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What packaging should I use: maven-archetype or jar? What is the difference?

maven-archetype packaging is available since 2.0-alpha-1: it should be used instead of jar, which was used for Archetype 1.x.

Using maven-archetype packaging helps identifying archetypes in repositories and adds archetype related bindings to build lifecycle: see maven-archetype packaging documentation for more information.


How to generate a project from an archetype in an authenticated repository?

The server id used to download the artifact is [archetypeArtifactId]-repo: you have to define corresponding server configuration in settings.xml with this id.