Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install Java for Browser Compatibility

Ubuntu 10

In today’s digital world, Java is a widely used programming language that powers many of the applications and websites we use daily. Despite its widespread use, installing Java and ensuring browser compatibility can be a daunting task for many. This article aims to provide a detailed guide on how to install Java for browser compatibility.

Quick Answer

To install Java for browser compatibility, you can use OpenJDK, the default version of Java that comes with Ubuntu. Simply open a terminal and run the commands mentioned in the article to install OpenJDK, the Java Development Kit (if needed), and the IcedTea Java Plugin for web browsers. Alternatively, you can manually install a specific version of Java by downloading it from the Oracle website and following the provided instructions.

What is Java?

Java is a high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language that is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is a general-purpose programming language intended to let application developers write once, run anywhere (WORA), meaning that compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilation.

Why Do You Need Java for Browser Compatibility?

Java is used to build interactive web applications, making it a crucial component for full functionality of many websites. Java applets, which are small, dynamic programs that run in the web browser, require Java to function. However, it’s important to note that many modern browsers have discontinued support for Java applets due to security concerns.

Installing Java on Ubuntu

There are several ways to install Java on Ubuntu, but we recommend using OpenJDK, the default version of Java that comes with Ubuntu. Here’s how to do it:

Installing OpenJDK

  1. Open a terminal. You can do this by searching for ‘terminal’ in your applications or by using the Ctrl + Alt + T shortcut.
  2. Run the following command to install OpenJDK:
sudo apt-get install default-jre

This command installs the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which is needed to run Java programs. The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, while apt-get install is used to install packages.

  1. If you plan to develop Java programs, install the Java Development Kit (JDK) by running:
sudo apt-get install default-jdk

The JDK includes a complete JRE plus tools for developing, debugging, and monitoring Java applications.

  1. To install the IcedTea Java Plugin for web browsers, run:
sudo apt-get install icedtea-plugin

IcedTea is a project that provides a harness to build the source code from OpenJDK using Free Software build tools and provides replacements for the binary plugs with code from the GNU Classpath project.

  1. Verify the Java installation by running:
java -version

This command checks and displays the installed version of Java.

Manual Installation

If you need a specific version of Java, you can manually install it by downloading it from the Oracle website. Here’s how to manually install Java:

  1. Download the desired Java version.
  2. Extract the downloaded file and move it to a desired location, such as /usr/local/java.
  3. Create symbolic links for Java executables with the following commands:
sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/usr/local/java/jre/bin/java" 1
sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/javac" "javac" "/usr/local/java/jdk/bin/javac" 1
sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/javaws" "javaws" "/usr/local/java/jre/bin/javaws" 1

These commands create symbolic links that point to the Java executables. This allows you to run Java commands from any location without having to type the full path of the command.

  1. Add the Java paths to your .bashrc file:
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/local/java/jdk
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin:$JAVA_HOME/bin
export JRE_HOME=/usr/local/java/jre
export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin:$JRE_HOME/bin

These commands set the JAVA_HOME and JRE_HOME environment variables, which are used by other applications to find the Java installation directories.


Java is a powerful tool that is essential for many web applications. While installing Java and ensuring browser compatibility can seem complex, this guide provides a detailed walkthrough to help you do it with ease. Whether you’re a developer or a regular user, knowing how to install Java is a valuable skill in today’s digital world.

What is the latest version of Java?

The latest version of Java is Java 15.

Can I have multiple versions of Java installed on my computer?

Yes, you can have multiple versions of Java installed on your computer. You can use the update-alternatives command to switch between different versions.

How do I check if Java is already installed on my computer?

You can check if Java is installed on your computer by running the java -version command in the terminal. If Java is installed, it will display the installed version.

Can I uninstall older versions of Java after installing a new version?

Yes, you can uninstall older versions of Java after installing a new version. It is recommended to keep only the latest version for security reasons.

Are there any alternatives to Java for browser compatibility?

Yes, there are alternatives to Java for browser compatibility. Some popular alternatives include HTML5, JavaScript, and Adobe Flash.

Is Java free to use?

Yes, Java is free to use for personal and commercial purposes. However, some enterprise features may require a paid license.

Can I use Java on mobile devices?

Yes, Java can be used on mobile devices. There is a version of Java called Java ME (Micro Edition) specifically designed for mobile devices.

How often does Java release updates?

Java releases updates on a regular basis to fix bugs, improve security, and add new features. The frequency of updates can vary, but typically there are several updates per year.

Can I develop Android apps using Java?

Yes, you can develop Android apps using Java. Java is one of the primary programming languages used for Android app development.

Can I use Java in my web browser without installing it?

No, you need to install Java on your computer to use Java applets in your web browser. However, as mentioned earlier, many modern browsers have discontinued support for Java applets due to security concerns.

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