In an earlier post, I described how to install the latest version of the Oracle Java JDK using homebrew. What hadn’t been completely obvious to me when I wrote the original blog post is that the ‘java’ cask will install the latest major version of the JDK. As a result, when I upgraded my JDK install today, I ended up with an upgrade from Java 8 to Java 9. On my personal machine that’s not a problem, but what if I wanted to stick with a specific major version of Java?
Update: The title of this post isn’t quite correct – using the homebrew cask mentioned in this blog post will install the current major version of the Oracle JDK. If you want to install a specific major version of the JDK (6 or 8 at the time of writing), I describe how to do that in this new blog post.
I’ve had a ‘manual’ install of JDK 8 on my Mac for quite a while, mainly to run Clojure. It was the typical “download from the Oracle website, then manually run the installer” deployment. As I move the management of more development tools from manual management over to homebrew, I decided to use homebrew to manage my Java installation also. It’s just so much easier to get updates and update information all in one place. Oh, and installs the same JDK anyway, just without all the additional pointy clicky work.
Removing the existing installation
Fortunately Oracle has uninstall operations on their website. It’s a rather manual approach but at least it is documented and the whole procedure consists of three commands. Unfortunately in my case this didn’t end up uninstalling an older version of the JDK. For some reason, I had ended up with both 1.8.0_60 and 1.8.0_131 installed on my machine, and Oracle’s uninstall instructions didn’t touch the 1.8.0_60 install in /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework. I suspect this is an older JDK brought over from the Yosemite install and the consensus on the Internet I could find suggest to leave that alone as the system needs those.
Apparently in older versions of OS X is was possible to run /usr/libexec/java_home -uninstall to get rid of a Java install, but that option does not appear to work in OS X Sierra anymore
Installing Java using Homebrew
The installation via homebrew is about as simple as expected. I have cask installed already, so for me it’s a simple matter of running
brew cask install java
and it will install the latest Oracle JDK. You can use
brew cask info java
to verify which version it will install.
If you haven’t got homebrew installed, follow the installation instructions on docs.brew.sh and also make sure that you install cask:
brew tap caskroom/cask
After re-installing the JDK using homebrew, java_home also finally reports the correct version:
odie-pro:~ timo$ /usr/libexec/java_home /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_131.jdk/Contents/Home odie-pro:~ timo$
It’s a simple way to install a current Emacs once or twice a year. I don’t use beta versions or other pre-release versions on “productivity” machines, only released versions. My editor is too important a tool for me to risk using pre-release versions.