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Maven POM Input Format


If you build with Apache Maven, you’re already familiar with this file format. The Maven POM has many sections and configuration options, but Offliner will only use two: <repositories/> and <dependencies/>. Simply create a Maven POM file containing repository entries for any additional repository URLs you wish to include in the download ( and are included by default). Then, add a dependency section containing the artifacts you wish to have downloaded. Keep in mind that for every artifact listed, Offliner will also attempt to download the corresponding .pom file.

WARNING: No Checksums Validation

Because checksums are handled in associated files within Maven (see more information about this below), Offliner doesn’t have a guaranteed 1:1 mapping of checksums to downloadable paths. Additionally, Maven repositories typically don’t include SHA-256 checksum files. For these reasons, Offliner will not validate any of the downloads originating from a Maven POM file.

Example POM

Here’s a basic example of a POM that Offliner could read for a list of downloadable paths:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>




There are four basic parts to the example above. First is the POM header. This is information that makes this a valid Maven POM (usable by Maven). While there may be some parts of this you could leave out without affecting Offliner’s use of the file, it’s generally safer to make Maven POMs valid whenever you can.

Repositories in the POM

Second is the repositories section. This is a listing of Maven repositories to be used when accessing content listed in the dependencies. While not 100% technically correct from a Maven perspective, Offliner will also use repositories declared in this section to download plugin files (see below). The URLs given in this section can be remapped when used in conjunction with a Maven settings.xml (again, see below). When declared, these will augment the default list of repositories that Offliner uses (Maven central and Red Hat’s product repository).


The third section above defines a series of dependencies. Offliner translates these into a series of file paths to be downloaded, and will attempt to mix and match these paths with each repository base-URL until either a download succeeds for that path, or it runs out of repository base-URLs. It’s a bit of a brute-force approach, but it has the advantage of being simple and predictable. Notice that not only does the POM list the jar dependency you’re used to seeing, but it also lists dependencies on jar.sha1 and pom.sha1 typed artifacts for the same project version (commons-io:commons-io:2.4). When Offliner encounters a dependency, it automatically adds a second path to download that dependency’s associated POM file. However, it doesn’t download checksum files by default. If your Maven configuration is strict about checksum files, you’ll have to add them as separate dependencies as above.


Finally, this example POM lists a single plugin, maven-compiler-plugin, in the main plugins section. Offliner also scans the plugins section of the POM, and downloads jar and pom files for each plugin it encounters.

What Offliner Does Not Do

Currently, Offliner does not look at plugin-level dependency declarations, dependencyManagement sections, or pluginManagement sections. It won’t process dependencies or plugins declared in profiles. Offliner is intentionally simplistic in its understanding of Maven POMs. It will not recursively process the POMs for dependencies and plugins in your Maven POMs; this introduces a level of complexity that Offliner specifically resists.

To do otherwise would reduce the stability of the tool, and lead to ambiguous behavior.

More Information on Maven POMs

For more information on the Maven POM format, see:

Maven Settings

If you want, you can use a Maven settings.xml file to provide authentication credentials or redirect the repository URLs declared in a POM.

Consider the following sample settings.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


URL Redirection

URL redirection (<mirrors/> in the settings.xml) can be useful if you’re using a POM produced by someone else, and you have your own Maven repository manager such as Sonatype Nexus, or JFrog’s Artifactory (or Commonjava Indy) with proxy repositories setup for the repositories declared in the POM. Using such an approach can make your download more resilient to network connectivity problems, and can even be used to pre-populate your repository manager’s cache. This is similar to using Offliner’s --repo-url command-line option.

In the example above, there are three elements to consider: id, url, and mirrorOf. The id provides a name which can be used to lookup authentication configuration (again from the settings.xml, see below). The url provides the alternative URL which should be used for any matching repositories (instead of the one they declare). Finally, the mirrorOf element determines which repositories to redirect. The value of the mirrorOf element are comma-delimited, and can include a * wildcard or a list of repository id’s.


If one or more repositories - either declared in the POM or redirected via the settings.xml - requires authentication, you need a mechanism for declaring your credentials. In the Maven settings.xml, this is the servers section. An example looks like this:

As you can see, the example above specifies a mirror that redirects all declared repositories from the POMs you specify, then provides a username and password for accessing the repository manager that is your redirection target. The server section’s id field matches that of the mirror, which tells Offliner that these credentials should be used for connections to the given mirror.

Any repositories, whether they’re declared in the POM or in the settings.xml as mirrors, can have credentials attached using the same mechanism. Just specify a server entry with an id that matches the repository’s id, and Offliner will use the credentials with any connection to that repository.

More Information on Maven Settings

For more information on the Maven settings.xml format, see: But remember, only the mirrors and servers sections are used by Offliner.