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Wilson Mar

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Because programmers can’t get enough caffeine


There are several ways to install Java. This is the one that worked for me.

Apple Java

WARNING: The version that comes installed on Apple Macs can be obsolete.

CAUTION: Do not delete the default version. But if you did, to re-install Java 6 for OS X 2014-001, it can be obtained from https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572?locale=en_US

Which Java You Got?

On a Terminal open to any folder:

  1. To see what JRE you have already installed:

    java -version

    A sample response:

    java version "1.8.0_06-ea"
    Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_06-ea-b13)
    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.2-b04, mixed mode)
  2. PROTIP: Developers use the JDK rather than the JRE (Runtime Environment), see what version of the Java Compiler is installed:

    javac -version

    A sample response:

    javac 1.8.0_74

    If it’s not installed, MacOS prompts you to install the JDK. Clever. But don’t do it if you want the Oracle version.

  3. Click More Info….

    /usr/libexec/java_home -V

    That’s a capital V.

    The response on my machine:

    Matching Java Virtual Machines (4):
    1.8.0_45, x86_64:	"Java SE 8"	/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home
    1.7.0_65, x86_64:	"Java SE 7"	/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_65.jdk/Contents/Home
    1.6.0_65-b14-466.1, x86_64:	"Java SE 6"	/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home
    1.6.0_65-b14-466.1, i386:	"Java SE 6"	/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home

    PROTIP: In OSX, all known JVM’s are located at:

  4. The $JAVA_HOME environment variable is used by Groovy, Grails, Spring Boot, and others:

    echo $JAVA_HOME

    The response:

  5. See what derivative program such as Maven uses:

    mvn -version

    The sample response:

    Apache Maven 3.3.9 (bb52d8502b132ec0a5a3f4c09453c07478323dc5; 2015-11-10T09:41:47-07:00)
    Maven home: /usr/local/Cellar/maven/3.3.9/libexec
    Java version: 1.8.0_74, vendor: Oracle Corporation
    Java home: /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_74.jdk/Contents/Home/jre
    Default locale: en_US, platform encoding: US-ASCII
    OS name: "mac os x", version: "10.11.5", arch: "x86_64", family: "mac"
  6. See:

    command -v java

    If you get this:


    Latest Version of Oracle Java

  7. PROTIP: Hold off downloading the java .dmg installer file, as described at https://java.com/en/download/help/mac_install.xml

    WARNING: Oracle installs an annoying Ask Toolbar, sometimes without asking.

    Oracles docs on installing the JDK:

  8. Use an internet browser to

    Multiple Versions of JDK

  9. Click the “Download” button for the JDK (not the JRE).

    NOTE: Downloads of the JDK contains the JRE.

    Install Jenv to manage multiple Versions of Java

    PROTIP: If you’re a developer, you’ll likely need to manage different versions of Java needed by different apps. Much like NPM for Node and rbenv for Ruby.

    describes the steps.

  10. Install Jenv by specifying the location URL:

    brew install https://raw.githubusercontent.com/entrypass/jenv/homebrew/homebrew/jenv.rb

    The long response:

