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How to set path in Java

Last Updated on July 26, 2023 by Mayank Dham

The PATH is an environment variable utilized by the operating system to locate executable files (.exe) or Java binaries (java or javac commands). Once set, the PATH cannot be overridden. It saves us from having to provide the complete path to a program every time we run it in the Command Line Interface, serving as a collection of shortcuts.

To run console-based Java programs in Windows or Linux environments, we rely on the java and javac commands. These commands are not recognized by the operating system unless we explicitly specify the location of the executables. Hence, we set the path and indicate the bin folder’s path since it houses all the binary executable files. After configuring the path, the program can load all necessary items, including the compiler or interpreter itself.

Below is the procedure for setting the path for both Windows and Linux:

Setting up Java Path in Windows Operating System

Below are step by step explanation on how to set Java path in Windows Operating System:

  1. Navigate to the search box and enter "advanced system settings" in the provided field. Next, select "View advanced system settings" from the search results.

  2. Choose the Advanced tab and proceed to click on "environment variables."

  3. Within the system variables, click on the "New" button. In the "Edit System Variable" window, enter "JAVA_HOME" as the variable name and set its value to the path where the JDK folder is located. Afterward, click the "OK" button. Typically, the path for the JDK file is "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_60."

  4. Next, in the system variables section, locate the "Path" variable and click on the "Edit" button.

  5. Click the New button.

  6. Now add the following path: %JAVA_HOME%\bin

Setting up Java Path in Linux Operating System

Below are step-by-step explanations on how to set Java path in Linux OS:

  1. Launch the terminal and input the provided command:
    sudo nano /etc/environment.

  2. Open the file, and then insert the specified command into its content:

  3. Substitute "YOUR_PATH" with the path to the JDK bin directory.
    Now restart your computer or virtual machine that you are using (or) reload the file: source /etc/environment

  4. You can test the path by executing
    echo $JAVA_HOME

  5. If the output is error-free, it indicates that you have set the path correctly. In case you encounter any errors, attempt to repeat the procedure again.

Setting the Java path is a crucial step in ensuring that Java programs and tools work smoothly on your system. By configuring the path, the operating system can locate the Java executable files, such as Java and Javac commands, without the need to specify their full path every time you run them. The process involves adding the JDK bin directory to the system’s PATH environment variable. If done correctly, Java-related operations should function without any issues.

FAQs related to how to set Java path

Frequently asked questions related to How to set Java path:

Q1.Why do I need to set the Java path?
Setting the Java path allows the operating system to locate Java executables, making it convenient to run Java programs and tools from any directory without specifying their full paths.

Q2. How do I set the Java path on Windows?
On Windows, you can set the Java path by adding the JDK bin directory to the PATH environment variable through the system settings.

Q3. How do I set the Java path on Linux?
On Linux, you can set the Java path by modifying the PATH environment variable in your shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_profile).

Q4. What if I encounter errors after setting the Java path?
If you face errors after setting the Java path, double-check that you have correctly specified the JDK bin directory path. Ensure there are no typos or mistakes in the configuration.

Q5. Can I have multiple Java versions on my system, and how does it affect setting the path?
Yes, you can have multiple Java versions on your system. When setting the Java path, make sure to specify the JDK bin directory of the desired version to avoid conflicts and ensure the correct Java version is used.

Q6. Do I need to restart my computer after setting the Java path?
Usually, you don’t need to restart your computer after setting the Java path. However, you may need to restart any terminal or command prompt windows for the changes to take effect.

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