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    Java support in Debian
    Posted on Sunday, August 26 @ 17:38:36 BST

    This is particularly sore subject for me, many times played with this beast. EIther using Open Source JREs or proprietary ones. The majority of times I can get it to run arbitary Java applications and servlets with no problems however trying to configure the various browsers(other than Netscape 4) to use Java is very unsuccessful. Any positive experiances, in relation to Mozilla and Galeon specifically would be much appreciated.

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  • "Java support in Debian" | Login/Create Account | 16 comments

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 1, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Sunday, August 26 @ 18:26:09 BST

    Well everything works fine for me using sun jdk1.3.1 and mozilla 0.9.3. You just have to symlink /usr/java/jdk1.3.1/jre/plugin/i386/ns600/ into /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins.

    I'm sad to say that but sun's jvm is the only one usable for any serious java development.

    I'm still waiting for jboss and sapdb as deb's to install java application servers on a debian platform.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, August 27 @ 06:44:18 BST

    This also works for me, I'm using an alien'd

    version of the 0.9.3 RPMs available from

    This has also worked for me on self-installed

    nightlies for a long time now, since around

    0.7 or so ( whenever Sun finally got the

    OJI plugin ).

    CAVEAT : you need to use a relatively new Sun

    JRE to get this plugin, 2.2 or above I believe.

    Alot of people ignored "deprecated" warnings when

    they made applets back in the 1.1.x versions of

    Sun's JDK, I've encountered quite a few applets that will not run with newer JVMs.

    Please note that although this is annoying to some webmasters, they should be the ones you complain to if you encounter an applet that does not run under Sun's latest JVM. Ask them to upgrade the applets to be current ( but still backwards compatible, since alot of people still use netscape/ie 4.x ).

    By the way, Blackdown is not a cleanroom implementation of Java, they actually signed an NDA so they could port Sun's JRE/JDK to Linux.

    IBM's is a cleanroom implementation. There

    is also TowerJ for Linux, but it required a very expensive license fee to operate ( I was unable to get a trial version a while back ).

    I would like to point out that while IBM's JDK has been just fine for the enterprise-level Java software my company develops on Debian and Solaris servers ( Jikes, while not really being a JDK because it is just a compiler written in C++, is

    EXCELLENT BTW ), I have had alot of problems ( mostly VM crashes ) running our application in IBM's JRE ( java runtime environment ) in Debian.

    I would argue also that Sun's 1.3.1 JVM is the best implementation at the moment. The source is available under the SCSL, and although I would prefer a less restrictive license, it's actually not so horrible as it may at first seem.

    The SCSL does not allow you to redistribute the source without having an agreement with Sun ( they are the copyright holders after all ), but it allows you full access to the source, and you can fix bugs and submit them back to Sun. You can also ( of course! ) distribute patches to others.

    Java is still young, and I do not think Sun is horrible for doing this. The engineers that created Java believe that they know the place the language should be at, and it's not there yet. Sun has indicated that they are open to less restrictive licensing when Java gets to that point. Until then, it will be a "moving target".

    I do like the fact that there are open source implementations of Java now, however. If Sun does come through and release under a true open source license ( ), then there will be an excellent chance for collaboration between the various projects.

    For the time being, however, I think Sun will ( and probably should, IMHO, based on their current stewardship ) be the source for "official" Java.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 2, Insighful)
    by CeleryBox on Sunday, August 26 @ 21:44:35 BST
    (User Info)

    Well you can get blackdown's Java by adding this to your sources.list
    deb potato non-free

    They also have woody packages, check here for mirrors

    I have also installed the Netscape6 jre.xpi into Mozilla 0.9.3

    The comment about Sun's JVM (don't you mean JDK) being the only one suitable for serious development is crap!

    Both IBM's & Blackdown's JDK's are excellent development & runtime environments. I use different versions from all 3 providers depending on what I'm doing.


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, August 27 @ 15:04:08 BST

    Could you please detail which JDK do you use for which usage ?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 1, Insighful)
    by Anonymous on Monday, August 27 @ 14:05:04 BST

    I also have to refute the previous comment that Sun's JDK is the only serious choice for Java development. A little earlier this year, my colleagues and I conducted extremely strenuous tests involving Enhydra, a java-based open source web application server. We tested Sun's JDK 1.2.2 and 1.3, IBM's 1.1.8 and 1.2, and Blackdown's 1.3. The most reliable and efficient JDK in our test was the Blackdown JDK, upon which we have now standardised. The moral of the story; developers should try at least a couple of JDKs in order to see what works best for their application, but there is certainly more than one good choice.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, August 31 @ 22:06:24 BST

    I agree that Blackdown and IBM both make good SCSL(non-free) versions that are very usable. However, I have come back to Sun with 1.4 because of built-in PNG support. Things have never been better than using the default install and saying new ImageIcon("/images/edit.png").. Makes my job easier when working with Swing.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 1)
    by MikeRepass (mrepass at yahoo dot com) on Monday, August 27 @ 20:13:13 BST
    (User Info)

    Sorry that I can't weigh in with any experience related to Mozilla or Galeon, but I installed Blackdown's JRE (1.3.1 I think) after adding their line to my apt sources. With KDE 2.2 running under Unstable, I told Konqueror to enable Java and the default settings worked fine. I've not tested it very thoroughly, but it worked on Yahoo Games, so I assume it should be fine for normal day to day use.


