Old version of JabRef

Hello. I need an old JabRef version to work with Java 1.6 (I am forced to have this old version of Java installed due to some toolchain that we use at work).
I have checked on GitHub, and I found ver 2.8.1 that seems to be compatible with my Java version. However, there is only the source code. As I could download Ant and follow the described procedure, I have the following issues:

  1. I don’t know if Ant (both the installer and the environment) will work with Java 1.6
  2. I am not a computer geek and I am afraid to not succeed.

Therefore, I would like to have the pre-compiled installer of a JabRef version good for Java 1.6? How can I get it?

Hi Ubaldo,
all old versions can still be found on sourceforge.net here:


Best regards,

Ok, but I had trouble in the past with SourceForge, getting a lot of malware installed.
Is it safe to download JabRef from SourceForge nowadays?

I’ve just tested the JabRef-2.8.1.jar file which is just a “special zip archive for precompiled Java programs” this works fine without any installation.

Also the .exe installer should be fine - however, I cannot guarantee this as I do not have old hash-Sums of the original installer, i.e., there is a slight possibility that some has modified the installer - but I think you refer to the damn sourceforge installer which has been introduced for some high volume downloads such as FileZilla or Gimp on sourceforge? (See for example this article on the topic.)

This practice should have been stopped by now - and JabRef was never affected by this.

Thanks for the reply.
However, I don’t remember if troubles were due to the SourceForge installer or whatever since it is long time ago when I stopped downloading software from SourceForge.

I think I could survive with the .jar version now, I don’t dare to download the installer without being 100% that is safe :slight_smile:

I couldn’t find 3.8.
where is it?

@Dellu: You find the older releases on GitHub. But you are strongly advised to use the most recent version! Do you have any problems with it?

I am having a lot of problems on my system. Version 3.8 seems better. But, strain, even that one is freezing like crazy. The problem seems with the latest Java just I installed it today.


In this case you may also try out the most recent development version. We already fixed quite a few bugs (mostly related to freezes) and significantly improved the performance. A release should happen in the next days, so this version is already quite stable.

@Dellu Make sure to have only Java 8 installed, java 9 does not yet work for JabREf

Thanks. I found that I had a corrupted bib file. It was strange experience.