My system java's version is 1.6, for running Eclipse I need jre 1.7. I've already downloaded and unpacked the archive of java 1.7, but I cant change the default path from /usr/bin/java to my unpacked folder path

mostly i'm using cshrc so I've made these change in the .cshrc.user file

set PATH = "$PATH":/path/to/java/jre1.7.0_67/bin

after sourcing .cshrc.user file, java -version still shows 1.6, which mean that nothing is changed, how do I change the default JAVA PATH?

  • I've not been using csh for a while but I remember using setenv instead of set.
    – tonioc
    Aug 28, 2014 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


$PATH is parsed from start to end until a match is found. So for example if your $PATH is:


and you execute java -jar something.jar, shell will first look for executable java in /usr/bin. It won't find it there, so it will look in /path/to/jre6. It will find executable java in that directory so it will abandon further search and use that Java executable.

You have to add Java 7's path before path to Java 6 to use it.

Modifying $PATH is not the right way to switch between Java versions, though. You should rather use update-alternatives.

  1. Run sudo update-alternatives --config java to list available Java versions and switch between them. Your newly installed version won't be available yet.

  2. Run sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /path/to/jre7/java 100 to register JRE7's java.

  3. Run sudo update-alternatives --config java once again and choose JRE7's Java.


You probably have java 1.6 earlier in your path.

env | grep PATH

should confirm this.


For C shell (csh), edit the startup file ~/.cshrc:

set path=(/usr/local/jdk1.7.0/bin $path)

For bash, edit the startup file ~/.bashrc:

export PATH

Note in both cases the new JDK is added before the existing path. When you edit the above files you should remove any references to JDK 1.6.

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