The JDK and JRE packages in Slackware are severely outdated. In case you are not familiar with them, “JDK” is the Java Development Kit and “JRE” is the Java Runtime Engine. As stated in a previous post on this blog, Slackware (and with it all the other distros) is no longer allowed to distribute Java packages based on the official binaries released by Oracle. You as an end-user are still allowed to download and use those binaries; you are just not allowed to re-distribute them.
You can do two things: grab Oracle’s binary tarballs, and use the jdk.SlackBuild and jre.SlackBuild scripts of Slackware to create updated packages with which you can upgrade an existing Java on your computers. Or you grab the source code of OpenJDK and build your own re-distributable packages. This second option is hopefully what Slackware will pick for its future releases.
In the meantime, I produced packages for slackware-current back in January 2012, compiled from these OpenJDK sources with the use of the icedtea build harness. That was a first, and successful, attempt at creating new JDK and JRE that could be used in Slackware. I was targeting slackware-current in the hope that Pat Volkerding would use the SlackBuild scripts as-is. Unfortunately, Slackware’s development has stalled a bit, and the ChangeLog.txt has not seen Java updates yet.
So, when I noticed that there was a new release of IcedTea which would produce very up-to-date OpenJDK binaries, I decided to build this on Slackware 13.37 instead of slackware-current and add the resulting packages to my regular repository. This allows everyone who is running Slackware version 13.37 or -current to enjoy the new JDK and web plugin.
- http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/openjdk/ and http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/icedtea-web/ and http://slackware.com/~alien/slackbuilds/rhino/ (master site)
- http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/people/alien/slackbuilds/openjdk/ and http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/peop/alien/slackbuilds/icedtea-web/ and http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/peop/alien/slackbuilds/rhino/ (my own mirror)
I built these packages twice: the first time I “bootstrapped” using the gcc-java compiler. The second time, I had installed my fresh openjdk package and built a new copy against itself. The value of the “BOOTSTRAP” variable in the script determines the type of build. You can not build OpenJDK with the Oracle JDK.
If you want to do this compilation yourself, then follow the README.txt carefully! You will additionally need to install apache-ant, xalan and xerces packages, all of which you will find in my package repository. If you are not on slackware-current then you will have to make some small modifications to the installed gcc and seamonkey packages. When following directions in the README.txt this is a trivial task.
You can check if your web plugin has been installed and is working correctly, by visiting this URL: http://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp?detect=jre&try=1 .
After I finished building my packages I visited the above URL and it looked OK. Then I loaded a java applet on another page (http://chemagic.com/web_molecules/) and it crashed so hard that it took the browser down along with it. Wtf???
I had originally used version 1.1.4 of the icedtea-web sources (since that used to work before) but it turns out that there was a change in Mozilla Firefox since version 10.0. The change uncovers a bug which makes the plugin crash with the error message “Assertion failure: rt->onOwnerThread(), at /tmp/mozilla-release/js/src/jsapi.cpp“. I tracked down the bug reports, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=704249 and http://icedtea.classpath.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=820, and eventually found a working patch on the mailing list. This patch could only be applied against the latest source code for icedtea-web, which is why you will find an icedtea-web package with version “20120225” in my repository.
Good luck! Eric