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Getting Started

This is a very short tutorial on how to install and start using Helma NG.


Helma requires Java 1.5 to run and uses Apache Ant as its build tool.

To get started with Helma NG either download the latest release or get the current snapshot from Github, either by clicking the download button or using the following git command:

git clone git://github.com/hns/helma-ng.git

Change to the helma-ng directory you just checked out and run ant it with the "jar" target:

ant jar

If this worked then you should now have a file called lib/helma.jar.

Using the shell

Once you have built the jar files you should be able to start the Helma NG shell|shell. Just run the helma script in the bin directory without arguments:


This should start a shell session with a helma> prompt. You can enter and evaluate any JavaScript expression. You can scroll through your session history using the and keys, hitting will try to auto-complete your current input. Use the include, require, or import functions to load any Helma NG modules:

helma> include('helma/file');
helma> var file = new File('README.txt');
helma> file.open();
helma> file.readln();
Helma NG
helma> file.close();

Running the demo app

To run an actual web application simply pass the main file of the app to the helma command:

bin/helma apps/demo/main.js

This will start the Helma NG demo app on port 8080. Enter the following URL in your browser to access the app:


You can also run an application and the shell at the same time by adding the -i or --interactive option before the application name:

bin/helma -i apps/demo/main.js

Use the -h or --help options for more information on available options.

Starting your own application

To start hacking on your own Helma application, use the admin/create script to create a new app:

bin/helma admin/create [app directory]

If you don't pass the app directory on the command line the script will prompt you for it. Once the application has been created you can start it by running its main.js script:

bin/helma appname/main.js

If you like Helma NG drop a note on the mailing list or the #helma channel on irc.freenode.net!