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This cookbook installs a Java JDK/JRE. It defaults to installing OpenJDK, but it can also install Oracle and IBM JDKs.


As of 26 March 2012 you can no longer directly download the JDK from Oracle's website without using a special cookie. This cookbook uses that cookie to download the oracle recipe on your behalf, however the java::oracle recipe forces you to set either override the node['java']['oracle']['accept_oracle_download_terms'] to true or set up a private repository accessible by HTTP.


override the accept_oracle_download_terms in, e.g., roles/base.rb

  :java => {
     :oracle => {
       "accept_oracle_download_terms" => true


Chef 0.10.10+ and Ohai 6.10+ for platform_family use.


  • Debian, Ubuntu
  • CentOS, Red Hat, Fedora, Scientific, Amazon
  • ArchLinux
  • FreeBSD
  • Windows

This cookbook includes cross-platform testing support via test-kitchen, see


See attributes/default.rb for default values.

  • node['java']['remove_deprecated_packages'] - Removes the now deprecated Ubuntu JDK packages from the system, default false
  • node['java']['install_flavor'] - Flavor of JVM you would like installed (oracle, openjdk, ibm, windows), default openjdk on Linux/Unix platforms, windows on Windows platforms.
  • node['java']['jdk_version'] - JDK version to install, defaults to '6'.
  • node['java']['java_home'] - Default location of the "$JAVA_HOME".
  • node['java']['openjdk_packages'] - Array of OpenJDK package names to install in the java::openjdk recipe. This is set based on the platform.
  • node['java']['tarball'] - Name of the tarball to retrieve from your internal repository, default jdk1.6.0_29_i386.tar.gz
  • node['java']['tarball_checksum'] - Checksum for the tarball, if you use a different tarball, you also need to create a new sha256 checksum
  • node['java']['jdk'] - Version and architecture specific attributes for setting the URL on Oracle's site for the JDK, and the checksum of the .tar.gz.
  • node['java']['oracle']['accept_oracle_download_terms'] - Indicates that you accept Oracle's EULA
  • node['java']['windows']['url'] - The internal location of your java install for windows
  • node['java']['windows']['package_name'] - The package name used by windows_package to check in the registry to determine if the install has already been run
  • node['java']['ibm']['url'] - The URL which to download the IBM JDK/SDK. See the ibm recipe section below.
  • node['java']['ibm']['accept_ibm_download_terms'] - Indicates that you accept IBM's EULA (for java::ibm)



Include the default recipe in a run list, to get java. By default the openjdk flavor of Java is installed, but this can be changed by using the install_flavor attribute. By default on Windows platform systems, the install_flavor is windows.

OpenJDK is the default because of licensing changes made upstream by Oracle. See notes on the oracle recipe below.


This recipe installs the openjdk flavor of Java. It also uses the alternatives system on RHEL/Debian families to set the default Java.


This recipe installs the oracle flavor of Java. This recipe does not use distribution packages as Oracle changed the licensing terms with JDK 1.6u27 and prohibited the practice for both RHEL and Debian family platforms.

For both RHEL and Debian families, this recipe pulls the binary distribution from the Oracle website, and installs it in the default JAVA_HOME for each distribution. For Debian, this is /usr/lib/jvm/default-java. For RHEl, this is /usr/lib/jvm/java.

After putting the binaries in place, the java::oracle recipe updates /usr/bin/java to point to the installed JDK using the update-alternatives script. This is all handled in the java_ark LWRP.


This recipe installs the 32-bit Java virtual machine without setting it as the default. This can be useful if you have applications on the same machine that require different versions of the JVM.

This recipe operates in a similar manner to java::oracle.


Because there is no easy way to pull the java msi off oracle's site, this recipe requires you to host it internally on your own http repo.


The java::ibm recipe is used to install the IBM version of Java. Note that IBM requires you to create an account and log in to download the binary installer for your platform. You must accept the license agreement with IBM to use their version of Java. In this cookbook, you indicate this by setting node['java']['ibm']['accept_ibm_download_terms'] to true. You must also host the binary on your own HTTP server to have an automated installation. The node['java']['ibm']['url'] attribute must be set to a valid https/http URL; the URL is checked for validity in the recipe.

At this time the java::ibm recipe does not support multiple SDK installations.


This cookbook contains the java_ark LWRP. Generally speaking this LWRP is deprecated in favor of ark from the ark cookbook, but it is still used in this cookbook for handling the Oracle JDK installation.

By default, the extracted directory is extracted to app_root/extracted_dir_name and symlinked to app_root/default


  • :install: extracts the tarball and makes necessary symlinks
  • :remove: removes the tarball and run update-alternatives for all symlinked bin_cmds

Attribute Parameters

  • url: path to tarball, .tar.gz, .bin (oracle-specific), and .zip currently supported
  • checksum: SHA256 checksum, not used for security but avoid redownloading the archive on each chef-client run
  • app_home: the default for installations of this type of application, for example, /usr/lib/tomcat/default. If your application is not set to the default, it will be placed at the same level in the directory hierarchy but the directory name will be app_root/extracted_directory_name + "_alt"
  • app_home_mode: file mode for app_home, is an integer
  • bin_cmds: array of binary commands that should be symlinked to /usr/bin, examples are mvn, java, javac, etc. These cmds must be in the bin subdirectory of the extracted folder. Will be ignored if this java_ark is not the default
  • owner: owner of extracted directory, set to "root" by default
  • default: whether this the default installation of this package, boolean true or false


# install jdk6 from Oracle
java_ark "jdk" do
    url ''
    checksum  'a8603fa62045ce2164b26f7c04859cd548ffe0e33bfc979d9fa73df42e3b3365'
    app_home '/usr/local/java/default'
    bin_cmds ["java", "javac"]
    action :install


Simply include the java recipe where ever you would like Java installed.

To install Oracle flavored Java override the node['java']['install_flavor'] attribute with in role:

name "java"
description "Install Oracle Java on Ubuntu"
  "java" => {
    "install_flavor" => "oracle"

To install IBM flavored Java, set the required attributes:

name "java"
description "Install IBM Java on Ubuntu"
  "java" => {
    "install_flavor" => "ibm",
    "ibm" => {
      "accept_ibm_download_terms" => true,
      "url" => "",
      "checksum" => "The SHA256 checksum of the bin"


This cookbook uses test-kitchen for integration tests and ChefSpec/RSpec for unit tests. Pull requests should pass existing tests in files/default/tests/minitest-handler.

At this time due to licensing concerns, the IBM recipe is not set up in test kitchen. If you would like to test this locally, copy .kitchen.yml to .kitchen.local.yml and add the following suite:

- name: ibm
  run_list: ["recipe[java]"]
      install_flavor: "ibm"
        accept_ibm_download_terms: true
        url: "http://jenkins/ibm-java-x86_64-sdk-7.0-4.1.bin"
        checksum: the-sha256-checksum

Log into the IBM DeveloperWorks site to download a copy of the IBM Java SDK you wish to use/test, host it on an internal HTTP server, and calculate the SHA256 checksum to use in the suite.

License and Author

Copyright: 2008-2013, Opscode, Inc

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.