Quite by accident I noticed that a newer version of Oracle’s Java 7 SE was available on my son’s Windows computer. I checked my Linux sources and indeed I was running behind.
Soon after icedtea 2.2 there has been a new release: 2.2.1. This version of the “icedtea build framework” creates binaries for update 5 to the Java 7 platform. The resulting OpenJDK binaries will have additional patches compared to the original OpenJDK sources. Using icedtea is also the only way to get a Java web browser plugin: icedtea-web (Oracle did not release the source code of their browser Java plugin under an open license). Icedtea-web requires an “icedtea build” of OpenJDK (or OpenJRE if you only require a Java Runtime).
The new package for OpenJDK identifies itself as “7u5_b21-icedtea” which is at the same level as Oracle’s official binaries..
Note: you will have noticed that Slackware has not seen an update to the Oracle Java packages for a long time. This is the result of a new license policy by Oracle (who currently “owns” Java), whereby it is no longer allowed to re-distribute the official Oracle binaries of the JDK and JRE. These new license terms were added after large parts of Oracle’s Java code had been open-sourced as “OpenJDK”. You can update your Java using my native (i.e. compiled on Slackware) packages, or download Oracle’s official binaries yourself (which is allowed by their license). In that case, you can adapt Slackware’s “jdk.SlackBuild” build script to wrap those binaries into a Slackware package. The choice is yours!
Note: you will see two packages on my download server: a JRE (java runtime engine) and a JDK (java development kit) package. You should only install one of those! The JRE is sufficient if you just want to run Java based applications. You need the JDK if you want to be able to compile Java code. Also, do not use “upgradepkg” when upgrading from Oracle’s binaries to my own OpenJDK package or vice versa. Nor should you use “upgradepkg” when switching from a JRE to a JDK or vice versa. This will mess with the symbolic links used by the packages. Instead, use “removepkg” to get rid of the installed version and “installpkg” to get the new package.
You can test the installed packages here for instance:
- How do I test whether Java is working on my computer? (shows what version of Java you have)
- An interactive Java plugin for 3D molecular models (tests the installed icedtea-web plugin)
Please consider using one of the mirrors. When we got the slackware.com web server up and running again, we applied a download cap to the core team’s pages which will slow down your retrievals. For instance, you could use my mirror taper.alienbase.nl or else one of the other mirrors like slackware.org.uk or alien.slackbook.org.
Have fun! Eric