Java Installation on Mac

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By default, no Javs is installed, when first attempting to use I get this:

NOMBP2:~ ovidiu$ java -version
No Java runtime present, requesting install.

and a GUI window pops up: "to use the "java" command-line tool you need to install a JDK". More Info ... which says to go to the Oracle site.

Java Vendors

Oracle SDK Installation

Download the latest for Mac (jdk-9.0.1_osx-x64_bin.dmg, jdk-8u25-macosx-x64.dmg or jdk-7u75-macosx-x64.dmg, depending of whether you need Java 9, Java 8 or Java 7).

Double-click on DMG, then on PKG.

By default, it will install it in /usr/bin/java, which is a link to /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current/Commands/java.

The default JAVA_HOME is:


It can be obtained running


Amazon Corretto Installation

Amazon Corretto Installation on Mac

JAVA_HOME and /usr/libexec/java_home

For a standard installation the value of JAVA_HOME is returned by the result of /usr/libexec/java_home:

export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home)


export PATH=${JAVA_HOME}/bin:${PATH}

/usr/libexec/java_home returns returns the path to a Java home directory from the current user's settings.

In case multiple JDKs are installed, the java_home command line variables can be used to filter which JAVA_HOME is returned. Also see "Using a Specific Java Installation when Multiple JDKs are Installed":

-v filters on version

-a filters on architecture

-d filters on data model.

Look for a Specific Version and Fail if Not Installed

⚠️ On Big Sur, must unset JAVA_HOME before executing this command for the command to report the correct value:

unset JAVA_HOME; /usr/libexec/java_home -F -v 11

Display all Java Installations on the System

To see al JVMs installed:

/usr/libexec/java_home -V

Using a Specific Java Installation when Multiple JDKs are Installed

Set in .bashrc (the following command selects Java 8 when Java 7, 8 and 9 are installed):

export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.8)
export PATH=${JAVA_HOME}/bin:${PATH}


This is no longer valid since mid 2019, due to license changes. Update if needed.

brew install caskroom/cask/java

Install the latest, in the standard location. Everything specified in Oracle SDK Installation applies.

To install the latest of a specific major version:

 brew cask install caskroom/versions/java8


Default Java 1.6 Location


If you want /usr/libexec/java_home to return the Java 6 home, run it with:

/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6