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java -cp FILE.jar FILE.Main inputfile 

What does the -cp option mean? For that matter, what a negative sign in front mean? I've searched everywhere and couldn't find the answer.

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There is no -cp command. Where did you see this? Copy-paste the whole line, at least, or whatever is necessary to how the context. –  Gilles Oct 2 '13 at 23:58
    
java -cp FILE.jar FILE.Main inputfile –  George Newton Oct 3 '13 at 0:00
    
Then it isn't a command, it's an option to the java command. –  Gilles Oct 3 '13 at 0:15
    
Try java -h 2>&1| grep cp. –  terdon Oct 3 '13 at 0:28
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closed as unclear what you're asking by Gilles, terdon, slm, jasonwryan, Mikel Oct 3 '13 at 1:51

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The example you finally gave, -cp is a parameter to the command, which is java. Parameters are generally program-specific, in this case cp stands for Class Path, which is another location java will search to find the class files as they are needed by the program.

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See this:

Quote:

-classpath classpath -cp classpath

Specifies a list of directories, JAR files, and ZIP archives to search for class files. Separate class path entries with semicolons (;). Specifying -classpath or -cp overrides any setting of the CLASSPATH environment variable.

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