1. Overview

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is required to run Java programs. While there are multiple JRE variants available, the two most popular ones on Ubuntu are OpenJRE and Oracle JRE. Using one over the other should not create any functional difference in most applications, however, some prefer OpenJRE over Oracle JRE as it doesn’t contain closed-source components and is maintained as part of the Ubuntu archive, with easier installation and upgrades.

In this guide, we’ll be going through the installation of both of them. Of course, you generally only need to pick the one that best suits your needs.

What you’ll learn

  • How to install OpenJRE
  • How to install Oracle JRE

What you’ll need

  • A machine running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

That’s all you need. If you have that, let’s proceed to the next step!

2. Installing OpenJRE

To install OpenJRE, we run:

sudo apt install openjdk-8-jre

We can check if OpenJRE was properly installed by running:

java -version

It should output the following:

openjdk version "1.8.0_151"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_151-8u151-b12-0ubuntu0.16.04.2-b12)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.151-b12, mixed mode)

And that’s it!

In the next step we’ll install Oracle JRE.

3. Installing Oracle JRE

Downloading JRE Binaries

Download JRE binaries in .tar.gz (tarball) by heading over to their website.


Create a directory to install JRE in with:

sudo mkdir /usr/local/java

Move the JRE binaries into the directory:

sudo mv jre-8u151-linux-x64.tar.gz /usr/local/java

Go into the install directory:

cd /usr/local/java

Unpack the tarball:

sudo tar zxvf jre-8u151-linux-x64.tar.gz

Post-installation steps

To save space, delete the tarball by running:

sudo rm jre-8u151-linux-x64.tar.gz

Let the system know where JRE is installed:

sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/usr/local/java/jre1.8.0_151/bin/java" 1

After that’s done, check the installation by running:

java -version

It should output the following:

java version "1.8.0_151"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_151-b12)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.151-b12, mixed mode)

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