Ubuntu Linux: Install Latest Oracle Java 7

I am a network admin who recently made the switch from MS-Windows to Ubuntu Linux. I need to use Java and Firefox web browser plugin to run java applet. I am unable to access many devices such as Firewall appliance, LBS/VPX, and network equipments due to Ubuntu’s incompatible openjdk and icedtea plugin. I also searched software center but unable to find Oracle Java 7. How do I install Oracle Java 7 and get rid of this incompatibility problems on Ubuntu Linux amd64 v12.04 LTS or v13.04+?

Debian / Ubuntu and much other Linux distros are switching to OpenJDK (Open Java Development Kit). It is a free and open source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE). OpenJDK is the official Java SE 7 reference implementation and following packages are installed on Ubuntu Linux:

  1. openjdk-7-jdk – OpenJDK Development Kit (JDK)
  2. openjdk-7-jre – OpenJDK Java runtime, using Hotspot JIT
  3. icedtea-plugin – web browser plugin to execute Java applets (dependency package)

Find out installed JDK

To list all currently installed java implementation on the system, enter:
$ dpkg --list | grep jdk
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Listing all installed jdk’s on Ubuntu Linux

You can also use the following command to list all installed packages providing information to set a bunch of java alternatives.
$ update-java-alternatives -l
Sample outputs:

java-1.6.0-openjdk-amd64 1061 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.6.0-openjdk-amd64
java-1.7.0-openjdk-amd64 1051 /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.7.0-openjdk-amd64

Finding out the default java version

Type the following command:
$ java -version
Sample outputs:

java version "1.6.0_27"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea6 1.12.5) (6b27-1.12.5-0ubuntu0.12.04.1)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.0-b12, mixed mode)

Installing Oracle Java 7 On Ubuntu version 12.04 or 13.04+

The good news is you can install Oracle Java 7 easily and make it as the default source implementation of the Java platform. First, grab Oracle Java 7 directly from Oracle Java download page:

Fig.04: Download Oracle Java 7

Make sure you download 32 bit (Linux x86 ~ jdk-7u21-linux-i586.tar.gz) or 64 bit (Linux x64 ~ jdk-7u21-linux-x64.tar.gz) JDK version in .tar.gz format:

Fig.05: Accept Oracle license and download either 64 or 32 bit version in tar.gz format

Note: By default all files are downloaded in ~/Download/ ($HOME/Download/) directory.

Install jdk-7u21-linux-x64.tar.gz

Open a terminal and type the following command to list your files:
$ ls ~/Downloads/*.tar.gz
Sample outputs:


Untar the tar ball and install at /usr/lib/jvm/ directory:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/jvm/
sudo tar xvf ~/Downloads/jdk-7u21-linux-x64.tar.gz -C /usr/lib/jvm

Sample outputs:


Oracle Java 7 has been installed in /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_21/ directory. Type the following ln command to create a softlink:

cd /usr/lib/jvm
sudo ln -s jdk1.7.0_21 java-1.7.0-sun-amd64

Setting the default Java to use

Type the following command
$ sudo update-alternatives --config java
Sample outputs:

Fig.06: Setting the default Java to Oracle 7 Java

Update your ~/bashrc

Edit the file ~/bashrc, enter:

vi ~/bashrc

Set or update the JAVA_HOME and PATH shell variables as follows:

export JAVA_HOME="/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_21"
export PATH="$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin"

Save and close the file.

Verify new java settings

Type the following command:

java -version

Sample outputs:

java version "1.7.0_21"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_21-b11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.21-b01, mixed mode)

How do I configure Mozilla Firefox Java 7 plugin?

First, close running Firefox. Open a terminal and cd into /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins directory, enter:

cd /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins

Type the following command to create a softlink to libnpjp2.so, enter:

ln -s $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so .


ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0_21/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so .

How do I test whether Java is working on my Firefox?

Start the Firefox and visit this url to verify that Oracle 7 java Applet / plugin is working for Firefox:

Fig.07: Testing whether Java is working on my Firefox browser

So there you have it-the ultimate and official Oracle Java 7 JDK/JRE running on Ubuntu Linux and Firefox web-browser plugin.

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.