java/firefox works but "which java" returns nothing

Perry pwhite at
Fri Dec 25 19:09:58 GMT 2009

Le Friday 25 December 2009 17:46:00 Jonas Norlander, vous avez écrit (you 
wrote) :
> 2009/12/25 Perry <pwhite at>:
> > There must be a proper way to let the system know where java resides,
> > less messing again with symlinks. Perhaps something like
> > update-alternatives --set (or --install?) but I'm unsure which and unsure
> > about the proper syntax.
> >
> > Anyone has advice on this?
>  I think what you look for is update-java-alternatives
> / Jonas
Thanks for quick answer,
but that is "unknown command". Did you mean 
update-alternatives --config java ?

I know the big picture of what needs to be done but details are lacking and I 
would prefer not to experiment blindly.
1) java has to be on the path, reasonably in /usr/bin (...I dont believe I 
shooed add /user/java/jre1.6.0_17/bin/)
2) this "java" is a link pointing to /etc/alternatives/java
3) the latter is also a link which *I belove I shouldn't tamper with*, it has 
to be set "by carefully collaborating programs" which possibly also write the 
"java" text file in /var/lib/dpkg/alternatives/java (guessing from reading man 

In the previous mail I described a four line way to get java and Firefox to 
work together.
>installed java  jre1.6.0_17 from sun (bin auto extractable) in /usr/java
>(no other java installed)
> is in:      /usr/java/jre1.6.0_17/plugin/i386/ns7
>made symlink to it in:   /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
That's a tremendous improvement to the pages I discussed a couple of months 
ago in the thread: Jaunty, Java and map24
<> and 
I have a clearer idea of why some results were apparently erratic.
Obviously Sun's instructions on how to install java lack an important point.
I will experiment some more and report.

Cheers		Perry

BOFH excuse #378: Operators killed by year 2000 bug bite

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