If I try to install Sun Java JDK 6 on Debian, it doesn't install it. I don't want to install OpenJDK, because it doesn't work always exactly same as Sun JDK.

I use following command:

apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

Package name should be correct, see link http://packages.debian.org/sid/sun-java6-jdk.

  • An error message would help in this case.
    – tshepang
    May 26, 2011 at 13:01

4 Answers 4


Run sudo apt-cache search java6 to get a list of packages available from the default repositories. If you don't see anything you like, you will have to either add an apt repository or install java manually.


Update: I would probably use one of the JDK 6 builds from https://www.azul.com/downloads/zulu/zulu-linux/ now. Azul runs tests to make make sure the OpenJDK build is compliant, and also offers commercial support

Assuming Debian means Debian Jessie.

I used the tool https://wiki.debian.org/JavaPackage to create a deb from the legacy JDK 6 provided by Oracle for the purposes of debugging older systems.


  1. Download the JDK 6 from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html. You will need an Oracle user account.
  2. Install java-package from contrib. (Add contrib to your /etc/apt/sources.list if necessary)

    deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie main contrib
    deb-src http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie main contrib
    deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib
    $ sudo apt-get && sudo apt-get install java-package.
  3. Run make-jpkg on Oracle archive.

    make-jpkg /vagrant/jdk-6u45-linux-x64.bin
  4. Install package

    sudo dpkg -i oracle-java6-jdk_6u45_amd64.deb
  5. Make sure that JDK 6 is the default JDK if you have multiple.

    sudo update-alternatives --config javac
  6. Check that everything works.

     [09:00]  [alex@debian-jessie:~]  $ javac -version
     javac 1.6.0_45
     [09:00]  [alex@debian-jessie:~]  $ java -version
     java version "1.6.0_45"
     Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_45-b06)
     Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.45-b01, mixed mode)
     [09:01]  [alex@debian-jessie:~]  $ mvn -v
     Apache Maven 3.0.5
     Maven home: /usr/share/maven
     Java version: 1.6.0_45, vendor: Sun Microsystems Inc.
     Java home: /usr/lib/jvm/jdk-6-oracle-x64/jre
     Default locale: en_US, platform encoding: UTF-8
     OS name: "linux", version: "3.16.0-4-amd64", arch: "amd64", family: "unix"
  7. To also install JRE 6, follow steps 1-6.

The Sun (well, Oracle) Java packages are in the non-free repository, which you may have disabled (not sure off the top of my head whether it's enabled by default in sid). Make sure non-free is enabled in your /etc/apt/sources.list, then run an apt-get update.


Are you running as root? Otherwise you'd need to use sudo to elevate yourself to have sufficient privileges to make system wide installations.

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