codeblog code is freedom — patching my itch

September 12, 2009

uninstall sun-java6

Filed under: Blogging,Debian,Ubuntu,Ubuntu-Server — kees @ 11:59 am

With the vrms meme raging on Planet Ubuntu, I noticed some people still have sun-java6 installed. I’ve been using openjdk-6 since Hardy, and everything I use works fine with it (e.g. Vuze, Catan, Eclipse, FreeMind, and even Facebook’s photo uploader thing). Given the Ubuntu Tech Board’s “remove sun-java6 from the archive” Agenda item, it’s possible sun-java6 (being redundant and orphaned) would go away in Ubuntu Karmic (sun-java5 is already gone because Sun will drop support for it in October, and sun-java6 is not far behind).

I’ve heard some noises about openjdk-6 not working for people, but I haven’t actually seen any direct technical evidence of something working in one and not the other. Seeing as Jaunty’s OpenJDK was certified by Sun, it would be very interesting to find failures, as this would indicate that Sun’s certifications are missing something.

Looking for examples of failures in Google, I couldn’t find anything with obvious test-cases that failed with openjdk-6. I suspect I’m just not trying hard enough, but I’m curious what other people have run into.

Test for yourself:

sudo apt-get purge sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre sun-java6-bin sun-java6-plugin
sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jdk icedtea6-plugin

(Don’t forget to restart your browser.)

© 2009 – 2016, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.
CC BY-SA 4.0


  1. Hi,

    you want a failure… you will get one :-)
    –> The network-connect vpn-client from Juniper (ncui-1.2-1) does not work with openjdk. With sun-java it does.
    Pretty funny is that it in 9.04 neither with epiphany nor firefox works. I had to install opera to get it to work at all :-/

    Greets. Grimsrud

    Comment by grimsrud — September 12, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  2. Oh… I should have mentioned that it worked in the past (< 9.04) with at least firefox. With epiphany it never worked for me.


    Comment by grimsrud — September 12, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  3. Done, thanks !

    Comment by toots — September 12, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  4. The IBM Lotus Sametime meetings and Java chat client also do not work.

    Comment by Darren — September 12, 2009 @ 1:03 pm

  5. 9.10(a4): The last time I checked to remove sun-java6-bin, I saw a dependency of Open Office. Is that gone?

    Comment by Grim — September 12, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

  6. Interesting, I haven’t had any Java runtimes and/or plugins installed since I last reinstalled Debian on my laptop, a few months ago, and I’ve only just realised. I guess Java still hasn’t pushed its way into the “essential” category for me. Thanks for the heads-up, though.

    Comment by Andy — September 12, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

  7. 1.After installing Jaunty, I installed Eclipse with apt-get. The code completion was just horribly slow, untill I switched to sun-java6.
    2.Alfresco (opensource document management server) does not work with openjdk.

    Comment by Abatcher — September 12, 2009 @ 2:31 pm

  8. If you do the install before doing the remove then apt won’t try and remove every package that depends on a (no longer present) jvm.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Comment by Andrew — September 12, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  9. Thank you for making this article, I myself did not know that java6 was depreciated/being depreciated in the near future by Sun! I have since removed java6 and installed openjdk in its place, and it works like a charm.

    Comment by Hellow — September 12, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

  10. There’s a bit more to a Java Runtime Environment (or Development Kit) than just running applets in the browser.

    Comment by Andrew Pollock — September 12, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

  11. Lots of comments! While it’s good to see a list of stuff people are claiming don’t work, I’d still like to see bugs opened for the errors. Without a way to track down the actual causes, it’s hard to progress. I’m also curious about another class of issues, just touched on lightly above: regressions in performance — that’s a very different issue too.

    Comment by kees — September 12, 2009 @ 4:40 pm

  12. Here’s a bug that causes every Java application that uses Rhino to break when used with OpenJDK:

    The bug is over 1 year old, and affects a lot of the tools I use on a daily basis (such as YUI Compressor).

    Comment by Craig — September 12, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  13. The software from Cleversafe does not work with OpenJDK, nor does Don’t make fun of me, I am addicted to winning money on and playing some really neat little games from time-to-time :p I have a couple of projects I am consulting on that don’t work with OpenJDK currently, though I am trying to get them to work.

    Comment by nixternal — September 12, 2009 @ 7:03 pm

  14. I have had much the same experience with OpenJDK, and it seems to have gotten even better over time, as should naturally be the case (or so one would hope). Anyway, I’ve been a long time user and get along just fine.

    Comment by John M — September 12, 2009 @ 7:13 pm

  15. I just tried uninstalling sun’s and installing openjdk as suggested.

    This applet doesn’t run with openjdk: (it shows a live, moving map of trains in Copenhagen.)

    I get this output:
    ../ Error: create process
    ../ Error: started appletviewer

    (firefox-bin:7760): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_io_channel_write_chars: assertion `channel != NULL’ failed
    ../ Error: Failed to write bytes to output channel

    with the last two lines repeating over and over again. Worse, the login-applet that my bank uses doesn’t work either, so that is a show-stopper.

