I downloaded GMAT from https://software.nasa.gov/software/GSC-17177-1
Then I extracted using tar -zxf gmat-ubuntu-x64-R2020a.tar.gz
Then I went to the bin folder and set gmat.jar as an executable (rightclick -> properties -> permissions).
Finally when I tried java -jar gmat.jar, I get

no main manifest attribute, in gmat.jar
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Note to potential close voters: software questions about certain topics (e.g. for anything space or orbital mechanics related and certainly anything GMAT-related) have always been on-topic here! While some are also on-topic in Stack Overflow, there are GMAT users here who may be familiar with just this case. If no answers arise, this can always be moved to SO later. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 18, 2021 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not able to try this out myself at the moment, but looking at sourceforge.net/projects/gmat/files/GMAT/GMAT-R2016a it appears to me that it is not intended to be run directly from the jar. Likely the jar manifest does not include Main-Class: . You can confirm by extracting the jar as a zip file and looking at the text of META-INF/MANIFEST.MF. Try running GmatConsole or Gmat_Beta instead as a regular executable $\endgroup$
    – Nathan
    Sep 18, 2021 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


GMAT is written primarily in C++.

gmat.jar is an api wrapper to allow java code to access the core functionality as explained at http://gmat.sourceforge.net/docs/R2020a/api/userguide/GettingStarted.html

In other words, gmat.jar would be used if you wanted to write your own java program that interacted with gmat functionality.

Running the gmat application is explained at https://sourceforge.net/projects/gmat/files/GMAT/GMAT-R2016a/

On Linux, open a terminal window and change directories to the GMAT bin folder. The GMAT command line program is executed by running the GmatConsole application in that folder:


The Beta GUI can be run using the same terminal window by running Gmat_Beta:


Linux users can create a launcher for either the command line application or the GUI application by following the instructions for that process for their Linux distribution.

Version Notes

The links from the NASA page to the sourceforge link can be a bit confusing. To make sure you are getting the instructions for the version you are downloading, navigate through https://sourceforge.net/projects/gmat/files/GMAT/ to the version you want to use.

UBUNTU 18.04 Note: Ubuntu 18.04 does not ship with libpng12.so, used by the wxWidgets libraries bundled with the Ubuntu installation. You can download the needed library from the Ubuntu packages site


Download the package and install it using the Ubuntu package manager.

The same page contains run instructions for other platforms as well.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you! This works! Ran "sudo apt install libopengl0 -y" to fix a library error. $\endgroup$
    – supersonic
    Sep 18, 2021 at 17:16

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