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Is it possible to update my iMac running OS X Snow Leopard to Java 7?

I'm just a user, not a developer, and I need Java 7 to access data from a website that I frequently use. I'm afraid to plunge forward and run into more problems.

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migrated from Dec 27 '12 at 18:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Have you checked out the Java website for a Mac download? – Ryan Naddy Dec 27 '12 at 16:28
Just run Software Update and you should be good. – Lovato Dec 27 '12 at 16:28
Since this is not programming related, you should try another place to ask, such as Super User – Jan Dvorak Dec 27 '12 at 16:29
Are you able to update your OS to Lion (10.7)? If so you can download Java 7 from Oracle. However Oracle's Java will not work with an OS prior to 10.7.3, and Apple only released up to Java 6. Reference. – Charlie Dec 27 '12 at 16:41

As others have stated, Oracle is only supporting Java 7 on Mac OS X 10.7 and above. The openjdk-osx-build project ( was creating OpenJDK 7 builds for OS X 10.6, but has recently shuttered the operation.

The build and package scripts were moved to the OBuildFactory project. This recent OBuildFactory post indicates there will be no further efforts to build OpenJDK 7 on OS X 10.6:

It looks like rolling your own OpenJDK 7 got a lot harder. If you need Java 7, upgrading to OS X 10.8 is probably the easiest route (upgrade from the Mac App Store costs $19.99) -- but your desktop will start looking and behaving more like a phone.

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This answer on StackOverflow gives a detailed set of instructions to solve the issue.

Particularly, this answer - following these steps.

Since these are all answers on SE, I felt it was okay to link-only without recopying the steps here.

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If you have / will install Xcode 3.2.6 or 4.2 (4.2 requires a paid account or a little illegality, and I know it's a massive download), download the java 7 installer, extract the PKG from the DMG file, and open it in PackageMaker. Remove the version requirement string and rebuild the PKG file. It will now let you install Java 7!

Source: I did this on my 2006 Core 2 Duo iMac running Snow Leopard.

edit: the one thing that does not appear to work on snow leopard is the AWT libraries. There is a customized version of openJDK 7 that supposedly fixes the problem, but Java requires a truly herculean effort for me to compile - it's not very nice about following the ./configure && make && make install structure that most programs use.

The original place to get openJDK 7 for Snow Leopard was here:

You used to be able to get JDK DMG's, but which the author decided for some reason to remove them (possibly they were out of date).

His page now links here:

and this commit seems to fix the problems with AWT:

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you have a how to here… – Pablo Marin-Garcia Jan 26 '14 at 10:09
@PabloMarin-Garcia that version won't even start the minecraft launcher due to AWT problems. – Wyatt8740 Jan 23 at 3:52

Apple only releases their own version as 1.6.

To get Java 7 you can download it from Oracle's homepage.

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As I mentioned in my comment on the question... Oracle's Java will only work on Lion (10.7.3) or later, and therefore is not a help to someone on Snow Leopard (10.6.8). We don't know if the asker is able to update to a newer OS or not so this might still not help them at all. Also as the asker self-identified as not a developer, they probably would want just the JRE and not the JDK. (if they were able to update and download the same) – Charlie Dec 27 '12 at 16:51

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