Apache Maven WAR Plugin

The WAR Plugin is responsible for collecting all artifact dependencies, classes and resources of the web application and packaging them into a web application archive.

Goals Overview

  • war:war is the default goal invoked during the package phase for projects with a packaging type of war. It builds a WAR file.
  • war:exploded is generally used to speed up testing during the developement phase by creating an exploded webapp in a specified directory.
  • war:inplace another variation of war:explode where the webapp is instead generated in the web application source directory, which is src/main/webapp by default.

Hint for release 3.0.0

The goal war:manifest has been removed cause it violated the principle generating files into src/ folder. Furthermore everything can be done by using an appropriate configuration for the war:war archive.

The default value for failOnMissingWebXml has been changed from true to false.


General instructions on how to use the WAR Plugin can be found on the usage page. Some more specific use cases are described in the examples given below. To share common resources across multiple web applications, see the documentation about using overlays.

In case you still have questions regarding the plugin's usage, please have a look at the FAQ and feel free to contact the user mailing list. The posts to the mailing list are archived and could already contain the answer to your question as part of an older thread. Hence, it is also worth browsing/searching the mail archive.

If you feel like the plugin is missing a feature or has a defect, you can fill a feature request or bug report in our issue tracker. When creating a new issue, please provide a comprehensive description of your concern. Especially for fixing bugs it is crucial that the developers can reproduce your problem. For this reason, entire debug logs, POMs or most preferably little demo projects attached to the issue are very much appreciated. Of course, patches are welcome, too. Contributors can check out the project from our source repository and will find supplementary information in the guide to helping with Maven.


To provide you with better understanding on some usages of the Maven WAR Plugin, you can take a look into the following examples: