Select different available java and javac versions in Ubuntu with update-alternatives

It’s possible to have more than one version of Java in the same machine.

openjdk

If you have more than one Java JRE or JDK installed you can switch between them with the update-alternatives command:

$ sudo /usr/sbin/update-alternatives --config java
There are 2 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

  Selection    Path                                           Priority   Status
------------------------------------------------------------
* 0            /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java   1061      auto mode
  1            /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java   1061      manual mode
  2            /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java   1051      manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 2
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java to provide /usr/bin/java (java) in manual mode.

You can do just the same for javac:

$ sudo /usr/sbin/update-alternatives --config javac

There are 2 choices for the alternative javac (providing /usr/bin/javac).

  Selection    Path                                        Priority   Status
------------------------------------------------------------
* 0            /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-i386/bin/javac   1061      auto mode
  1            /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-i386/bin/javac   1061      manual mode
  2            /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386/bin/javac   1051      manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 2
update-alternatives: using /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386/bin/javac to provide /usr/bin/javac (javac) in manual mode.

You can check wich version is currently in use running:

$ java -version
java version "1.7.0_25"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea 2.3.10) (7u25-2.3.10-1ubuntu0.12.04.2)
OpenJDK Server VM (build 23.7-b01, mixed mode)
$ javac -version
javac 1.7.0_25

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