(cross-platform) Java Version Manager
Go Shell PowerShell Makefile
Latest commit cd7d6eb Feb 24, 2017 @shyiko committed on GitHub Merge pull request #57 from shyiko/autodiscovery/2017-02-24
2017-02-24 auto discovery


jabba Latest Version Build Status


Java Version Manager inspired by nvm (Node.js). You might have come across similar beauty in Go (gvm) or Ruby (rvm).

Supports installation of Oracle JDK (default), Zulu OpenJDK (since 0.3.0), IBM SDK, Java Technology Edition (since 0.6.0) and from custom URLs.

It's written in Go to make maintenance easier (significantly shorter, easier to understand and less prone to errors compared to pure shell implementation). Plus it enables us to support Windows natively (no need for Cygwin) without rewriting the whole thing in PowerShell or whatever.

The goal is to provide unified pain-free experience of installing (and switching between different versions of) JDK regardless of the OS.

jabba has a single responsibility - managing different versions of JDK. For an easy way to install Scala/Kotlin/Groovy (+ a lot more) see SDKMAN. SBT/Maven/Gradle should ideally be "fixed in place" by sbt-launcher/mvnw/gradlew.


macOS / Linux

(in bash/zsh/...)

curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | bash && . ~/.jabba/jabba.sh

(use the same command to upgrade)

In fish command looks a little bit different - curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | bash; and . ~/.jabba/jabba.fish

If you don't have curl installed - replace curl -sL with wget -qO-.

If you are behind a proxy see - curl / wget manpage. Usually simple http_proxy=http://proxy-server:port https_proxy=http://proxy-server:port curl -sL ... is enough.


While you can obviously use the same snippet as above, chances are you don't want jabba binary & shell integration script(s) to be included in the final Docker image, all you want is a JDK. In this case use the following Dockerfile (this is just an example; adjust if needed) (when JABBA_COMMAND env variable is set install.sh downloads jabba binary, executes specified command and then deletes the binary)

FROM buildpack-deps:jessie-curl

# Server JRE (https://goo.gl/2MsPoh)
ENV JAVA_VERSION "sjre@1.8.121"

RUN curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | \
    JABBA_COMMAND="install $JAVA_VERSION" bash

ENV JAVA_HOME /root/.jabba/jdk/$JAVA_VERSION

(build & run as usual)

$ docker build -t sjre:1.8.121 .

$ docker run -it --rm sjre:1.8.121 java -version

java version "1.8.0_121"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_121-b13)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.121-b13, mixed mode)

Windows 10

(in powershell)

Invoke-Expression (
        wget https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.ps1 -UseBasicParsing

(use the same command to upgrade)


# install Oracle JDK
jabba install 1.8 # "jabba use 1.8" will be called automatically  

# install Zulu OpenJDK (since 0.3.0)
jabba install zulu@1.8.72

# install IBM SDK, Java Technology Edition (since 0.6.0)
jabba install ibm@1.8.0-3.21

# install from custom URL (supported qualifiers: zip (since 0.3.0), tgz, dmg, bin)
jabba install 1.8.0-custom=tgz+http://example.com/distribution.tar.gz
jabba install 1.8.0-custom=zip+file:///opt/distribution.zip

# link system JDK
jabba link system@1.8.72 /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_72.jdk

# list all installed JDK's
jabba ls

# switch to a different version of JDK
jabba use 1.6.65

echo "1.8" > .jabbarc
# switch to the JDK specified in .jabbarc (since 0.5.0)
jabba use

# list available JDK's
jabba ls-remote

# set default java version on shell (since 0.2.0)
# this version will automatically be "jabba use"d every time you open up a new terminal
jabba alias default 1.6.65

.jabbarc has to be a valid YAML file. JDK version can be specified as jdk: 1.8 or simply as 1.8 (same as ~1.8, 1.8.x ">=1.8.0 <1.9.0" (mind the quotes)).

jsyk: jabba keeps everything under ~/.jabba (on Linux/Mac OS X) / %USERPROFILE%/.jabba (on Windows). If at any point of time you decide to uninstall jabba - just remove this directory.

For more information see jabba --help.



git clone https://github.com/shyiko/jabba $GOPATH/src/github.com/shyiko/jabba 
cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/shyiko/jabba 
make fetch

go run jabba.go

# to test a change
make test # or "test-coverage" if you want to get a coverage breakdown

# to make a build
make build # or "build-release" (latter is cross-compiling jabba to different OSs/ARCHs)   


Q: What if I already have java installed?

A: It's fine. You can switch between system JDK and jabba-provided one whenever you feel like it (jabba use ... / jabba deactivate). They are not gonna conflict with each other.

Q: How do I switch java globally?

A: jabba doesn't have this functionality built-in because the exact way varies greatly between the operation systems and usually involves elevated permissions. But. Here are the snippets that should work:

  • Windows

(in powershell as administrator)

# select jdk
jabba use ...

# modify global PATH & JAVA_HOME
$envRegKey = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::LocalMachine.OpenSubKey('SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment', $true)
$envPath=$envRegKey.GetValue('Path', $null, "DoNotExpandEnvironmentNames").replace('%JAVA_HOME%\bin;', '')
setx JAVA_HOME "$(jabba which $(jabba current))" /m
setx PATH "%JAVA_HOME%\bin;$envPath" /m
  • Linux

(tested on Debian/Ubuntu)

# select jdk
jabba use ...

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java ${JAVA_HOME%*/}/bin/java 20000
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/javac javac ${JAVA_HOME%*/}/bin/javac 20000

To switch between multiple GLOBAL alternatives use sudo update-alternatives --config java.


Apache License, Version 2.0

By using this software you agree to

This software is for educational purposes only.
Use it at your own risk.