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Get Java 8 Tech Preview in Fedora 19

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One reason that someone will pick Fedora is to get the latest and the greatest open software available. Well, that isn’t always true and you might find more updated distros around, but Fedora additionally is quite user friendly and it has evolved in a pretty nice Operating System -for any taste.

Firstly you should know that Fedora doesn’t ship Oracle’s -Official- Java but OpenJDK. Java is open source so why is that? From Fedora’s Docs:

Java is now under a free software license but still has some binary encumbrances which are being removed or replaced incrementally. Red Hat worked with Sun to improve free and open source Java. Fedora 9 and above includes OpenJDK with encumbered portions replaced by the IcedTea Project and it is fully TCK compliant. Also Fedora includes and actively develops GCJ which can be used to run many Java programs and supports a different set of features and architectures. See the JavaFAQ for more details.

Fedora 19 includes by default OpenJDK 7 but you can install aside OpenJDK 8 and get all the enchantments that the new language brings. By installing Java 8 you won’t harm Java 7 and you can easily switch between the two environments.


 Larry Ellison: The eccentric Oracle’s CEO says:”I don’t know if Java is free” | CNET / a year ago

To install it:

$ sudo yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk

To switch environment

$ sudo alternatives --config java

This will output you a prompt to pick:

There are 2 programs which provide 'java'.

  Selection    Command
   1           /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.7.0-openjdk.x86_64/bin/java
*+ 2           /usr/lib/jvm/jre-1.8.0-openjdk.x86_64/bin/java

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

To see your Java alternatives

$ alternatives --display java


Using a Tech Preview software like Java 8 or DNF doesn’t make you a Red Hat testing zombie. While RHEL derives from Fedora (or at least adopts many of Fedora successful technologies) keep on mind that people never use Fedora on servers or RHEL at their homes, and therefore users in these two categories use quite different software; which makes no-good in Red Hat. Bottom line, don’t see Fedora as RHEL’s Beta platform ;)

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  • Ignacio Martín

    It’s sad the state of development of java under Oraclé’s umbrella. It’s sadly behind .net regarding language features. Even though it’s not in the same leage, Vala has many features that Java lacks.