Way of creating "symbolic links" on Windows NT???

Now that IDEA requires that the JRE should be embedded in the idea installation dir, I am trying to figure out if there is a way of having symbolic links on NT/2K? The JRE itself is almost 35MB and copying it again and again especially when you need multiple installtions (due to bugs/not enough faith yet kind of issues), copying JRE is a significant overhead.

Can somebody help with this???

Will using/installing freeware unix shells help?

Eugene Zhuravlev wrote:

Yes, you can.
First of all it should be jre 1.4.1
0. jre should be copied to idea home
1. tools jar from jdk should be copied to jre/lib
2. javac.exe from jdk/bin should be copied to jre/bin


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If you use cygwin under windows, you can create symbolic links just like in Unix using the "ln" command. http://sources.redhat.com/cygwin

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We have MKS tools. I tried the same, it did create the link, however, IDEA is not able to find java in the ]]>/bin dir. I am wondering what I am doing wrong? I have cygwin also, let me try with cygwin.

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From SysInternals there is a tool available for creating junctions (Windows name for symbolic directory links).


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You can even create "hard links" for tools.jar and javac.exe, if you wish ( HardLinks=files, Junctions=dirs). However, this will only work on NT5+ (Win2K./XP).
More info is available here :

On XP, you can use fsutil to create the hardlink. On Win2K you need to use HardLink.exe, available from here :

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I have been using FAR (www.farmanager.com) for already several years on NT4 for the creation of hard links. AFAIK soft links are supported on Win2k & XP only.

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Alternatively, if you don't want to fiddle with Hard/Soft links but still save space on your hard disk, here is what you can do:

Note: That works with IntelliJ's IDEA full version, with installer.

- copy <JDK1.4.1_01-HOME>/lib/tools.jar to <IntelliJ-IDEA-HOME>/jre/lib
(And delete everything else in <IntelliJ-IDEA-HOME>/jre/ and subfolders

- edit <IntelliJ-IDEA-HOME>/bin/idea.lax and change the lax.nl.current.vm to point to <JDK1.4.1_01-HOME>/jre/bin/java.exe
(Don't forget the double-antislashes instead of single-slashes)

Tools.jar is "only" 4 MB, and that's all is left in "jre/"



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