From Fedora Project Wiki

Java is about:

What do you want to do:

  • If you came here because an application ask for Java (or JRE, JVM) to be installed, then simply install java-1.8.0-openjdk.
  • If it still does not work:
    • Install javafx and icedtea-web packages as well.
    • Lastly, and if the application ask specifically for Oracle Java: See here #Oracle_version.
  • If you want to develop, code, on the Java Platform: See Java/Development.


Some vocabulary, if you are lost:

  • JRE Java Runtime Environment. Required to run Java code and applications. Install java-1.8.0-openjdk.
  • JVM Java Virtual Machine. Main component of the JRE.
  • JDK Java Development Kit. Required only for development, coding.
  • SDK Software Development Kit. idem JDK
  • JavaWS Java Web Start is a framework to start application from the Internet
  • JavaFX JavaFX is a platform to create and deliver desktop and Rich Internet Apps.
  • OpenJFX is the JavaFX Open Source implementation
  • OpenJDK Open Source project behind the Java Platform
  • IcedTea is a support project for OpenJDK (concern only developers)
  • IcedTea-Web is the Java Web Start package (It contains only JavaWS, No Applets anymore.) Install to run JNPL files.
  • Applets Obsolete techno. Not implemented in any recent package.
  • JSE, J2SE, JEE ... obsolete acronyms for Java Standard & Enterprise Edition. JavaSE is like JRE.

What is in Java OpenJDK package

For most users, it is just another system library. It is not an application with a GUI, but it is required by some other applications to run. You might see a OpenJDK Policy tool desktop application that comes with the package, but you should not have to use it.

Beware that JavaFX and JavaWS are packaged separately!

Multiple implementations

Fedora provides the Free java-1.8.0-openjdk. If this Open Source stack does not fulfill your requirements. Alternatives can be installed alongside or separately.

The Java Community Process defines the specifications of the platform that many implements (IBM J9, Jikes, Zing, Zulu Dalvik ...). We will only focus on Oracle here.

Multiple implementations can be installed side-by-side without interfering:

  • The alternatives system allows to switch from one to another.
  • An application can directly reference a specific Java installation
  • Some applications include a java platform, it is then transparent for the user. (But the package is bigger.)

Oracle version

Some applications still ask for Oracle's implementation. It is mostly based on the OpenJDK Open Source project, but there is proprietary code and Fedora does not package non-free software.

Installing Oracle Java is fine. Just beware not to use Oracle RPM, as it will kill OpenJDK default packages!

Oracle provides a tarball:

We recommend to simply unpack the archives (tarball) to your home folder and set to path if necessary.

Switching alternatives

If you installed multiple Java implementations or version, you can configure your system to use one or another.

Developers: beware that javac has its own independent alternative. i.e. to change the JDK, use alternatives ... javac!

Switching is done using the alternatives system (also used to change some other subsystems). Java's subsystem name is surprisingly java and typical commands include:

# alternatives --display java
# alternatives --config java

See alternative's own documentation for more information for usage and parts involved.

Should be noted that JRE implementations installed outside Fedora distribution, may not support alternatives and thus not be visible there. Then the symbolic links under directory /etc/alternatives must be manually fixed.

Java packages in Fedora

There are many aliases for OpenJDK package, see or do "dnf repoquery --provides java-1.8.0-openjdk".

You can use any of the following names:

  • java
  • java-1.8.0
  • java-1.8.0-openjdk
  • java-openjdk
  • jre
  • jre-1.8.0
  • jre-1.8.0-openjdk
  • jre-openjdk

dnf install java-1.8.0-openjdk

might be the most safe (until 1.8 is EOL.)

Note that Java Web Start (JavaWS) and JavaFX are packaged separately 'icedtea-web' and 'javafx' respectively.

Typically, without JavaFX, you may have error like:

java -jar scram.jar
Error: Could not find or load main class com.frequal.scram.designer.jfx.Main
dnf install icedtea-web javafx


You can subscribe to java-devel list or talk to us in #fedora-java Libera Chat IRC channel. Read Communicate page for more information.

See Also