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, August 27 @ 22:44:55 BST

    After reading your post I visited blackdown's page and tried to download it too. You say you added a line to sources.list in unstable? I thought those were only for potato and woody (at least that's the impression I got from their page)? Did they work for sid too?

    Please don't bash me. I'm not an expert at this. (and probably shouldn't be running sid either)


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 28 @ 01:50:26 BST

    From the Blackdown site, I found a mirror that seemed to have good bandwidth and set it up in my apt list. The woody packages are actually just symlinks back to the potato packages, so I went for it and the install seemed to be ok. I had a couple of dependencies to fulfill, as this is a pretty minimalist system, but once those were taken care of the install went fine. Running "java" from the commandline produces the output I would expect, and then a bizarre little error-looking message, but the default options in konq (once I "Enabled Java Globally") worked fine. In fact I'm playing chess on Yahoo! Games right now. Let me know how it goes.


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 28 @ 21:53:49 BST

    Ok, I just installed the potato packages, and it seems to work. I can play games at, so I suppose it works as it's supposed to. However, the only game I actually wanted to play is a game on (bejeweled I think it's called) but that still didn't work. Perhaps it's just because it's microsoft 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for the help.


    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, August 30 @ 08:19:02 BST

    We are using java applets here at work and today we're using Win with IE5 to render that pages. But we're trying hard to make Mozilla or Galeon to work with those. I can tell you that using the last Mozilla (0.9.3) and last Galeon (can't remember release) with the Blackdown JDK 1.3.1 is perfect combination, also because Sun jdk 1.3.1 browser plugin is beta, or near. You can look at it opening Moz and going to about:plugins page.

    Also tomcat is refusing to work with our app and jdk 1.3.1 from Sun, while working just fine with Blackdown one.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, August 30 @ 13:48:27 BST

    I don't understand, why Blackwood JDK is not in Debian distro?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, August 30 @ 16:46:05 BST

    "I don't understand, why Blackwood JDK is not in Debian distro?"

    You mean Blackdown.

    The reason it isn't in Debian is that the license of Blackdown's JDK prohibits redistribution - so Debian isn't *allowed* to distribute it, only Blackdown can.

    Don't blame Blackdown for this though either, because the license they have from Sun specifies exactly what they can allow.

    It all boils down to the fact that the problem with Java on Debian is the same problem that there's been all along with Java in the free software world - SUN!

    -- Stuart Ballard (sballard at netreach dot net)

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, August 30 @ 16:42:48 BST

    Java works transparently for me in Mozilla with the Blackdown JVM apt-getted from as another poster commented.

    I think the comment that "Sun's JVM is the only one suitable for serious development" referred to the fact that IBM, Blackdown, and probably some others, are all *derived from* Sun's sources. Thus, they're all SCSL, but none are Free.

    The free JVMs in Debian that I'm aware of are Kaffe and ORP, and I agree that at this time, neither are suitable for production use. However, I've heard that some of the ORP developers have Tomcat running in-house (they haven't released their patches yet - "soon") and when I tried my application on Kaffe the only problem was an obscure interaction between Integer.toHexCode() and StringBuffer.replace() (anyone with any insight into this is encouraged to comment on the Kaffe mailing list). Interestingly, when I made a reduced testcase for this, it segfaulted Sun/Blackdown's VM too!

    Free Java is far from dead, and good progress is being made. I have strong hopes that it won't be many months before I can run a JSP-based database-backed website on an all-free platform. And that will be a major milestone.

    -- Stuart Ballard (sballard at netreach dot net)

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 1)
    by seanmeister on Tuesday, September 11 @ 13:18:17 BST
    (User Info)

    Ok, I'm using moz 0.9.3 (from Ximian) on potato. I've tried everything described in these comments to get java, and plugins in general, to work and I've had zero success. No Java, no Flash, nada. Any suggestions?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Java support in Debian (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Friday, November 16 @ 00:40:21 GMT

    download your choice of mozilla (may I recommend 0.9.6 which is forming before our eyes today) from then go to a jave served page, follow the links to download the plugin and get the jre.xpi onto your harddisk! Then go and look for the instructions on how to hand install the xpi (it's not tough, equivalent to unzip and move some files). Flash is a joke to do, download teh zip and copy the files into your plugins folder. Is Ximian that careless they broke mozilla plugins?

    [ Reply ]

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