    I tried moving ~/.java/ but that didn’t make any difference.

    I hope this counts as direct technical evidence you can reproduce, otherwise let me know what I can do to provide better information.


    Comment by Adam — September 12, 2009 @ 10:54 pm

  16. Does Sampopankki web banking work with the open Java solutions? If not, then there really is no alternative to Suns Java. I hope someone adopts the orphaned Sun Java, because without it several Linux users in Finland and Denmark are going to end up being really, really frustrated, including my sister, whos computer I recently upgrade from Windows2000 to Ubuntu Hardy just recently.

    Comment by Myrtti — September 13, 2009 @ 12:23 am

  17. JDownloader does not work with openjdk. When I try to start it, I get

    Exception in thread “main” java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: Can’t load library: /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/i386/motif21/
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary(
    at java.lang.Runtime.load0(
    at java.lang.System.load(
    at java.lang.ClassLoader$NativeLibrary.load(Native Method)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary0(
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary(
    at java.lang.Runtime.loadLibrary0(
    at java.lang.System.loadLibrary(
    at Method)
    at java.awt.Toolkit.loadLibraries(
    at java.awt.Toolkit.(
    at java.awt.AWTEvent.(
    at jd.controlling.JDController.fireControlEvent(Unknown Source)
    at jd.controlling.JDLogHandler.publish(Unknown Source)
    at java.util.logging.Logger.log(
    at java.util.logging.Logger.doLog(
    at java.util.logging.Logger.log(
    at java.util.logging.Logger.finer(
    at jd.config.DatabaseConnector.(Unknown Source)
    at jd.utils.JDUtilities.getDatabaseConnector(Unknown Source)
    at jd.config.SubConfiguration.(Unknown Source)
    at jd.config.SubConfiguration.getConfig(Unknown Source)
    at jd.gui.swing.jdgui.GUIUtils.getConfig(
    at jd.Main.main(Unknown Source)

    libmawt is installed:
    ls -lh /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/i386/xawt/
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 309K 2009-09-10 01:32 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/i386/xawt/

    So I still have to use that proprietary sun-java :/

    Comment by Patrick — September 13, 2009 @ 1:03 am

  18. HP’s iLO remote console doesn’t work with openjdk. Together with the juniper blob of fail already mentioned (ncui), that forces me to use Sun’s java.

    Comment by Dennis K. — September 13, 2009 @ 1:25 am

  19. In Mexico the taxes online system depends on Java applets. The only Java plugin which works is the Sun one. The reason is the Tax Authority bought a SSL certificate for it main comain, nor for its subdomains. In the IcedTea implementation it is not possible to grab and authorize a non valid domain cerificate as as easy as with Sun Java VM. That operation is not documented and require the writting of obscure rules which are not in the common user knowledge. So, for the mexican users and in order to facilitate the adoption of Linux in Mexico (the taxes issue does not admit any discussion or ideological points of view) the only solution is to using the Sun VM, because the lack of a very simple usability mechanism in the Open Source solutions.

    Comment by Miguel Angel Da Vila — September 13, 2009 @ 9:25 am

  20. Hi,

    the applet on this site don’t start correctly with openjdk. Instead with sun-java it’s ok.

    Comment by Nicola J. — September 13, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  21. Webex won’t work with openjdk either.

    Comment by Fabian Rodriguez — September 13, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  22. I must also say that when I used openjdk in jaunty I had major performance issues which were gone with the sunjdk. I’m a professional java developer and can not use openjdk till those performance issues are handled.

    Comment by Robert von Burg — September 14, 2009 @ 3:22 am

  23. I compared the speed of the SUN Java 6 JVM with the one of OpenJDK6 and for fun with the executable produced by gcj.
    For that I used version 0.7-009 of my Go program ( ).

    SUN Java6 JVM:
    user 0m8.630s
    user 0m8.800s
    user 0m8.640s

    user 0m9.260s
    user 0m9.800s
    user 0m10.580s

    user 0m19.150s
    user 0m19.390s
    user 0m19.130s

    Comment by Folkert van Heusden — September 14, 2009 @ 6:30 am

  24. My old internetbanking website wouldn’t work with OpenJDK when I last tried. Don’t know if this is still the case, but will give it another shot some day.

    Link to test it yourself here:

    Comment by Espen — September 14, 2009 @ 6:44 am

  25. The speed test applet here: has never worked for me using IcedTea, but did with Sun Java.

    Comment by Mike — September 15, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  26. gives me the following error:

    Exception in thread “Thread-10” java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range: 8192
    at java.lang.String.substring(

    Comment by kees — September 15, 2009 @ 11:34 am

  27. Thank you!!
    worked for me fixed all my flash player problems!

    Comment by jagger — March 3, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

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