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How To Run Java Web Start Applications on Ubuntu with Firefox

Ubuntu 15

In this article, we will guide you through the process of running Java Web Start applications on Ubuntu using Firefox. This process involves installing the necessary Java plugins, configuring Firefox to use these plugins, and finally, running the Java Web Start application.

Quick Answer

To run Java Web Start applications on Ubuntu with Firefox, you need to install the IcedTea plugin, set the default Java version to Java 7, configure Firefox to use the Java plugin, and then simply double-click on the JNLP file to run the application.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have the following:

  • A Ubuntu 12.10 or later system
  • Firefox browser installed
  • Terminal access with sudo privileges

Step 1: Installing the IcedTea Plugin

To run Java Web Start applications, we first need to install a compatible plugin. One such plugin is the IcedTea-Web, an open-source implementation of Java Web Start.

Open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt-get install icedtea-netx

In this command, sudo allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, apt-get is the package handling utility in Ubuntu, and install is used to install a package. icedtea-netx is the package we are installing, which includes the Java plugin necessary for running Java Web Start applications.

Step 2: Setting the Default Java Version

If you have multiple versions of Java installed on your system, it’s important to set the default version to Java 7. You can do this by running the following command:

sudo update-alternatives --config java

This command lists all the installed Java versions on your system. Select the Java 7 version from the list and press Enter.

Step 3: Configuring Firefox to Use the Java Plugin

Next, we need to configure Firefox to use the newly installed Java plugin. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Firefox and navigate to Preferences.
  2. In the Preferences window, click on the Applications tab.
  3. Scroll down and find the JNLP file entry.
  4. Click on the drop-down menu next to it and select Use other.
  5. In the file browser, navigate to your Java 7 installation directory, go to the bin folder, and select the javaws executable.

This process associates the JNLP file type with the Java Web Start application.

Step 4: Running the Java Web Start Application

Now that everything is set up, you can run the Java Web Start application. Simply double-click on the JNLP file you want to run. Firefox should now open the file using the Java Web Start application, and the application should start running.

Troubleshooting

If you encounter any issues, make sure you have the correct Java version installed and that the JNLP file is not corrupted. You can also try reinstalling the Java plugin and restarting Firefox.

Conclusion

Running Java Web Start applications on Ubuntu using Firefox may seem complex, but by following these steps, you can easily set up your system to run these applications. Always remember to keep your system and applications updated to ensure compatibility and security.

Can I run Java Web Start applications on Ubuntu?

Yes, you can run Java Web Start applications on Ubuntu by following the steps mentioned in this article.

What is Java Web Start?

Java Web Start is a technology that allows users to launch Java applications directly from a web browser without the need for manual installation or updates.

Why do I need to install the IcedTea plugin?

The IcedTea plugin is necessary for running Java Web Start applications as it provides the required Java functionality within the Firefox browser.

How do I set the default Java version?

To set the default Java version, you can use the sudo update-alternatives --config java command and select the desired Java version from the list.

How do I configure Firefox to use the Java plugin?

You can configure Firefox to use the Java plugin by navigating to Preferences > Applications, finding the JNLP file entry, selecting "Use other," and choosing the javaws executable from your Java 7 installation directory.

How do I run a Java Web Start application?

To run a Java Web Start application, simply double-click on the JNLP file associated with the application. Firefox will open the file using the Java Web Start application, and the application will start running.

What should I do if I encounter issues?

If you encounter issues, make sure you have the correct Java version installed and that the JNLP file is not corrupted. You can also try reinstalling the Java plugin and restarting Firefox.

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