Understanding the Standard Directory Structure of a Maven Project

When working with Maven, it is important to understand the standard directory structure of a Maven project. This predefined structure helps maintain a organized layout for the different components and resources of your project.

Project Root Directory

At the root level of your Maven project, you will find several files, including pom.xml, README.md, and possibly some additional configuration files. The pom.xml file is a critical component of Maven as it contains all the project's configurations, dependencies, and build instructions.

Source Code Directory: src

Inside the src directory, you will find the source code files of your project. This directory further splits into two main subdirectories:

Main Source Code Directory: src/main/java

The src/main/java directory is where you should place your application's main source code files (usually written in Java). This is the primary directory where all your application's logic resides.

Test Source Code Directory: src/test/java

The src/test/java directory is dedicated to unit tests. Here, you should store all the test code that ensures the correctness and reliability of your application. This directory follows the same structure as src/main/java but contains test-specific files.

Resource Directory: src/main/resources

The src/main/resources directory is intended for non-code resources that your application may require, such as configuration files, properties files, or static assets. These files should be available in the classpath during runtime.

Additional Resource Directories

Apart from the src/main/resources directory, you might also encounter the following resource directories:

  • src/test/resources: Just like src/main/resources, this directory contains test-specific resources.
  • src/main/webapp: If you are working on a web application, this directory will hold web-related resources like HTML files, CSS files, and web.xml.

Output Directory: target

Maven builds your project into the target directory. This directory does not exist initially but is created during the build process. It contains the compiled classes, generated output artifacts, and any other build-generated files.


Understanding the standard directory structure of a Maven project is crucial for maintaining a well-organized and easily manageable codebase. By following this structure, you can streamline your development process and ensure consistency across different Maven projects.

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