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I am considering developing a Java application for Ubuntu. The page https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Java doesn't say which (if any) comes by default.

Also, I know many people change their Java version to run applications like Minecraft.

What version are people running - or is Java just a poor choice?

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The default version in 12.04 is OpenJDK 6 (openjdk-6-jre, aka default-jre) (although OpenJDK 7 is installable). The default in 12.10 is OpenJDK 7.

OpenJDK is an open-source implementation of the Java specification. It is generally fully compatible with the "official" Oracle/Sun Java implementation (but there are a few edge cases where parts of the original JDK were licence encumbered, eg with fonts where the implementations can slightly differ). This question discusses the issue a bit.

Unless there are features in Java 7 you really want to use, I would recommend targeting OpenJDK 6, which should work with the vast majority of Java installations, both on Ubuntu and other platforms.

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Thank you chronitis. Is it installed by default or do Ubuntu users have to go looking in the Software Centre for it? –  TenLeftFingers Oct 18 '12 at 10:41
    
It is not installed by default, but it should be the first result when searching for "java" in the Software Centre or can be installed with sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre (or openjdk-7-jre). –  chronitis Oct 19 '12 at 8:49

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