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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Installing OpenJDK 7 on OS X

Last week, I scanned an article and saw there was a Java 7 Webinar. At first, I thought Java 7 was released, but soon after realized it was a Developer Preview. Unfortunately, the download page doesn't have support for OS X. Since it took me a bit of work to figure out how to install OpenJDK 7 on OS X (I'm running Snow Leopard 10.6.7), I figured I'd write down how I did it.

I started off by downloading "OpenJDK 1.7 universal (32/64 bits) from Mac OS/X branch" from the openjdk-osx-build project's downloads (direct link). After downloading, I installed the dmg as normal.

Update Jan 27, 2012:
After installing the dmg, add the following to your ~/.profile and you should be good to go. Thanks to Mark Beaty for the tip.

function setjdk() { if [ $# -ne 0 ];then export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home -v $@`; fi; java -version; }

Continue with the instructions below if you don't like this technique for some reason.

I don't use Java Preferences to set my JDK, instead I use David Blevin's handy setjdk script. To make this script work with JDK 7 on OS X, I had to make one minor change. On line 40, I added "Contents" to the path for JAVA_HOME:

export JAVA_HOME=$vmdir/$ver/Contents/Home

Update Jan 27, 2012: You no longer need to make this change.

From there, I had to setup some symlinks so everything would work as expected:

cd /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/
sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.7.0.jdk

Update Jan 27, 2012: The latest version installs at a different location so the symlink command above should be changed to:

sudo ln -s /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.7.0u.jdk 1.7.0.jdk

Lastly, I had my JAVA_HOME set to "/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Home". I like the shorter (and seemingly more common) "/Library/Java/Home", so I set it back to that in my ~/.profile:

export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/Home

On my system, /Library/Java/Home had a symlink to /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Home, so I changed it to the CurrentJDK that Java Preferences and setjdk use.

cd /Library/Java
rm Home
ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/CurrentJDK/Contents/Home

Then I had to add a symlink for 1.7 in the Versions directory.

cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions
sudo ln -s /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.7.0.jdk/Contents 1.7

After making these changes, I was able to switch to JDK 7 easily.

$ setjdk 1.7
Setting this terminal's JDK to 1.7 ... openjdk version "1.7.0-internal"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0-internal-b00)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 21.0-b17, mixed mode)

I was also able to switch back to JDK 6.

$ setjdk 1.6
Setting this terminal's JDK to 1.6 ... java version "1.6.0_26"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_26-b03-384-10M3425)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.1-b02-384, mixed mode)

Maven Issues
Next, I tried using JDK 7 to build AppFuse. I ran into two issues when I tried to do this. The first was caused by the native2ascii plugin, which has been known to cause issues on non-Mac platforms. Adding the following profile seemed to solve the problem.


The next issue was with Enunciate and its maven-enunciate-cxf-plugin.

[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] com/sun/mirror/apt/AnnotationProcessorFactory
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] Trace
java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: com/sun/mirror/apt/AnnotationProcessorFactory

It seemed like adding a profile that included tools.jar would solve this, but it doesn't. When I add the dependency directly to the plugin itself, I get the following error:

warning: The apt tool and its associated API are planned to be
removed in the next major JDK release.  These features have been
superseded by javac and the standardized annotation processing API,
javax.annotation.processing and javax.lang.model.  Users are
recommended to migrate to the annotation processing features of
javac; see the javac man page for more information.
[WARNING] Validation result has errors.
error: [core] java.lang.StackTraceElement: A TypeDefinition must have a public no-arg constructor or be annotated with a factory method.
1 error
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
[INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully this article helps you get started with Java 7 on OS X. If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment.

Posted in Java at Jul 12 2011, 02:11:44 PM MDT 9 Comments

Why don't you just use "/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.7" to find the path to a 1.7.0.jdk which should normally be installed in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines?

Posted by Mike Swingler on July 12, 2011 at 07:36 PM MDT #

Mike - the reason I didn't use this command is because I didn't know about it. ;-) Are you suggesting that the setjdk script be enhanced to use this command?

Posted by Matt Raible on July 12, 2011 at 07:38 PM MDT #

I'm suggesting that the setJDK script and all the screwing around with symlinks is not needed at all. Just put this in your .profile: export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.7` "man java_home" for more info about it's args, filters, and output options.

Posted by Mike Swingler on July 12, 2011 at 10:28 PM MDT #

wow there is a program that tells me the location of java_home? Crazy, never knew about this command as well.

Thanks, Matt!

Posted by Sakuraba on July 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM MDT #

Something like this little bash function works nicely:

function setjdk() { if [ $# -ne 0 ];then export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home -v $@`; fi; java -version; }

Here's a good blog post about setting up Netbeans 7 to use OpenJDK 7 on OSX:

Posted by Mark Beaty on July 26, 2011 at 06:49 AM MDT #

Thanks for the tip Mark - works great!

Posted by Matt Raible on January 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM MST #

I've tried the Oracle JDK7 Mac OS X Port Developer Preview Release and it works for me.

From the Oracle Java SE Downloads page:

You can go to the JDK 7 for Mac OS X Developer Preview page:

And follow the instructions to download and install the JDK in a DMG file.

Posted by Javier Beneito Barquero on January 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM MST #

Thanks for a useful article. I've improved that "setjdk" function to also alter PATH, feel free to use that instead:

Posted by Neeme Praks on April 15, 2012 at 04:39 PM MDT #

For BASH .profile

export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home)

Posted by Jan on August 01, 2012 at 02:26 PM MDT #

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