Installing Java 1.5 on Ubuntu 11.10

Posted by {"display_name"=>"greg", "login"=>"greg", "email"=>"greg@udon.org", "url"=>""} on February 19, 2012 · 1 min read

I have some older Java and Grails projects that need Grails 1.3.x and Java 1.5 on an Ubuntu 11.10 system that is already running Grails 2 and Java 6. Here are the steps I took to install the old Java 5 SDK and switch between the two.

Download the Java 1.5 SDK package from the Oracle site with past distributions. For Ubuntu running in a virtual machine, I used the i586.bin file. Run these commands to install the bin:

# sudo mv jdk-1_5_0_22-linux-i586.bin /usr/lib/jvm
# cd /usr/lib/jvm
# chmod +x jdk-1_5_0_22-linux-i586.bin
# ./jdk-1_5_0_22-linux-i586.bin

Tell the update-alternatives command about the new version of Java that is available:

# sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.5.0_22/bin/java" 2
# sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/javac" "javac" "/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.5.0_22/bin/javac" 2

You can switch between the installed versions of Java using the command:

# sudo update-alternatives --config java
# sudo update-alternatives --config javac

Confirm the version of Java currently in use with these commands:

# java -version
# javac -version

This post on Stackoverflow and on Ubuntu forums pointed me in the right direction along with the Oracle instructions for installing the JDK on Ubuntu and this Wikihow article.