    ==> Auto-updated Homebrew!
    Updated Homebrew from fa19447 to 7c5e149.
    Updated 3 taps (homebrew/core, homebrew/dupes, pivotal/tap).
    ==> New Formulae
    lean-cli                                 libdivecomputer                        
    ==> Updated Formulae
    antigen                    konoha                     prometheus               
    cogl                       kyua                       qbs                      
    fabio                      libfreenect                rapidjson                
    ffmpeg                     libgit2-glib               rclone                   
    ffmpegthumbnailer          mkvtoolnix                 rebar                    
    gawk                       mpv                        repo                     
    git-fresh                  mypy                       sngrep                   
    git-lfs                    ncdu                       swiftlint                
    giter8                     nghttp2                    tailor                   
    gssh                       open-mpi                   the_platinum_searcher    
    homebrew/dupes/ed          openvpn                    tile38                   
    homebrew/dupes/tcl-tk      osh                        tippecanoe               
    infer                      pcap_dnsproxy              tor                      
    jlog                       pivotal/tap/pivnet-cli     vegeta                   
    joe                        ponyc                      yle-dl                   
    ######################################################################## 100.0%
    ==> Cloning https://github.com/gcuisinier/jenv.git
    Cloning into '/Users/mac/Library/Caches/Homebrew/jenv--git'...
    remote: Counting objects: 122, done.
    remote: Compressing objects: 100% (75/75), done.
    remote: Total 122 (delta 8), reused 94 (delta 5), pack-reused 0
    Receiving objects: 100% (122/122), 29.04 KiB | 0 bytes/s, done.
    Resolving deltas: 100% (8/8), done.
    Checking connectivity... done.
    Note: checking out '76268a9b90248f260037137ac9212db9ba1e72c6'.
    You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
    changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
    state without impacting any branches by performing another checkout.
    If you want to create a new branch to retain commits you create, you may
    do so (now or later) by using -b with the checkout command again. Example:
      git checkout -b 
    ==> Checking out tag 0.2.0-201404260
    ==> Caveats
    Add 'jenv init' to your shell to enable shims and autocompletion.
    $ echo 'eval "$(jenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
    Fish shell export functions are available at /usr/local/Cellar/jenv/0.2.0-201404260/fish
    Bash completion has been installed to:
    zsh completion has been installed to:
    ==> Summary
    🍺  /usr/local/Cellar/jenv/0.2.0-201404260: 70 files, 61K, built in 2 seconds
    The destination of the install is different than standard Java install:
    Cloning into '/Users/mac/Library/Caches/Homebrew/jenv--git'...
  11. Do what the jenv message says and activate jenv by adding this to the bottom of the file activated when a Terminal shell window starts:

    echo 'eval "$(jenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
  12. To see if jenv can run, list its version and commands:


    The desired response is like this:

    Usage: jenv  []
    Some useful jenv commands are:
    commands    List all available jenv commands
    local       Set or show the local application-specific Java version
    global      Set or show the global Java version
    shell       Set or show the shell-specific Java version
    rehash      Rehash jenv shims (run this after installing executables)
    version     Show the current Java version and its origin
    versions    List all Java versions available to jenv
    which       Display the full path to an executable
    whence      List all Java versions that contain the given executable
    See `jenv help ' for information on a specific command.
    For full documentation, see: https://github.com/hikage/jenv#readme
    If you get this:   
    /usr/local/bin/jenv: line 25: cd: /Users/mac/.jenv: No such file or directory
    /usr/local/Cellar/jenv/0.2.0-201404260/libexec/jenv: line 25: cd: /Users/mac/.jenv: No such file or directory
    /usr/local/Cellar/jenv/0.2.0-201404260/libexec/jenv---version: line 17: cd: /Users/mac/.jenv: No such file or directory
    Rather than using instructions at https://github.com/gcuisinier/jenv#gettings-started
    to git clone https://github.com/gcuisinier/jenv.git ~/.jenv The response:
    Cloning into '/Users/mac/.jenv'...
    remote: Counting objects: 874, done.
    remote: Total 874 (delta 0), reused 0 (delta 0), pack-reused 874
    Receiving objects: 100% (874/874), 362.88 KiB | 199.00 KiB/s, done.
    Resolving deltas: 100% (367/367), done.
    Checking connectivity... done.
    PROTIP: Installing using clone means that you would have to manually check whether a new version is available, then manually do the upgrade. So instead of doing that, forget the ~/.jenv folder and do this:
  13. Use Homebrew’s directories rather than ~/.jenv add to the bottom of your profile file:

    export JENV_ROOT=/usr/local/var/jenv

  14. To enable shims and autocompletion add to the botton of your profile file:

    if which jenv > /dev/null; then eval "$(jenv init -)"; fi
  15. To see what jenv recognizes:

    jenv versions

    The response if none if brew cask was not installed:

    * system (set by /usr/local/var/jenv/version)
  16. Install Java GUI using brew cask, and --force to update sub-versions:

    sudo brew update && brew cask install java --force

    The response:

