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Java 8 Update 65 Redux – The Good, the Bad and the Failings

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

With the release of Java 8 Update 65, Oracle has returned 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 65 using a standard installer package. For more details, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 66

October 21, 2015 4 comments

Following closely on the heels of Oracle’s release of Java 8 Update 65, Oracle has released Java 8 Update 66. This update is also using Oracle’s install application.

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What’s the difference between Update 65 and Update 66? Update 65 is a Critical Patch Update (CPU), which contains both fixes to security vulnerabilities and critical bug fixes. Update 66 is a Patch Set Update (PSU), which means it contains all the fixes in the corresponding CPU, plus additional fixes to non-critical problems. For more details on the differences between CPU and PSU updates, please see the link below:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/cpu-psu-explained-2331472.html

So the short version is that Update 65 has “critical bug fixes” and Update 66 has “Update 65’s bug fixes, plus more bug fixes.”

You can get Oracle’s Java 8 Update 66 from the link below:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre8-downloads-2133155.html

For more details on Java 8 Update 66, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 65 – The return of the Java install application

October 20, 2015 5 comments

For the past couple of releases, Oracle has used a standard installer package to install Java 8. With the release of Java 8 Update 65 though, Oracle returned to using an application to install Java.

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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 65 using a standard installer package. For more details, see below the jump.

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Modifying Oracle’s Java SDK to run Java applications on OS X

August 8, 2015 2 comments

As part of releasing the developer betas for OS X 10.11, Apple announced that El Capitan would be the end of the line for the Java 6 runtime and tools provided by Apple, with the clear statement that developers should be moving on to Oracle’s Java tools.

To completely replace Apple’s Java 6 tools, Oracle’s Java JDK (Java SE Development Kit) will need to be installed. This is because the Oracle Java JRE (Java Runtime Environment) on OS X is a browser plug-in for running Java via a web browser and does not include capabilities for running Java desktop apps or command line tools.

By default though, the Oracle JDK does not set several options to advertise the capabilities provided by the JDK to Java apps, which may cause applications that need those capabilities to fail to launch. The capabilities are actually present in the JDK, but those options need to be set before applications will recognize them as available.

To fix this, we need to add the following options to Oracle’s Java JDK:

  • BundledApp
  • JNI

 In turn, enabling these options means they need to be added to the list of JVMCapabilities stored in the following plist file:

/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk_version_info_goes_here.jdk/Contents/Info.plist

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For more details, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 has been updated again to …. Java 8 Update 40

March 16, 2015 9 comments

Oracle has released a new update for Java 8, but has continued their recent trend of not bumping the version number. Oracle has put out a new build of Java 8 but didn’t bump the version number from Java 8 Update 40, which makes this the third release of Java 8 Update 40.

At this point, it appears that Oracle is now providing the install application across the board. When you update an existing Java installation on OS X via Oracle’s Java update mechanism, you will receive Oracle’s install application for Java along with the selected option to install the Ask.com browser add-ons. If you download an installer from Java.com, you will also receive this install application.

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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:

/path/to/install.app/Contents/Resources/JavaAppletPlugin.pkg


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The JavaAppletPlugin installer package is digitally-signed and does not include the Ask.com browser add-ons.

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The difference between the three Java 8 Update 40 releases

Early March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 4, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 25 (1.8.40.25)

Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 13, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (1.8.40.26)

Just-Past-Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 16, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 27 (1.8.40.27)

If you have Java 8 Update 40 installed, you can find out which build you have by running the following command in Terminal:

defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Info.plist CFBundleVersion

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 25, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.25

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If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 26, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.26

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If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 27, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.27

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For more details, see below the jump.

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Oracle’s Java 8 Update 40 has been updated to …. Java 8 Update 40

March 13, 2015 1 comment

Oracle has released a new update for Java 8, but this update has an interesting wrinkle. Oracle has put out a new build of Java 8, but didn’t bump the version number from Java 8 Update 40. So folks who have the previous version of Java 8 Update 40 installed may receive a message to update to Java 8 Update 40 from their current version, which will also be Java 8 Update 40.

For those thinking this sounds familiar, Oracle did the same thing with Java 8 Update 31 in February.

java_8_update_40

The difference between the two Java 8 Update 40 releases

Early March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 3, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 25 (1.8.40.25)

Mid-March’s Java 8 Update 40 (released on March 12, 2015): Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (1.8.40.26)

If you have Java 8 Update 40 installed, you can find out which build you have by running the following command in Terminal:

defaults read /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Info.plist CFBundleVersion

If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 25, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.25

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If you have Java 8 Update 40 build 26, the following string will be returned:

1.8.40.26

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Following installation of Java 8 Update 40 build 26, I tested on a 10.10.2 Mac against the following sites:

Oracle’s Java Test page: https://www.java.com/en/download/help/testvm.xml

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Java Tester’s Java Version page: http://javatester.org/version.html

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In both cases, the Java applets on those sites launched and worked without issue using Java 8 Update 40 build 26 (though the javatester.org applet needed to be whitelisted.)

To make things even more confusing, Oracle is providing a different installer for its update feed than it’s providing at the Java.com download site. When you update an existing Java installation on OS X via Oracle’s Java update mechanism, you will receive Oracle’s install application for Java along with the selected option to install the Ask.com browser add-ons.

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If you download an installer from Java.com, you will receive a standard digitally-signed installer package which does not include the Ask.com browser add-ons.

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Unfortunately, Oracle has not provided any information about why these differences in installation methods exist. To make sure you’re installing Java 8 Update 40 without the Ask.com browser add-ons, I would currently recommend downloading the installer package available via the Java.com download site.

MacJREInstaller and Oracle’s Java install application

March 6, 2015 5 comments

Part of Oracle’s new install application for Java is a binary named MacJREInstaller. This application appears to be what installs Java and governs whether or not the Ask.com toolbar gets deployed.

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For context, MacJREInstaller appears to be the helper tool referenced when the Java install application prompts for admin privileges.

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Based on observation, when running the Java install application, MacJREInstaller appears to run the following tasks:

1. Checks to see if it can contact the internet

2. If it can contact the internet, checks back with Oracle to see what country it’s in. Oracle apparently is selective about which nations it wants to have the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar installed (thanks to a Canadian colleague’s testing, it appears Canada is not one of the nations.)

3. If it determines the Mac in question is in a country where Oracle wants to deploy the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar, a Sponsors.framework.tar file is downloaded to the Mac and uncompressed into /Users/username/Library/Application Support.

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4. Determines which web browser is set as the Mac’s default web browser.

5. Displays the choice for whether or not to install the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar.

Note: By default, the option to install the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar is selected. The person running the install application must uncheck the appropriate checkbox or checkboxes to opt out.

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6. Depending on whether the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar have been chosen for installation, the following actions take place:

If installation of the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar is selected:

A. The Ask.com browser settings and toolbar for the Mac’s default web browser are installed using a tool called APNSetup, which is included in the downloaded Sponsors.framework.

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B. The JavaAppletPlugin installer package stored within the Java install application is installed.

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C. MacJREInstaller checks back with Oracle again to see what country the Mac in question is in.

If installation of the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar is not selected:

A. The JavaAppletPlugin installer package stored within the Java install application is installed.

B. MacJREInstaller checks back with Oracle again to see what country the Mac in question is in.

Note: Even if the installation of the Ask.com browser settings and toolbar is not selected, the Sponsors.framework remains resident on the machine, in /Users/username/Library/Application Support.

7. Once the install process finishes, MacJREInstaller then exits.

For more details, see below the jump.

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