Sun Java on Ubuntu

At this late a stage, I'm just getting back into Java again, with a view towards incorporating some development work in the classes that I teach. Been a while, but everything that's old feels new again (or is that the other way around?)

Anyhow, I've never been too happy with the Java that comes in the repositories, even the ones from Sun: they're a few minor releases old, and I think my students should work with the latest releases. I know I would, too. That's why I get my JDK and other stuff from the Sun Java web site.

How to get the latest version of Java running on Ubuntu?

1. First comes the download, around 80MB for the JDK (as of now, I am using jdk-6u16-linux-i586.bin).

2. Being a self-extracting binary file, all you need to do is run it

sh jdk-6u16-linux-i586.bin

This should create a Java directory, in this case jdk1.6.0_16/.

3. You could work directly with this directory where it is, but I think its proper place is in globally-accessible location, so I would transfer this to the /opt directory.

sudo mv -p jdk1.6.0_16/ /opt/java/

4. Next, we need to tell the rest of the operating system where the Java directory is. Create a file in /etc/profile.d, which contains the custom startup scripts. My

export PATH=$PATH:/opt/java/jdk1.6.0_16/bin/
export JAVA_HOME=/opt/java/jdk1.6.0_16/

5. Finally, log off (not shut down, just log off) and log in again.

To test if Java is working, in your home directory just type java -version. This will show what version of Java you're running. In my case:

java version "1.6.0_16"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_16-b01)
Java HotSpot(TM) Server VM (build 14.2-b01, mixed mode)