Setting Current JDK programmatically on Mac

A few days back I was looking for a way to change the CurrentJDK symbolic link on my Mac. I had found this nice script somewhere (don’t quite remember where). But is is very useful.


cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions

CURJDK="`readlink CurrentJDK`"echo Current JDK version: $CURJDK

if [ "$1" == "" ]; thenecho Installed versions:lsexitfi

VERFOUND=`ls | grep $1 | head -n 1`

if [ "$VERFOUND" != "$1" ]; thenBASE="`basename $0`"echo Error: Could not change JDK-- version $1 not installed!echo Run $BASE without arguments to see a list of installed versions.exit 127fi

echo You must now enter your Mac OS X password to change the JDK.sudo ln -fhsv $1 CurrentJDK

Save it as a file name of your choice. I saved it as “”. Give it execute permissions, and run the script.

7 thoughts on “Setting Current JDK programmatically on Mac”

  1. I have that same script, not sure where I got it too, but it works great.
    Can I ask how you run it? I have to open the file in pico, then to copy and paste it in the terminal, and then run it. I would be easier to just run it.

    I am a newbie at this, but do you just add the ".sh" to it?


  2. Hi John.

    To run it, go to the directory where you’ve saved it, and then put a period and forward slash, followed by the name of the script.

    So in my case to run it I’d do ./

    And oh, make sure you have permissions to execute the script as well.

  3. I had the file named SetJDK and re named it to,and I moved into my home directory,a nd apply the "./" and this works, thank you so much. I know see to run the script I use the "./" this is great`-`

    Thanks again

  4. Don’t worry about where CurrentJDK points. It’s really just a backwards-compatibility anachronism. To get the top JVM in Java Preferences, use the /usr/libexec/java_home tool. See the “java_home” man page for more info.

  5. @Mike Swingler, CurrentJDK is still used by the latest Maven releases, so if you aren’t careful, you can be accidentally compiling code with the wrong JDK version. I discovered this when trying to get the Jaxb1 plugin (which doesn’t fork to a separate JVM) to compile an XSD which used some Java 6 compile classes.

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