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Is there a way to quickly switch over all the Java related alternatives using update-alternatives?

For instance, if want to switch Java over to 7, I run sudo update-alternatives --config java and select the Java 7 OpenJdk. But if I run update-alternatives --get-selections | grep java I get the following,

appletviewer                   auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/appletviewer
extcheck                       auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/extcheck
idlj                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/idlj
itweb-settings                 auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/itweb-settings
jar                            auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jar
jarsigner                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jarsigner
java                           manual   /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/java
javac                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/javac
javadoc                        auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/javadoc
javah                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/javah
javap                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/javap
javaws                         auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/javaws
jconsole                       auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jconsole
jdb                            auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jdb
jexec                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/lib/jexec
jhat                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jhat
jinfo                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jinfo
jmap                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jmap
jps                            auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jps
jrunscript                     auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jrunscript
jsadebugd                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jsadebugd
jstack                         auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jstack
jstat                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jstat
jstatd                         auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/jstatd
keytool                        auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/keytool
native2ascii                   auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/native2ascii
orbd                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/orbd
pack200                        auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/pack200
policytool                     auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/policytool
rmic                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/rmic
rmid                           auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/rmid
rmiregistry                    auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/rmiregistry
schemagen                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/schemagen
serialver                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/serialver
servertool                     auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/servertool
tnameserv                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/tnameserv
unpack200                      auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/unpack200
wsgen                          auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/wsgen
wsimport                       auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/wsimport
xjc                            auto     /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64/bin/xjc

As you can see, my Java alternative was switched over to 7, but every other alternative based on OpenJDK 6 was not switched over. Sure I could switch each one manually or write a script to do so, but I assume there is a better way to accomplish this.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 38 down vote accepted

Ah, found the answer shortly after posting.

The trick is to use update-java-alternatives (from the java-common package).

So to go for OpenJDK 6 to 7, I used update-java-alternatives -l to get a list of Java alternatives and then used sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-1.7.0-openjdk-amd64 to the JDK.

NOTE: The command above threw the following errors,

update-alternatives: error: no alternatives for mozilla-javaplugin.so.
update-java-alternatives: plugin alternative does not exist: /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/jre/lib/amd64/IcedTeaPlugin.so

This is because the openjdk plugin is not installed by default. To fix run sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin and rerun update-java-alternatives.

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2  
You don't have to install the plugin (and you shouldn't if you don't need it, due to security considerations). update-java-alternatives changes all other java alternatives, even when the plugin setting throws an error. –  daniel kullmann Apr 16 '13 at 12:17
    
What's with Oracles JVM? How can I use that? And the JDK specific executables? –  otakun85 Mar 18 at 19:42

jbro asked the same question at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1817528 and wrote a script for this issue,

#!/bin/bash

update-alternatives --get-selections | grep -i openjdk |
while read line
do
    alternative=$(echo $line | awk '{print $1}')
    path=$(echo $line | awk '{print $3}')
    newpath=$(echo $path | sed -e 's/java-6-openjdk/java-6-sun/')
    status=unchanged
    if [ -f $newpath ]
    then
    status=modified
    echo "-> update-alternatives --set $alternative $newpath"
    update-alternatives --set $alternative $newpath
    else
    echo "$alternative unchanged"
    fi
done

If there isn't a better answer this seems like a solid workaround, but I am assume there must be a better way for update-alternatives to handle this.

I edited the code a little, since it does not let you do the changes before installing them. I added two more lines as follows...

#!/bin/bash

update-alternatives --get-selections | grep -i openjdk |
while read line
do
    alternative=$(echo $line | awk '{print $1}')
    path=$(echo $line | awk '{print $3}')
    newpath=$(echo $path | sed -e 's/java-6-openjdk/java-6-sun/')
    status=unchanged
    if [ -f $newpath ]
    then
    status=modified
echo "-> update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/$alternative $alternative $newpath 1"
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/$alternative $alternative $newpath 1
    echo "-> update-alternatives --set $alternative $newpath"
    update-alternatives --set $alternative $newpath
    else
    echo "$alternative unchanged"
    fi
done
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