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Java 2 Runtime Environment 1.4.2 Installation Notes for Linux


System Requirements

System Configurations

A minimum of 32 megabytes of RAM are required. Recommended 48 megabytes of RAM, 16-bit color mode.

You should have about 75 megabytes of free disk space before attempting to install the Java 2 Runtime Environment software.

For issues, see the Troubleshooting section of the SDK installation notes and the Linux Notes section of the Release Notes. Also available is Known Problems on Non-Supported Platforms of the SDK installation notes.

Installation Instructions

Install formats
  • Self-extracting Binary File - This file can be used to install the Java 2 Runtime Environment in a location chosen by the user. This one can be installed by anyone (not only root users), and it can easily be installed in any location. As long as you are not root user, it cannot displace the system version of the Java platform suppled by Linux. To use this file, see Installation of Self-Extracting Binary below.
  • RPM Packages - A rpm.bin file containing RPM packages, installed with the rpm utility. Requires root access to install, and installs by default in a location that replaces the system version of the Java platform supplied by Linux. To use this bundle, see Installation of RPM File below.

Note: For any text on this page containing the following notation, you must substitute the appropriate Java 2 Runtime Environment update version number for the notation.


For example, if you are downloading update 1.4.2_01, the following command:


would become:


Installation of Self-Extracting Binary

Installation of RPM File

1. Download and check the download file size to ensure that you have downloaded the full, uncorrupted software bundle.

You can download to any directory you choose; it does not have to be the directory where you want to install the Java 2 Runtime Environment.

Before you download the file, notice its byte size provided on the download page on the web site. Once the download has completed, compare that file size to the size of the downloaded file to make sure they are equal.

2. Make sure that execute permissions are set

Run this command:
chmod +x j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586.bin

3. Change directory to the location where you would like the files to be installed.

The next step installs the Java 2 Runtime Environment into the current directory.

4. Run the self-extracting binary.

Execute the downloaded file, prepended by the path to it. For example, if the file is in the current directory, prepend it with " ./" (necessary if " ." is not in the PATH environment variable):


The binary code license is displayed, and you are prompted to agree to its terms.

The Java 2 Runtime Environment files are installed in a directory called j2re1.4.2_<version> in the current directory.

Note about Root Access: Unbundling the software automatically creates a directory called j2re1.4.2_<version>. Note that if you choose to install the Java 2 Runtime Environment into system-wide location such as /usr/local, you must first become root to gain the necessary permissions. If you do not have root access, simply install the Java 2 Runtime Environment into your home directory, or a subdirectory that you have permission to write to.

Note about Overwriting Files: If you unpack the software in a directory that contains a subdirectory named j2re1.4.2_<version>, the new software overwrites files of the same name in that j2re1.4.2_<version> directory. Please be careful to rename the old directory if it contains files you would like to keep.

Note about System Preferences: By default, the installation script configures the system such that the backing store for system preferences is created inside the Java 2 Runtime Environment's installation directory. If the J2RE is installed on a network-mounted drive, it and the system preferences can be exported for sharing with Java runtime environments on other machines. As an alternative, root users can use the -localinstall option when running the installation script, as in this example:

j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586.bin -localinstall

This option causes the system preferences to be stored in the /etc directory from which they can be shared only by VMs running on the local machine. You must be root user for the -localinstall option to work.

Installation of RPM File

Installation of Self-Extracting Binary

1. Download and check the file size.

You can download to any directory you choose.

Before you download the file, notice its byte size provided on the download page on the web site. Once the download has completed, compare that file size to the size of the downloaded file to make sure they are equal.

2. Extract the contents of the downloaded file.

Change directory to where the downloaded file is located and run these commands to first set the executable permissions and then run the binary to extract the RPM file:

  chmod a+x j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586-rpm.bin  ./j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586-rpm.bin

Note that the initial " ./" is required if you do not have " ." in your PATH environment variable.

The script displays a binary license agreement, which you are asked to agree to before installation can proceed. Once you have agreed to the license, the install script creates the file j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586.rpm in the current directory.

3. Become root by running the su command and entering the super-user password.

4. Run the rpm command to install the packages that comprise the Java 2 Runtime Environment:

 rpm -iv j2re-1_4_2_<version>-linux-i586.rpm

5. Delete the bin and rpm file

6. Exit the root shell.

Java Plug-in Browser Registration Instructions

See Java Plug-in Browser Registration Instructions in the Installation Notes for Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition, for Linux.

Java Web Start Installation Notes

This Java 2 Runtime Environment release includes Java Web Start; it is installed automatically with the Java 2 Runtime Environment. But note the following:

  • Compatibility: The release of Java Web Start that comes with this SDK/JRE can be run on SDK/JRE 1.2.2 or later. It will not work with SDK/JRE 1.1.x or earlier.
  • Upgrading from Previous Versions: If you have a previous release of Java Web Start, do not uninstall it. Uninstalling it will cause the download cache to be cleared, and all previously installed Java Web Start applications will have to be downloaded again. This new release will overwrite previous installations and automatically update browsers to use this new release. The configuration files and program files folder used by Java Web Start have not changed, so all your settings will remain intact after the upgrade.
  • Using Java Web Start with Netscape 6.x/7.x: For Netscape 6.x/7.x users, setup the Java Web Start MIME type (JNLP) in the Edit->Preferences->Navigator->Helper Applications section. The file extension is jnlp; MIME Type is application/x-java-jnlp-file. It should be handled by the javaws executable file in your Java Web Start directory. Also note that, due to a problem with the JavaScript in Netscape 6.x/7.x, you must use the non-JavaScript version of the demos page

Installation Notes

Java 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition
Version 1.4.2

Oracle is reviewing the Sun product roadmap and will provide guidance to customers in accordance with Oracle's standard product communication policies. Any resulting features and timing of release of such features as determined by Oracle's review of roadmaps, are at the sole discretion of Oracle. All product roadmap information, whether communicated by Sun Microsystems or by Oracle, does not represent a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.