I need to install a Java runtime on server machines. The JRE package from Sun acts as if I'm running on a client machine -- it installs WebStart, Auto Updating, probably browser hooks, and other stuff I don't need or want.

Is there some Java runtime distribution specifically designed for machines acting as servers?

EDIT: I need JavaSE, not JavaEE.

  • It would be helpful to know what operating system you're using.
    – Avi Flax
    Sep 6, 2009 at 14:14
  • Running under Windows.
    – jdigital
    Sep 9, 2009 at 16:52

3 Answers 3


If you are looking for a minimal footprint that always gets the latest version, consider the on-line installer. See [http://weblogs.java.net/blog/stanleyh/archive/2005/05/deployment_unde_1.html][1]

If want you complete control, a static image can be used. However if there is something in your server application that relies on file associations, browser plug-in (especially network proxy config), exec search path, or other environment variables, then some scripting may be required to diddle the registry. Your server app probably doesn't need any of those, except maybe the network config when operating behind a proxy.

  • The referenced article mentions that Java Web Start is always is installed, which is one of the components I am trying to eliminate.
    – jdigital
    Oct 20, 2009 at 18:59

The JDK comes with a JRE that can be installed just by copying it to the target folder. This eliminates all the registry entries etc. created by the installer. Since no system settings have been modified, you'll need to explicitly provide the path of the Java executable when launching a Java app.

There's also a ReadMe in the JRE directory file that discusses required and optional files, so you can prune out some files that are not needed (the downside: this is tedious).


You can install the JDK, which includes the standard JRE but shouldn't have all that client-oriented stuff.

  • the JDK includes the JRE (with extra debugging information). Sep 4, 2009 at 14:04
  • The JDK is even bigger than the JRE so I definitely don't want to do that. I am experimenting with doing a copy-install of just the JRE taken from the JDK.
    – jdigital
    Sep 4, 2009 at 18:10
  • The JDK installs... well... the Java Development Kit, which is exactly what it should be installing :-p But those extra programs just sit idly without doing anything if you don't use them. BTW, the JDK usually IS what you should be installing on a server, because Java application servers are quite used to dinamically recompile everything as they need.
    – Massimo
    Sep 9, 2009 at 23:00

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