (exclamation mark); just install it in a different folder. (See

I start FreeMind but nothing happens TRY THIS FIRST

First, check that Java is installed; Then go to Program Files\Freemind\Lib and double-click on the "Freemind.jar" file (which is an executable Jar file).

Alternatively, try to start Freemind from the freemind.bat file. The will open along with Freemind. Just close down Freemind ( will close also) and then start Freemind from the Start Menu or from freemind.exe I have no idea why this works but it did for me.

Another reason why Freemind won't start is if you hava JDK installed and JAVA_HOME points to JDK instead of JRE. If you point JAVA_HOME environment variable to the JRE home then Freemind.exe starts up fine.

If the above doesn't work make sure you have the path to java in your PATH variable.

The format is the following:

JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files\Java\jre6

PATH=C:\Program Files\Java\jre6\bin;

Your PATH will surely include more things.

I start FreeMind and can create a map but can not save it

The most obvious indication is that you click on open/save/save as and nothing happens. What is happening is that the file browser window is failing to open. There are two fixes; Either change JAVA_HOME to point to a JRE rather than a JDK or edit the Freemind.bat file to use the absolute path to the correct java and start Freemind with the bat file. It will be something like "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_05\bin\java" instead of just java. Note the use of quote marks and that your java path may not be the same as the example.

I start FreeMind but nothing happens on MacOS X Leopard

I launch FreeMind 0.8.1 on MacOS X 10.5 (Leopard), the FreeMind welcome image appears and after few moments, FreeMind quit after a pop up window "Cannot lunch Java application (Uncaught exception in main method: Java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space)".

    • Freemind does not seem to work if you simply drag the butterfly icon to the applications folder- you have to move the WHOLE installed folder (Mac_OS_X_Freemind-0_8_1) into the applications folder, and click on the icon within that folder (attach that icon to the dock). The program seems to need to have everything together in that folder for it to launch.

Thanks SO MUCH for this! I was going NUTS trying to get this to happen! Not a tecchie by any means! Angie]

This issue might be related to the problem met by OpenOffice users on Leopard. Apple seems to have replaced "Apple Computer, Inc." by "Apple, Inc." in the Java string. The JRE is thus not recognized anymore on Leopard, and Java fails. (Web Reference)

Hope this issue will be fixed in the next FreeMind release.

Temporary Solution  : It is possible de launch FreeMind via > Content > Resources > Java > lib > freemind.jar

I suggest to place an alias in the Dock, for a more friendly access to FreeMind

I was able to get FreeMind 0.9.0 beta 20 to launch on Mac OS X 10.5.5 (Leopard) by editing the Info.plist JVMVersion string to read 1.6 instead of 1.4+. For the record, when I run java -version it reports java version "1.5.0_16".

I got the install to work by creating a Freemind folder under Applications, copying the rest of the files in the container to it (e.g., plugins\, accessories\ etc) and then moving the "installed" package to that folder. It looks like Freemind needs to find those files and folders during startup.

FreeMind cannot detect new version of Java. What can I do?

Let us assume that you have installed a new version of Java, and still, FreeMind complains about having old version of Java. This may occur especially if you installed SDK rather than JRE. SDK stands for software development kit and contains much more than you need to run FreeMind; you only need the runtime environment. It is important that the new version of java is in your path. To check it out on Microsoft Windows, run command ``cmd" using Windows-key + R, followed by ``java -version". You should get something like

java version "1.4.2_03"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.2_03-b02)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.2_03-b02, mixed mode)

where the particular version number is not important as long as it is at least 1.4.0.

Additionally, it may be helpful to start freemind.bat and see what messages come.

NOTE: If you have an Oracle database product installed on your computer, check the Oracle Installer to see what version of Java was installed with the database. Versions of Oracle 8, 8i, and later install JRE 1.3.1 and modify the startup path for Windows to ensure the database can start using this JRE. This installation WILL cause FreeMind to report the older version of Java, even if you install the new version (the .ini file for Oracle points Windows to the JRE 1.3.1 directory, places that in memory, and causes the fault). You can modify the .ini file to point Oracle to the newer JRE.

If you don't want to change the Oracle settings: just create a batch file in the FreeMind folder with the following entry "Path-to-your-new-java-runtimes-bin/java.exe -jar lib/freemind.jar" and use that to start freemind.

