Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
For the past few major releases, Oracle has used a standard installer package to install Java 7 and Java 8. With the release of Java 8 Update 40 though, Oracle changed how Java 8 for Macs is installed. Oracle has now switched to using an application to install Java.
This switch away from using installer packages is a problem for Mac admins who need to deploy Oracle’s Java 8 in their own environment. However, after doing some research, it looks like it is still possible to deploy Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 using a standard installer package. For more details, see below the jump.
While the Oracle install application is not a standard installer package, it appears that Oracle had stored an installer package for Java 8 within the install application at the following location:
Once the JavaAppletPlugin installer package is copied out of the install application, it can be deployed like previous Java updates’ installer packages.
Now that the good news is covered, let’s talk about the not-good news. Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 application has the following behavior:
The install application will prompt for admin privileges before fully launching.
Once you provide admin authentication, the application launches.
You will be prompted to set Ask.com as your browser homepage, with the choice to do so checked off by default. If left checked, Safari’s homepage will be set with a search.ask.com URL and a Safari extension will be used to install an Ask.com toolbar.
The install application will then tell you how many devices run Java while it installs.
Once complete, it’ll tell you what it’s installed.
If you didn’t change the option of setting Ask.com as your browser homepage, it’ll then ask you to install the Ask.com toolbar as a Safari extension.
If you then choose to install the Ask.com toolbar, Safari will look like this.
It also doesn’t appear that Safari is unique in this regard, as the installer will check for the default browser. If Firefox is your default browser, Firefox’s homepage will be set with a search.ask.com URL and the user is prompted to install a Firefox extension.
If Google Chrome is set as your default browser, Chrome’s homepage will be set with a search.ask.com URL and the user is prompted to install a Chrome extension.
Circling back to the JavaAppletPlugin installer package mentioned earlier in the article, it appears that this installer does not install any toolbars or reset the homepage setting for the default browser. To avoid having to deal with Ask.com-driven annoyances, I recommend using the JavaAppletPlugin installer package whenever possible.