Cover image for Setup Java Development Environment for macOS

Setup Java Development Environment for macOS

blacksourcez profile image Ayuth Mangmesap Updated on ・4 min read

Cover image

I googling a while for "how to install java 8 on macOS" but isn't help me so much to figure it out how to actually install java 8 in my MacBook. Some tutorial is outdated. So I decided to write a tutorial for setup java development environment in macOS which covering all of you need to setup and how to have multiple versions of java in the same machine, how to switch java version 8 to 13, etc.

Let's get started.

Install brew

Open terminal or iTerm and paste this line to install brew.

$ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Install java

$ brew tap adoptopenjdk/openjdk

# javc 8
$ brew cask install adoptopenjdk8

# java 11
$ brew cask install adoptopenjdk11

# gradle
$ brew install gradle

# maven
$ brew install maven

List of java version see here: https://github.com/AdoptOpenJDK/homebrew-openjdk

Use multiple versions of java in the same machine

If you want to use other versions of java in the same machine, instead of setup JAVA_HOME every time that you started the terminal we'll use jenv for switching between versions and do the path setup for you.

Install jenv and setup

$ brew install jenv

Add java home folder to jenv

$ jenv add /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/adoptopenjdk-8.jdk/Contents/Home

$ jenv add /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/adoptopenjdk-11.jdk/Contents/Home

Jenv commands

➜  ~ jenv
jenv 0.5.2
Usage: jenv <command> [<args>]

Some useful jenv commands are:
   commands    List all available jenv commands
   local       Set or show the local application-specific Java version
   global      Set or show the global Java version
   shell       Set or show the shell-specific Java version
   rehash      Rehash jenv shims (run this after installing executables)
   version     Show the current Java version and its origin
   versions    List all Java versions available to jenv
   which       Display the full path to an executable
   whence      List all Java versions that contain the given executable

See `jenv help <command>' for information on a specific command.
For full documentation, see: https://github.com/hikage/jenv#readme

list versions with jenv versions

➜  ~ jenv versions
* system (set by /Users/<USER>/.jenv/version)

switching between version

usage jenv shell openjdk64- #or openjdk64-11.0.4

➜  ~ java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_222"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (AdoptOpenJDK)(build 1.8.0_222-b10)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (AdoptOpenJDK)(build 25.222-b10, mixed mode)
➜  ~ jenv versions
* openjdk64- (set by JENV_VERSION environment variable)
➜  ~ jenv shell openjdk64-11.0.4
➜  ~ java -version
openjdk version "11.0.4" 2019-07-16
OpenJDK Runtime Environment AdoptOpenJDK (build 11.0.4+11)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM AdoptOpenJDK (build 11.0.4+11, mixed mode)
➜  ~ jenv versions
* openjdk64-11.0.4 (set by JENV_VERSION environment variable)

Set default java version in /Users/<USER>/.jenv/version and the content will be the version of java you wanna use, save file and start a new shell will be set default java version that you wrote in file.

➜  ~ jenv versions
* openjdk64- (set by /Users/ayuth/.jenv/version)


If the JAVA_HOME not found. Just using the jenv plugin export plugin.

➜  ~ echo $JAVA_HOME

➜  ~ jenv enable-plugin export

# -------- restart your shell session --------

➜  ~ echo $JAVA_HOME

More interestingly, they have jenv enable-plugin maven and jenv enable-plugin gradle.

Configure global SDKs in Intellij

In case you wanna add your installed JDK versions to Intellij you can go to read there: https://www.jetbrains.com/help/idea/sdk.html#manage_sdks.

Alt Text

  1. Open IntelliJ.
  2. In the startup window, click "Configure" in the bottom right menu.
  3. Select "Structure for New Projects". You'll see the popup window open-up called "Project Structure for New Projects".
  4. In left menus, Select "Platform Settings" --> "SDK".
  5. Click the "+" button to add a new SDK, you'll see the drop-down menu.
  6. Click the "Add JDK..." button.
  7. You'll see the finder window.
  8. Press Command + Shift + G to open the go-to path dialog and paste /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines, and then press go.
  9. In the finder window, you'll see a list of JDK versions. Just select a JDK version that you wanna add and click "Open".
  10. You'll see the selected JDK in the list that means you're doing the right thing.

That's all.
Happy Hacking!


markdown guide