Computer Science 307
Installing the Java 2 SDK at home

Note:  Please remember the teaching staff does not support or assist in setting up software for use at home.  If you are having problems you should email the newsgroup so others can offer advice or tell you what they did.  You may email Mike if you think you have done everything correctly, but he will most likely not be able to assist you with your specific problem.  Working at home has lots of benefits and I recommend you do download the Java SDK and BlueJ if you have a computer at home.  There are many steps involved in this and will take about an hour if you have a high speed internet connection.  If you are using a 28.8kbs or 56kbs connection the download time will be several hours.  The Java 2 SDK is 30 megabytes, the documentation is 23 megabytes and BlueJ is 1 megabyte.  

Please go to for the most current version of the Java SDK.

The best instructions for download are located on Sun's Java site.  

To download the Java 2 SDK for windows go here.

Pick the appropriate link.  I will talk through what to do if you are using Windows.  If you are using a Macintosh click here for a page with excellent instructions on how to download and install Java for the Mac.  If you are using Linux I assume you don't need much help and you can just click on the Linux download and follow the instructions from their.

To download and install the Java 2 SDK for Windows.

  1. From the page click on the Microsoft Windows link on the top right hand side of the page.
  2. Read through the terms and conditions page and press the "Accept" button if you accept the terms and conditions of the license agreement.  (Note section 2 which states "You acknowledge that Software is not designed, licensed or intended for use in the design, construction, operation or maintenance of any nuclear facility. "  Earlier versions of Java include restrictions on using Java for software  intended "for use in on-line control of aircraft, air traffic, aircraft navigation or aircraft communications.")
  3. Pick the FTP site you want to use to download the file.  I recommend one of the US central sites.  If you have trouble downloading via FTP click on the HTTP download which should work, but will be slower.
  4. It took me two and a half minutes to download the file with my connection in the CS department. (Your results may vary.) When you are done you will have the file j2sdk1_4_1-rc-windows-1586.exe  on your computer in whatever location you installed it. 
  5. To install the file follow the instructions at

    You should be able to skip step 1.  To start the process you need to find the icon of the downloaded file using Windows Explorer or by navigating to the icon through the My Computer icon.  Just double click on the file icon which should look like this:


    This will unpack and launch the installer program for the Java 2 SDK.
  6. Follow the steps on the installer and from the page listed in step 9 to complete the install.  Be particularly careful when modifying your autoexec.bat file.  Follow the steps on the Java instruction page very closely.
  7. Now you should have the Java SDK installed.  If you want to go through a tutorial on how to use it then look at and follow the instructions at which is a very good tutorial for getting started with Java.
  8. If you have problems downloading the Java 2 SDK try looking at the Frequently Asked Question page.  
  9. After downloading and installing the Java 2 SDK I recommend also downloading and installing BlueJ, a simple, but useful Interactive Development Environment.
  10. If you want to download all 35 megabytes of documentation, which actually isn't a bad idea, go to and follow the instructions to download the documentation.  The process is similar to the SDK, except you will download a zipped file and have to expand it.  If you do not have a program on your computer to zip and unzip files (compress and decompress) try PKZip for Windows which can be downloaded for free.  Most of the documentation is in html so if you want to look something up start by clicking on the index web page in the documentation folder after downloading and unzipping the documentation.

That's all.  It is a rather involved process, and not recommended if you haven't had any experience downloading and installing software on your computer.  If you want more information on Java their is an excellent tutorial at Sun's Java site.

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