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How to install Java on CentOS 7

This tutorial shows you how to install Java on CentOS 7. Java is one of the most popular programming languages used to build different kinds of applications and systems.

Java variations

Java is distributed in three different editions, Standard Edition (SE), Enterprise Edition (EE), and Micro Edition (ME). This tutorial covers the Java SE (Standard Edition) edition.

There are two different Java packages in CentOS 7, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK). If you only want to run Java programs then you need JRE which contains just the Java Runtime Environment and if you are Java developer then you will need JDK which includes JRE and development/debugging tools and libraries.

There are also two different implementations of Java, OpenJDK and Oracle Java with almost no differences between them except that Oracle Java has a few additional commercial features.

If you are not sure which Java implementation and version to install, the general recommendation is install OpenJDK 8 JDK which is the current LTS version of Java.

Install OpenJDK

OpenJDK, the open source implementation of the Java Platform is the default Java development and runtime in CentOS 7. The installation is simple and straightforward.

Install OpenJDK 8 JDK

At time of writing, OpenJDK 8 is the current LTS version of Java and the recommended version to install. You can install it using yum by typing the following command:

sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel

Install OpenJDK 8 JRE

You can install OpenJDK 8 JRE using yum by typing the following command:

sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk

JRE is a subset JDK and if you already installed the JDK package you do not need to install this one.

Install OpenJDK 7 JDK

If you application requires the older Java SE 7 to be installed on your CentOS 7 server can install OpenJDK 7 JDK package using yum by typing the following command:

sudo yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk-devel

Install OpenJDK 7 JRE

Same as above if you application requires OpenJDK 7 JRE you can install it with yum by typing the following command:

sudo yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk

Install Oracle Java

In this section we will go through the steps of installing Oracle Java. Oracle packages are available to download only from their official website.

We will use curl to download the required Java package. If you don’t have curl installed on your system you can install it by typing:

sudo yum install curl

At the time of the writing the latest Oracle Java versions are 8u162 (Java 8) and 9.0.4 (Java 9). If you want to install the latest version head over to the download page, accept the license agreement, copy the download link to the .rpm package and change it in the curl command below.

Install Oracle Java 9 JRE

curl -L -b "oraclelicense=a" -O
sudo yum localinstall jre-9.0.4_linux-x64_bin.rpm

Install Oracle Java 9 JDK

curl -L -b "oraclelicense=a" -O
sudo yum localinstall jdk-9.0.4_linux-x64_bin.rpm

Install Oracle Java 8 JRE

curl -L -b "oraclelicense=a" -O
sudo yum localinstall jre-8u162-linux-x64.rpm

Install Oracle Java 8 JDK

curl -L -b "oraclelicense=a" -O
sudo yum localinstall jdk-8u162-linux-x64.rpm

Set the default version

We can check the default Java, with:

java -version
java version "9.0.4"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 9.0.4+11)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 9.0.4+11, mixed mode)

If we have multiple Java versions installed on the server we can change the default version using the alternatives system utility:

sudo alternatives --config java

The output should look similar to the following:

There are 4 programs which provide 'java'.

  Selection    Command
   1           /usr/java/jdk1.8.0_162/jre/bin/java
   2           java-1.8.0-openjdk.x86_64 (/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-
   3           java-1.7.0-openjdk.x86_64 (/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.7.0-openjdk-
*+ 4           /usr/java/jdk-9.0.4/bin/java

Enter to keep the current selection[+], or type selection number:

To change the default Java version, just enter the number when prompted and hit Enter.

Uninstall Java

If for any reason you want to uninstall the Java package, you can unistall it as any other package installed with yum. For example if you want to uninstall the java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel package simply run:

sudo yum remove java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel


Now that you have learned how to install and manage different Java versions on your CentOS server, your next step could be to install one of the many applications which runs on Java, such as Tomcat, JBoss/WildFly, Jetty, Glassfish, WebLogic, Cassandra, Jenkins ..etc

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.