This plug-in provides support for creating, installing and running an executable JAR for Maven 1.x. It will create a single big JAR including all dependencies, so no additional entry is necessary for the classpath.
The plug-in is used on Windows 2000, Gentoo and SUSE Linux 8.1 therefore it should work on all major platforms.
In Maven 1.0 there was the UBERJAR plugin available, which was doing a similiar job. However, due to performance problems in the class loader it was not recommended for larger projects, and it has been removed from Maven 1.1.
Just in case you have multiple project distributables (e.g. one executable JAR and a WAR file in my case) it might be useful to clean the temporary files in between those targets.