Posted by Steve on Tue 17 May 2005 at 17:50
Several popular tools require a Java runtime environment, or JRE, to work. Whilst there a growing number of open Java environments at times installing Sun Java environment is the pragmatic approach - unfortunately the software doesn't come in a Debian package. This short recipe shows how to install a Java SDK, or JDK, as a Debian package, and make it work inside your browser.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with installing software outside the control of the Debian packaging system, it's not something that should be undertaken lightly as it makes it hard to keep track of installations, and it complicates updating a number of machines from a centralised Debian package repository.
Thankfully there are facilities available which make it a simple job to install Sun's Java as a Debian package.
apt-get install fakeroot java-package
Once the relevent packages have been installed you will need to download the Sun release of the Java package from http://java.sun.com
At the time of writing the most current version can be found here:
Once you agreed to the license presented to you, and have downloaded the file you will have something like jre-1_5_0_03-linux-i586.bin.
To turn this into a Debian package you should run:
fakeroot make-jpkg jre-1_5_0_03-linux-i586.bin
This command will first prompt for confirmation, then :
(The name, and email address, you give will be inserted into the Debian package information - and not sent to Sun.)
Once these questions have been answered the process will inform you that your package has been built shortly afterwards. The final output you should expect to see will look something like this:
The Debian package has been created in the current directory. You can install the package as root (e.g. dpkg -i sun-j2re1.5_1.5.0+update03_i386.deb).
As the instructions tell you it is now possible for you to install the package by becoming root and running:
dpkg -i sun-j2re1.5_1.5.0+update03_i386.deb
One final step might be for you to ensure the Java software works for Mozilla Firefox, or the Mozilla browser.
The package you've installed should include a plugin for your browser. At the time of writing the most recent Sun Java version we've been using will install a plugin for you at the following location:
Create a symlink to this directory in your home directory:
ln -s /usr/lib/j2re1.5-sun/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so \ ~/.mozilla/plugins/
If you wish to do this for all users on the current system instead run, as root:
ln -s /usr/lib/j2re1.5-sun/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so \ /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
(You might find that the plugin has been automatically installed for all users - so it's worth checking whether you need to complete this last step yourself.)