Launching Burp Suite from the command line

  • Last updated: July 6, 2023

  • 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 manually. However, if you choose to launch Burp from the command line, you need to manage your own Java installation and updates. The minimum Java version required to run Burp is Java 17.

Note that any extensions written in a version of Java higher than 17 may not run correctly on any installation of Burp Suite.

Checking your Java version

To check your Java version:

  1. At a command prompt, type: java -version
  2. If Java is installed, a message indicates which version you have. To run Burp, you need at least Java 17.
  3. If Java is not installed, or if your version of Java is older than 17, you 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:

Argument Description
--help Print this message.
--disable-extensions Prevent loading of extensions on startup.
--diagnostics Print diagnostic information.
--use-defaults Start Burp with the default settings. Warning: Setting this flag overwrites your saved settings with Burp's default settings and you will not be able to recover them.
--collaborator-server Run in Collaborator server mode.
--collaborator-config Specify a Collaborator server configuration file to use. By default, this will load the file collaborator.config.
--project-file Open the specified project file. This will be created as a new project if the file does not exist.
--config-file Load the specified project configuration file. This option may be repeated to load multiple files.
--user-config-file Load the specified user configuration file. This option may be repeated to load multiple files.
--auto-repair Automatically repair a corrupted project file specified by the --project-file option.
--unpause-spider-and-scanner Do not pause the Spider or Scanner when opening an existing project.
-Djava.awt.headless=true Open Burp in headless mode.
-Xmx4g Limit Burp's heap size to 4GB, for example. You can change this to a different value if you want.

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