Sunday, December 18, 2011

Java Removed from Ubuntu Partner Repositories

Oracle retired the "Operating System Distributor License for Java" (DLJ) in August this year that was introduced by Sun Microsystems in 2006 after releasing Java as open source at the JavaOne conference. This DLJ allowed Linux distributors to package and distribute Sun/Oracle Java in their Linux distros.

Ditching of the DLJ meant that Canonical couldn't include Sun Java packages in the Oneiric partner repositories and now has to remove Sun Java package from the Ubuntu partner repositories of older releases as well. They have gone one step further as they've announced to release a software update which would remove the Sun Java packages from user computers who've already installed Sun Java packages. The reasoning behind this software update is the presence of several security issues in the version of Sun Java that was included in the repositories, as mentioned in an advisory published by Oracle recently. This software update would effect Ubuntu Lucid, Maverick and Natty users.

In an e-mail on the Ubuntu Security Mailing List, Ubuntu’s Marc Deslauriers talked about the Oracle advisory and responded:

Due to the severity of the security risk, Canonical is immediately releasing a security update for the Sun JDK browser plugin which will disable the plugin on all machines. This will mitigate users' risk from malicious websites exploiting the vulnerable version of the Sun JDK.

However, they didn't yet announce a date when they'll be pushing this update.

In fact, Oracle's Java 7 will be based on OpenJDK 7 as Oracle employee Dalibor Topic mentioned in a blog post earlier this year. So the best alternative to Sun Java is no doubt OpenJDK which can be easily installed from the official Ubuntu repositories.

Replacing Sun Java with OpenJDK

Before this Java-removing software update reaches you, you can yourself remove Sun Java from your machine and install OpenJDK instead.

For removing Sun Java 6 packages, get to a Terminal and run:

sudo apt-get purge sun-java6*
sudo apt-get autoremove --purge

For installing OpenJDK:

sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre icedtea6-plugin

And just restart your browser for the changes to take effect.

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