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I'm running OS X 10.5.8 on an Intel iMac and don't have any immediate plans to upgrade to Snow Leopard. Am I able to upgrade Java to 1.6 somehow?

The release notes on Apple's website for Java are kind of cryptic and aren't clear what is necessary to upgrade Java to 1.6. (they mention that 1.6 only works on 64-bit Intel Macs... how do I know whether my Intel Mac is 64-bit or not?)

edit: java -version says I'm running J2SE 1.5.0_19 and I don't understand how to upgrade from Java 1.5 to 1.6

update: I just downloaded the Java update from Apple, and I'm now running J2SE 1.5.0_20, not 1.6... argh.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Grumble. There are multiple versions of Java that can coexist on Mac OSX, and you have to run Java Preferences (in /Applications/Utilities) to select the default version.

I love my iMac but sometimes Apple just doesn't bother explaining some really simple stuff that would make life a lot easier.

So now I am running 1.6.0_15 successfully.

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Mark your own comment as the correct answer, cause day'um you just saved me an hour of work. – Kensai Nov 13 '10 at 20:02

For checking if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit Intel Mac, see Apples thorough KB article.

For updating Java, have you tried software update yet? You can also download Java SE 6 from Apple.

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yay, I have a Core 2 Duo, so it's a 64-bit processor. thanks! – Jason S Jan 25 '10 at 23:42
It's still not clear from their download page how to upgrade from Java 1.5 -> 1.6 (the webpage makes it look like you have to have 1.6 already to upgrade to the latest 1.6 version.) – Jason S Jan 25 '10 at 23:43

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