How to Run Java Code on Linux: A Comprehensive Guide


Running Java code on Linux might seem like a complex task, especially for those new to programming or Linux environments. However, with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward process. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps required to run Java code on Linux, starting from installation and setup to the execution of Java applications. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, this article will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to successfully run Java code on your Linux system.

How do I run Java code on Linux?

Before we dive into the details, let’s understand the key steps to run Java code on Linux:

  1. Install Java Development Kit (JDK) on Linux.
  2. Set up environment variables.
  3. Write or obtain Java code.
  4. Compile Java code.
  5. Execute the Java application.

Now, let’s explore each step in detail:

Installing Java Development Kit (JDK) on Linux

To run Java code on Linux, you need to have the Java Development Kit (JDK) installed on your system. Follow these steps to install JDK:

  1. Open the terminal on your Linux system.
  2. Update the package list using the command: sudo apt update
  3. Install JDK by running: sudo apt install default-jdk

Once the installation is complete, you can verify it by typing: java -version in the terminal. This should display the installed Java version.

Setting Up Environment Variables

Environment variables are essential for the proper functioning of Java applications. Follow these steps to set up the environment variables:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Use a text editor to open the ~/.bashrc file: nano ~/.bashrc
  3. Add the following lines to set the JAVA_HOME and PATH variables:
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/default-java
export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin
  1. Save and exit the text editor.
  2. Apply the changes by running: source ~/.bashrc

Writing or Obtaining Java Code

Now that you have the JDK installed and environment variables set up, you can write your Java code using a text editor or obtain existing code from a project.

Compiling Java Code

Java code needs to be compiled before it can be executed. Follow these steps to compile your Java code:

  1. Open the terminal and navigate to the directory containing your Java file: cd path/to/your/directory
  2. Compile the Java file using the javac command: javac

Executing the Java Application

Once your Java code is compiled, you can execute the Java application using the java command. Here’s how:

  1. In the terminal, navigate to the same directory where you compiled the Java file.
  2. Run the Java application: java YourFileName


Can I run Java code on any Linux distribution?

Yes, you can run Java code on any Linux distribution as long as you have the Java Development Kit (JDK) installed and properly set up.

Do I need to install the latest version of JDK?

It’s recommended to install the latest stable version of JDK to benefit from the latest features, improvements, and security updates.

Can I use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to run Java code on Linux?

Absolutely! IDEs like Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, and VSCode provide a user-friendly interface for writing, compiling, and executing Java code on Linux.

Is there a difference in running Java code on Windows and Linux?

The process of running Java code is similar on both platforms. However, some platform-specific paths and commands might differ.

Can I run Java applications with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on Linux?

Yes, you can run Java applications with GUIs on Linux. Make sure you have the appropriate libraries and dependencies installed.

How do I update Java on my Linux system?

To update Java, you can download the latest JDK from the official website and follow the installation instructions.

How do I run Java code on Linux?

You can run Java code on Linux by compiling it with the ‘javac’ command and then executing the compiled class file using the ‘java’ command.

Is Java used on Linux?

Yes, Java is commonly used on Linux for developing and running various applications, including web services and desktop applications.

How to use Java in Linux terminal?

You can use Java in the Linux terminal by first compiling your Java code using the ‘javac’ command and then running the compiled class using the ‘java’ command.

Can you use Java on Linux?

Yes, you can use Java on Linux for writing and running Java applications by installing the Java Development Kit (JDK) and using the appropriate commands in the terminal.


Running Java code on Linux doesn’t have to be intimidating. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully install the Java Development Kit, set up environment variables, compile your Java code, and execute your applications. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced programmer, this guide equips you with the knowledge to harness the power of Java on your Linux system.

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