Launching Burp Suite from the command line
Last updated: June 1, 2022
Read time: 3 Minutes
Burp Suite is a Java application and is distributed via native platform installers. However, Burp is also available as a standalone Java executable file, with the
.jar extension. You can choose to download the JAR file from the same download page as the native platform installers.
The Burp JAR file can be executed using a Java Runtime Environment, and there is no need to unpack the contents of the JAR file itself. Launching Burp directly from the command line is beneficial in certain use cases because you can use command line arguments to control Burp's behavior on startup. For example, you can specify exactly how much memory your computer assigns to Burp.
The native platform installers bundle Burp together with a private Java Runtime Environment, so you don't need to worry about installing or updating Java. However, if you choose to use the JAR file to launch Burp, you will need to manage your own Java installation and updates.
Currently, Burp has been fully tested on Java versions 11 to 17. Note that any extensions written in a version of Java earlier than 11 may not run correctly on any installation of Burp Suite, including those launched via the installer.
Checking your Java version
To check your Java version:
At a command prompt, type:
- If Java is installed, a message will indicate which version you have. To run Burp, you will need Java version 11 to 17.
- If Java is not installed, or if your version of Java is older than 11, you will need to install a supported version of Java. Download the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Oracle and run the installer. Then open a new command prompt and start again.
Launching the Burp Suite JAR
Once you have the correct Java version installed, you can launch Burp by entering a command such as the following:
java -jar -Xmx4g /path/to/burp.jar
In this example, the argument
-Xmx4g specifies that you want to assign 4GB of memory to Burp.
/path/to/burp.jar is the path to the location of the JAR file on your computer.
If everything is working, a splash screen should display for a few seconds, and then the main startup wizard window should appear. If nothing happens, or if an error message appears, please refer to the troubleshooting help.
Command line arguments
Various command line arguments are available to control Burp's behavior on startup. For example, you can tell Burp to prevent reloading of extensions, open a particular Burp project file, or load a particular configuration file.
You can view a list of available options using the command line argument
--help. The following arguments are currently available:
||Print this message.|
||Prevent loading of extensions on startup.|
||Print diagnostic information.|
||Start Burp with the default settings. Warning: Setting this flag overwrites your saved user options with Burp's default settings and you will not be able to recover them.|
||Run in Collaborator server mode.|
Specify a Collaborator server configuration file to use. By default, this will load the file
||Open the specified project file. This will be created as a new project if the file does not exist.|
||Load the specified project configuration file. This option may be repeated to load multiple files.|
||Load the specified user configuration file. This option may be repeated to load multiple files.|
Automatically repair a corrupted project file specified by the
||Do not pause the Spider or Scanner when opening an existing project.|
||Open Burp in headless mode.|
||Limit Burp's heap size to 4GB, for example. You can change this to a different value if you want.|