JAVA | How to install multiple Java versions on macOS


  • you're running on macOS

  • brew is installed

Step 1: Instal JDK(s)

Search for available JDKs

brew search --formulae

install a required version, e.g.

brew install openjdk@8
brew install openjdk@11

Step 2: Make JDK searchable

For the system, Java wrappers to find this JDK, symlink it with. Instead of openjdk@8 use your version.

sudo ln -sfn /usr/local/opt/openjdk@8/libexec/openjdk.jdk /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/openjdk-8.jdk

Step 3: Add Java paths to environment variables

Add to the end of your file which is used to be running by default when the shell session is started. E.g. to the ~/.bashrc or ~/.zshrc

# Defining Java home
export JAVA_8_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v1.8)
export JAVA_11_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v11)
export JAVA_17_HOME=$(/usr/libexec/java_home -v17)

alias java8='export JAVA_HOME=$JAVA_8_HOME'
alias java11='export JAVA_HOME=$JAVA_11_HOME'
alias java17='export JAVA_HOME=$JAVA_17_HOME'

#default java17

Step 4: Conclusion and example of usage

Now by default, you will have Java 17 available

java --version
openjdk 17.0.8 2023-07-18
OpenJDK Runtime Environment Homebrew (build 17.0.8+0)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM Homebrew (build 17.0.8+0, mixed mode, sharing)

and to switch to other versions, you can simply call java8 or java11

java --version
openjdk 11.0.20 2023-07-18
OpenJDK Runtime Environment Homebrew (build 11.0.20+0)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM Homebrew (build 11.0.20+0, mixed mode)

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