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What should I set JAVA_HOME to on OSX

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

Many Java applications that use shell scripts to configure their environment use the JAVA_HOME environment variable to start the correct version of Java, locate JRE JARs, and so on.

On OSX 10.6, the following paths seem to be valid for this variable

/Library/Java/Home
/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Home
/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current

Some of these are symlinks to the actual current VM (as defined in the Java Preference pane).

But which one should be used—or is it okay to use any of them?

Answers:

Does Snow Leopard still have /usr/libexec/java_home? On 10.5, I just set JAVA_HOME to the output of that command, which should give you the Java path specified in your Java preferences. Here’s a snippet from my .bashrc file, which sets this variable:

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

I haven’t experienced any problems with that technique.

Occasionally I do have to change the value of JAVA_HOME to an earlier version of Java. For example, one program I’m maintaining requires 32-bit Java 5 on OS X, so when using that program, I set JAVA_HOME by running:

export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.5)

For those of you who don’t have java_home in your path add it like this.

sudo ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current/Commands/java_home /usr/libexec/java_home

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Also, it`s interesting to set your PATH to reflect the JDK. After adding JAVA_HOME (which can be done with the example cited by ‘mipadi’):

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

Add also in ~/.profile:

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

P.S.: For OSX, I generally use .profile in the HOME dir instead of .bashrc

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Nowadays Java seems to be installed in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

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I’m on Mac OS 10.6.8

The easiest solution works for me is simply put in

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

To test whether it works, put in

$ echo $JAVA_HOME

it shows

/System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents/Home

you can also test

$ which java

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I tend to use /Library/Java/Home. The way the preferences pane works this should be up to date with your preferred version.

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That above works not any more in YOSEMITE for GRAPHICAL APPLICATIONS! Like eclipse, or anything started with Spotlight. (.bash_profile, launchd.conf works for terminal sessions only.)
Before starting eclipse, just open a terminal window, and give out the following command:

launchctl setenv JAVA_HOME /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home

(With your installation path! Perhaps works with $(/usr/libexec/java_home) instead of the full path too.)

View the whole excellent article about the permanent solution here:
Setting environment variables via launchd.conf no longer works in OS X Yosemite/El Capitan/macOS Sierra?

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I am having MAC OS X(Sierra) 10.12.2.

I set JAVA_HOME to work on React Native(for Android apps) by following the following steps.

  • Open Terminal (Command+R, type Terminal, Hit ENTER).

  • Add the following lines to ~/.bash_profile.

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

  • Now run the following command.

    source ~/.bash_profile

  • You can check the exact value of JAVA_HOME by typing the following command.

    echo $JAVA_HOME

The value(output) returned will be something like below.

/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_131.jdk/Contents/Home

That’s it.

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I’ve found this stack to help, i was having the same issue and i could fix:

My java path was here:

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home

and was needed to put into my .bash_profile:

export JAVA_HOME=\"/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home\"

Hope help

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As other answers note, the correct way to find the Java home directory is to use /usr/libexec/java_home.

The official documentation for this is in Apple’s Technical Q&A QA1170: Important Java Directories on OS X: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/qa/qa1170/_index.html

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For me maven seems to work off the .mavenrc file:

echo "export JAVA_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.8)" > ~/.mavenrc

I’m sure I picked it up on SO too, just can’t remember where.

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Skipping Terminal setup since you mentioned applications, permanent system environment variable set up (works for macOS Sierra; should work for El Capitan too):

launchctl setenv JAVA_HOME $(/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.8)

(this will set JAVA_HOME to the latest 1.8 JDK, chances are you have gone through serveral updates e.g. javac 1.8.0_101, javac 1.8.0_131)
Of course, change 1.8 to 1.7 or 1.6 (really?) to suit your need and your system

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Create file ~/.mavenrc

then paste this into the file

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

test

mvn -v

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For Fish Shell users, use something like the following: alias java7 "set -gx JAVA_HOME (/usr/libexec/java_home -v1.7)"