    ==> Downloading http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u45-b14/jdk-8u45-ma
    Warning: The default Caskroom location has moved to /usr/local/Caskroom.
    Please migrate your Casks to the new location and delete /opt/homebrew-cask/Caskroom,
    or if you would like to keep your Caskroom at /opt/homebrew-cask/Caskroom, add the
    following to your HOMEBREW_CASK_OPTS:
    For more details on each of those options, see https://github.com/caskroom/homebrew-cask/issues/21913.
    ==> Caveats
    This Cask makes minor modifications to the JRE to prevent issues with
    packaged applications, as discussed here:
    If your Java application still asks for JRE installation, you might need
    to reboot or logout/login.
    Installing this Cask means you have AGREED to the Oracle Binary Code
    License Agreement for Java SE at
    ==> Downloading http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk/8u102-b14/jdk-8u102-
    ==> Verifying checksum for Cask java
    ==> Running installer for java; your password may be necessary.
    ==> Package installers may write to any location; options such as --appdir are i
    ==> installer: Package name is JDK 8 Update 102
    ==> installer: Upgrading at base path /
    ==> installer: The upgrade was successful.
    🍺  java was successfully installed!

    TROUBLESHOOTING: If you get stuck on “verifying…” during the installation process of Java on Mac El Capitan, it’s probably because of “rootless”. See http://osxdaily.com/2015/10/05/disable-rootless-system-integrity-protection-mac-os-x/

    Jenv for several Java versions

  17. The point of jenv is to add additional versions, such as back version JDK 7:

    jenv add /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_65.jdk/Contents/Home

    The response:

    oracle64- added
  18. Add JDK 8:

    jenv add /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_101.jdk/Contents/Home


    The response:

    oracle64- added
  19. List the libraries jenv knows about:

    jenv versions
  20. Highlight, copy and paste the version you want to use.

  21. To configure global version:

    jenv global oracle64-

    The response:

    * oracle64- (set by /Users/wilsonmar/.jenv/version)

Open JDK

Open JDK is the open-sourced implementation of the JRE spec, at http://openjdk.java.net is at JVM 7.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Java_virtual_machines

But it is still not ready for “prime time” on Mac as installation is a dirty affair.

  • https://wiki.openjdk.java.net/display/MacOSXPort/Mac+OS+X+Port+Project+Status

Open JDK’s install page at http://openjdk.java.net/install/ shows apt-get (for Debian, Ubuntu) and yum (for Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linus, Fedora).

  • http://blog.shelan.org/2015/03/how-to-build-open-jdk-9-on-mac-osx.html on Yosemite

  • http://hanxue-it.blogspot.com/2014/05/installing-java-8-managing-multiple.html

For OSX, this page recommends using Make to compile from source.

  1. Download source using Mercurial to a new folder “openjdk9”:

    hg clone http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk9/jdk9 openjdk9 cd ./openjdk9

    Note JDK 9 is under active development.

    http://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk8/jdk8 work stopped at 2014-03-04.

  2. Install XQuartz for X Window System that runs on OSX:

    brew install Caskroom/cask/xquartz
    brew cask list

    NOTE: Downloaded /Library/Caches/Homebrew/xquartz-2.7.9.dmg was 7.9K

    xquartz staged at ‘/opt/homebrew-cask/Caskroom/xquartz/2.7.9’ (73M)

  3. cd to the .tar.gz directory containing the configure file for Make to use.
  4. XQuartz fixes an error in this command:

    bash ./configure

  5. Install apple-gcc42 the Apple C compiler.

    Mihail recommends:

  6. Install ccache compiler cache.

    brew install ccache

  7. Make a symlink /usr/bin/gcc -> /usr/local/Cellar/apple-gcc42/4.2.1-5666.3/bin/gcc-4.2 (same for g++)

  8. If you’re at Mavericks Apply patches: 1, 2, 3, 4.

  9. if you’re at Mavericks Comment out NS_AVAILABLE(10_9, NA) in line 16 of /System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework/Headers/NSUserNotification.h

  10. Build:

    make all
    make install

    Built image should be available at build/macosx-x86_64-normal-server-release/jdk/

Test JDK Build

https://mihail.stoynov.com/2015/01/29/building-openjdk-9-on-a-osx-or-any-linux/ shows JDK 9 install using ccache, mercurial (hg), jtreg “testing harness”, and Webrev to diff code

Update Java


NOTE: Others include cheatsheet, google-chrome, google-drive, google-hangouts, dropbox, etc. listed in Sourabh Bajaj’s venerable Mac OSX Setup Guide, developed and distributed as a GitBook.

More on OSX

This is one of a series on Mac OSX: