I need at least Java 1.6 to run a program that someone else in my lab wrote

On the Java website it tells me to update Java via apple's software update function, i've run this a few times but it only got up to Java 1.5.0_24 and it now says no more updates are available for my computer

Is there another way to update Java on a Mac?

Is my operating system maybe to old for Java 1.6? i'm not sure what i'm running exactly, and i can't find a list of what mac operating systems run what versions of Java because the java site just suggests using Mac's software update.

  • 2
    Which version of MacOSX? – Peter Tillemans Jun 11 '10 at 5:35
  • What version of OS X are you running. All modern ones shipped with some version of Java 1.6. – MDMarra Jun 11 '10 at 5:56
  • 10.5.8 it seems – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:14
  • p.s. i just worked out what Mac OS X i'm running, seems to be 10.5.8 – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:16
  • p.p.s. processor: 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:23

10 Answers 10


This is the latest for Mac OS 10.6.x


Or, for Mac OS 10.5.x


  • i think i'm running 10.5.8 – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:13
  • someone found me a file called this JavaForMacOSX10.5Update1.dmg but they're not very informative about where it came from or whether it will work – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:22
  • I've added another link there for Mac OS 10.5 It's direct from Apple Support, and appears to be a fresher revision than the DMG you were given (based on the filename, at least). – Tim Kane Jun 11 '10 at 10:13

To download/update Java for different versions of Mac OS X you will need to go to Apple’s Developer Connection site for Java.

Apple's Developer Connection Site


The latest java for OSX 10.5 does include Java 6 Apple's Java update release notes

Two notes.

If you have a PPC machine (ie non Intel ) then there is no Java 6

On Leopard the default Java is 1.5 I believe (I am on 10.6 and so cannot check) and you have to tell the OS to change its default use the application Applications/Utilities/Java Preferences


For older versions of MacOS (10.4 or 10.5), you could look at the "soylatte" port of Java 1.6.


Java6 support for Mac has been lackluster at best. It took a very long time before it was available.

Now it is part of the standard upgrades on Leopard and Snow Leopard, but AFAIK no version was ever made available for 10.4 and earlier.

There is a BSD port which has been integrated into openjdk, but I never tried it.

  • i'm running MacOSX 10.5.8 – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:24
  • 1
    Then you should be fine. Just in case : can you check in Applications --> Utilities --> Java Preferences if Java6 is available and on top of the lists? If they are a java -version keeps saying you have Java5 then the symbolic links in the Java Framework are messed up, see for detials : stackoverflow.com/questions/2948157/… – Peter Tillemans Jun 11 '10 at 6:33

I'm in the same boat. If you have Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and you have PPC hardware, the best you'll be able to run is 1.5 (if you want your Java distro from Apple and Software Update). Apple only has 1.6 available for Intel-based Macs.

  • i think my mac is intel-based – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:09
  • or at least i just managed to successfully install something that claimed it would only run on intel macs – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:10
  • you can tell in "About this Mac" – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jun 11 '10 at 6:19
  • 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo – Kirt Jun 11 '10 at 6:23

You can find your version of Apple OS by clicking on the Apple in the upper-left corner, then selecting "About This Mac". Using "Mac OS X", look for the version, such as "Version 10.5.m". X = 10. 10.4 is Tiger, 10.5 is Leopard, 10.6 is Snow Leopard. "m" is the update of that version.


You can't. If software update doesn't show it, Apple doesn't have it for you.

There is a port of OpenJDK, but the easiest might just be upgrading to 10.6 (if on an intel Mac).


Java for OS X 10.6 is installed on your computer (as long as you've been running software update), but you need to make it the default. This can be achieved by opening Java Preferences (/Applications/Utilities/Java Preferences.app) and dragging Java SE 6 to the top of the upper and lower lists. This will make Java 1.6 the default version of Java on your Mac.

  • i ran all the updates and it never got past java 5 – Kirt Jun 25 '10 at 14:43
  • @Bec Does Java SE 6 show up in the Java Preferences app? I'm on 10.5.8 and my instructions worked. If you're up-to-date, Java SE 6 should be displayed in Java Preferences.app – squircle Jun 25 '10 at 15:05

to get Arduino 1.0.5 to run on my iBook(which gave a java error of "java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: javax/swing/filechooser/FileNameExtensionFilter" ) I had to do the following:

Acquire the code for FileNameExtensionFilter which is available at http://grepcode.com, so I compiled it, using javac, and added it to java's classes.jar, using the above directory structure, and the jar command, which solved the problem. The classes.jar file is in /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/versions/1.5.0/Classes.

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