How Do I Use Different Java Versions in Linux?


Java is a versatile programming language used in various applications, and having the ability to switch between different Java versions in Linux is essential for developers. Whether you’re working on legacy projects or exploring new features, this guide will walk you through the process. Let’s dive in and master the art of using different Java versions on your Linux system.

How do I use different Java versions in Linux?

Using different Java versions in Linux might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it becomes a straightforward task. Here’s a step-by-step approach to get you started:

Check Current Java VersionBefore you switch versions, it’s crucial to know which Java version your system is currently using. Open your terminal and type:shellCopy codejava -version This command will display the installed Java version.

Install Multiple Java VersionsLinux provides various package managers to simplify software installation. You can use apt, yum, or dnf to install different Java versions. For example, to install OpenJDK 8:shellCopy codesudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk Repeat this process for the desired Java versions.

Set Default Java VersionTo set the default Java version, you can use the update-alternatives command:shellCopy codesudo update-alternatives --config java This command allows you to select the default Java version from the installed ones.

Switch Java Version on the FlyIf you need to use a specific Java version for a single application or session, you can do so by specifying the version in the command:shellCopy codejava -version 8 This will temporarily switch to Java 8 for that session.

Update Environment VariablesTo ensure your system recognizes the changes, update the environment variables. Open the .bashrc or .zshrc file in your home directory and add:shellCopy codeexport JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk-amd64 export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin Adjust the paths according to your Java version and installation directory.

Verify the SwitchTo confirm that you’ve successfully switched Java versions, run:shellCopy codejava -version It should now display the newly selected version.

Managing Java Version DependenciesSome applications may require specific Java versions. Make sure to configure your projects or applications accordingly.

Cleaning UpOver time, you might accumulate multiple Java versions. Use your package manager to remove the ones you no longer need.

Now that you’ve learned how to use different Java versions in Linux let’s address some common questions.


Can I install multiple Java versions side by side?

Yes, you can install and use multiple Java versions simultaneously on your Linux system.

Do I need administrative privileges to switch Java versions?

Yes, you need administrative privileges to install and set the default Java version.

Are there any compatibility issues when switching Java versions?

Compatibility issues can arise, so always test your applications with the chosen Java version to ensure they work as expected.

How do I uninstall a specific Java version?

You can uninstall a specific Java version using your package manager. For example, to remove Java 8:

sudo apt-get remove openjdk-8-jdk

Can I switch Java versions for individual applications?

Yes, you can specify the Java version for individual applications by setting the JAVA_HOME and PATH environment variables in their respective scripts.

What if I encounter issues with Java version switching?

If you face any issues, consult the official documentation of your Linux distribution or the Java version you’re using for troubleshooting.

How do I use different Java versions in Linux?

You can use the update-alternatives command to manage and switch between different Java versions in Linux.

What are the two versions of Java Linux?

There are two main versions of Java for Linux: OpenJDK and Oracle JDK.

What are the two versions of Java Linux?

The two main versions of Java for Linux are OpenJDK and Oracle JDK.


Mastering the art of using different Java versions in Linux is essential for Java developers. With the step-by-step guide provided here, you can seamlessly switch between Java versions, ensuring your projects run smoothly and efficiently. Remember to adapt your Java version to the requirements of your applications, and you’ll be well-prepared for any development scenario.

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