Is there an IRC for freemind devs/users

Uploading to gallery gives incorrect file ext. or file corruption message but the file is fine

What do I do?

Which Java virtual machines does FreeMind actually work with?

FreeMind works with the virtual machines from Sun, from the version 1.4.0 and higher. FreeMind has been reported to run on the JDK 1.4.2 from Blackdown. FreeMind also works on Linux with Sun Microsystems 64bit JDK version 1.5.0.

There are known issues with official release 0.8.0 of Freemind and Java 6.

  • Encrypted nodes will wipe out your map when trying to save it to disk.
  • Preferences dialog can not be opened

Stick to Java 5 (alias 1.5.x) (see bug report)

Possible cause and work-around for problem of Preferences dialog: extended desktop (second monitor). If you extend your desktop on to a second monitor and use FreeMind on that monitor, when you close (save?) the Preferences dialog, its dialog is saved to the extended desktop location. The next time you use FreeMind without using the 2nd monitor, the Preferences dialog will not be visible. I had this problem and was able to correct it by moving the dialog back to the main monitor and saving again (note that the virtual position of the 2nd monitor relative to the main monitor is important for finding the dialog again). -RyanC, 7-Apr-08

What is a mirror?

A mirror is one of the SourceForge sites from which you can download FreeMind. To download FreeMind, choose any mirror; you would prefer a mirror geographically closer to the place where you live. If you experience problems with one mirror, try another.

I run 'freemind.bat' and get an error message

If you get

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: java/util/logging/Logger 
at freemind.main.FreeMind.getLogger<>at
at freemind.main.FreeMind.main<> 

then the Java Virtual Machine found on your system is of version 1.3 or below. Try

java -version

to verify this. This happens, when you install Oracle for instance. Please, make sure, that your latest Java Virtual Machine is found when you type "java -version" by deinstalling java1.3 for example.

USB Portable FreeMind

Just add the following Java option in the freemind.bat or and everything is contained on the USB stick:

-Duser.home=.[\<subdirectory, if needed>]

As an example see the new content of my BAT-file, which looks like:

@echo off java -Duser.home=. -cp lib\freemind.jar;lib\commons-lang-2.0.jar;lib\forms-1.0.5.jar;lib\jibx\jibx-run.jar;lib\jibx\xpp3.jar;lib\bindings.jar freemind.main.FreeMindStarter

This lets FM create and use the subfolder .freemind in the location of the freemind.bat.

As we know, USB flash drives support only limited number of writes. It means that reliability of such device drops down as time advances. Freemind, by default, saves your open maps every minute to .freemind dir which is in this case on the flash drive. If you aren't too paranoid you can avoid this by setting autosave dir to tmp dir of your OS. Freemind will automatically delete autosaves on exit so your precious data won't be left on a host machine. Go to Tools->Preferences->Path to automatic saves and set it to 'default'. Freemind will understand this on Windows probably as c:\windows\temp, Linux - /tmp or /var/tmp.

That's it and have fun!

What if the window opened by FreeMind.bat annoys me?

You can force the window not to show by having the batch file not to hold the handle to the java runtime. Effectively the command prompt is displaying command line output from java application, FreeMind, while waiting for the application to terminate before it closes. You can solve this by using javaw to suppress the command line output and forcing the command prompt to start a new process for java. Try editing the FreeMind.bat to change java -cp lib\freemind.jar;... with START "" javaw. The line becomes something like START "" javaw -cp lib\freemind.jar;...

If that approach does not successfully hide the window, try this approach: 1. Copy the following script to a text file, 2. Modify the java directory ("C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_13\bin\java") to match the location of yours, 3. Save the file with a .vbs extension (i.e. FreeMind.vbs), and 4. Double-click the file.

Dim objShell
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.Run Chr(34) & "C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2_13\bin\java" & Chr(34) & " -cp lib\freemind.jar;lib\ant\lib\jaxb-api.jar;lib\ant\lib\jaxb-impl.jar;lib\ant\lib\jaxb-libs.jar;lib\ant\lib\namespace.jar;lib\ant\lib\relaxngDatatype.jar;lib\ant\lib\xsdlib.jar;lib\ant\lib\jax-qname.jar;lib\ant\lib\sax.jar;lib\ant\lib\dom.jar freemind.main.FreeMind", 0, False
Set objShell = Nothing

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