Fixing the Java.lang.SecurityException: Invalid Signature File Digest for Manifest Main Attributes - Comprehensive Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we will learn how to fix the java.lang.SecurityException: Invalid Signature File Digest for Manifest Main Attributes error in Java applications. This error typically occurs when a Java Archive (JAR) file contains a signature file with an invalid or corrupt digest. We will explore the causes of this exception and provide a step-by-step solution to resolve it.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Error

The java.lang.SecurityException: Invalid Signature File Digest for Manifest Main Attributes error is thrown when the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) encounters a JAR file with an invalid or corrupt signature file. This may occur due to various reasons, such as:

  • The JAR file was modified after signing
  • The signature file is missing or has been tampered with
  • The JAR file was signed with a weak algorithm that is no longer supported

To fix this error, we must identify the problematic JAR file, remove the invalid signature, re-sign it using a valid certificate, and verify the new signature.


Before proceeding, ensure that you have the following tools installed on your system:

  • Java Development Kit (JDK): Ensure that you have the latest version of JDK installed.
  • Keytool: This utility is included with the JDK and is used to manage keystores and certificates.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix the Error

Step 1: Identify the Problematic JAR File

To identify the problematic JAR file, inspect the error message or stack trace. The JAR file causing the error should be mentioned in the exception detail. For example:

java.lang.SecurityException: Invalid signature file digest for Manifest main attributes in file:/path/to/your_jar_file.jar

In this case, the problematic JAR file is your_jar_file.jar.

Step 2: Remove the Invalid Signature

Once you have identified the problematic JAR file, you need to remove the invalid signature. To do this, first extract the contents of the JAR file:

jar -xvf your_jar_file.jar

Next, navigate to the META-INF directory and remove the signature files. The signature files typically have the extensions .SF and .DSA or .RSA:


Finally, repackage the JAR file without the signature files:

cd ..
jar -cvf new_your_jar_file.jar *

Step 3: Re-sign the JAR File

To re-sign the JAR file, you will need a valid keystore and a certificate. If you don't have a keystore, you can create one using the keytool utility:

keytool -genkey -alias myalias -keyalg RSA -keystore mykeystore.jks -keysize 2048

Next, sign the JAR file using the jarsigner utility:

jarsigner -keystore mykeystore.jks -signedjar signed_your_jar_file.jar new_your_jar_file.jar myalias

This will create a new signed JAR file named signed_your_jar_file.jar.

Step 4: Verify the JAR File

To verify the signed JAR file, use the jarsigner utility with the -verify option:

jarsigner -verify signed_your_jar_file.jar

If the verification is successful, you should see a message similar to the following:

jar verified.


1. What is a JAR file signature?

A JAR file signature is a digital signature that ensures the integrity and authenticity of a JAR file. It is created by signing the JAR file with a private key and can be verified using the corresponding public key. This helps in preventing unauthorized modifications to the JAR file and ensures that it originates from a trusted source.

2. How do I create a self-signed certificate?

To create a self-signed certificate, you can use the keytool utility, which is included with the JDK. The following command creates a self-signed certificate with a validity of 365 days:

keytool -genkey -alias myalias -keyalg RSA -keystore mykeystore.jks -keysize 2048 -validity 365

3. What are the risks of using self-signed certificates?

Self-signed certificates are not issued by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) and are therefore not considered secure for production use. They can be used for testing purposes, but for production environments, it is recommended to use certificates issued by a trusted CA.

4. What algorithms are supported for signing JAR files?

The jarsigner utility supports several algorithms for signing JAR files, including RSA, DSA, and EC. The recommended algorithm is RSA with a key size of at least 2048 bits.

5. Can I use the same keystore to sign multiple JAR files?

Yes, you can use the same keystore to sign multiple JAR files. However, it is important to keep your keystore secure and backed up, as losing the keystore or its password may render your signed JAR files unverifiable.

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