This section describes how to read PDF, AFP, Word, HTML, PCL, and ASCII images in Java on UNIX-based operating systems when using the Imaging SDK for the Java platform.

To read PDF, AFP, Word, HTML, PCL, and ASCII images in Java on other UNIX-based operating systems, Snowbound software uses the Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT). In Solaris, calls into the java.awt package will trigger a connection to the X11 Windowing environment.

Since servers often operate as headless, or without a display, there is no X11 environment. The result is a NoClassDefFound error, similar to the following:

at java.lang.Class.forName0(Native Method)
at java.lang.Class.forName(
at java.awt.GraphicsEnvironment.getLocalGraphicsEnvironment(
java.awt.image.BufferedImage.createGraphics (

Depending on the JDK version, the following are solutions to this problem:

JDK 1.4 or greater

In JDK 1.4 and above, instruct the JDK to operate as a headless server, by setting a java run time option as follows:

java -Djava.awt.headless=true

In many cases, setting this option involves modifying the start-up script to your application server (often JAVA_OPTIONS or JAVA_OPTS).