Sometimes it can happen that PDFsam Basic doesn’t start and there is no error message or anything that could help you understand what is the issue.

First thing to do …

Is to make sure a Java Runtime version 8 or above is correctly installed on your machine (Java 8 is a requirement given PDFsam Basic is written in Java). We do all sorts of checks during the installation process and during the startup of the application to make sure we inform the user if Java 8 is missing but there might be some exotic case we missed, so first thing try upgrading Java to its latest version.

Second thing to do …

If that didn’t solve the issue you can try running PDFsam Basic using a startup script we provide in the bin subdirectory. You will find two files called for Linux systems and pdfsam.bat for Windows systems, run/double-click the one for your system, a shell/Command Prompt window will open, PDFsam Basic will try to start and a number of debug messages will show up in the shell window. Take a look at those messages and see if there is some enlightening information that can explain what is the issue.

If none of the above worked, just drop us an email attaching the not-so-enlightening debug messages in your shell window, we will try to figure out what is happening.

6 Replies to “How to debug PDFsam Basic if it doesn’t start”
  1. I can’t start the program, I am including the message below. I verified the java and is installed… could you please help me? Thank you.
    Here is the message I received:
    adrian@UbuntuStudio-Adrian:~$ pdfsam


    JAVA: /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/java/bin/java

    JAVA_OPTS: -Xmx256m

    CLASSPATH: /usr/share/pdfsam/pdfsam-1.1.4.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/dom4j.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/emp4j-1.0.1.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/itext.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/jaxen.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/log4j-1.2.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/looks.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/pdfsam-console-2.0.6e.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/pdfsam-jcmdline-1.0.3.jar:/usr/share/pdfsam/lib/pdfsam-langpack.jar


    /usr/bin/pdfsam: 63: /usr/bin/pdfsam: /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/java/bin/java: not found
    adrian@UbuntuStudio-Adrian:~$ ^C

  2. Alright, so I took the courage and… edited the /usr/bin/pdfsam
    I commented a line, because I figured out there is an inexistent subdirectory in the error path, then the program started! Here is the edit — you will recognize the commented line, I only post the modified section:

    # Setup the JVM
    if [ “x$JAVA” = “x” ]; then
    if [ “x$JAVA_HOME” != “x” ]; then
    # JAVA=”$JAVA_HOME/bin/java”

    I hope I did right… Thank you.

  3. Hello,

    PDFsam was working well but today I tried using it and it instantly opened and closed and if I try to launch via a terminal I get the following message :
    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javafx/scene/layout/HBox
    at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
    at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(
    at java.base/
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.defineClass(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.findClassOnClassPathOrNull(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClassOrNull(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.ClassLoaders$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
    Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: javafx.scene.layout.HBox
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.BuiltinClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.loader.ClassLoaders$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
    at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
    … 10 more

    I checked with synaptic (I am on ubuntu) and JRE 8 is installed.

    Best regards,

  4. Hmm, unfortunately this is not helpful – I can see some Java exceptions, it’s Ubuntu 18.04.01 LTS with all possible updates installed (I’ll send you guys a screenshot). Tnx anyhow, keep up the good work (I know it works on Windows 😉 )!

  5. Hello,
    i do have exactly the same problem, with the same messages when launching from a terminal. … I know it works under Win 10. But not under Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS…
    I have tried to execute but with no success.
    Thanks for your help and regards.

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