CSCI A201/A597

Java2 Installation Notes

Spring 2000

A few people have asked what it takes to install JDK at home on their PCs. I have downloaded the Java 2 distribution from Sun on Sunday January 23, 2000, on a PC that runs Windows NT in our office, and wrote down the steps I took. I hope that this will help you install Java on your computers so that you can work from home if you want. If I can be of more help please let me know.

You can jump straight in the middle of these instructions using the link provided below or you can print this set of notes and go step by step on your computer.

First go to Sun's website:
Click on Products and APIs (left, first in column):
(Check out also
for an answer to what Java 2 is, and to its relationship with the JDK. It is essentially JDK version 1.2, as explained on the website, but browsing the site yourself will be educational.)

Choose the link Java 2 Platform Standard Edition.

On the left choose Download under the heading Java 2. It will take you to:
Then identify and follow the link for Windows 95/98/NT which takes you to:
Choose now the first option (to download the software rather than the documentation).

I chose the one large bundle method of downloading (the bundle is about 20 megs) and then I clicked on Continue. This essentially took me to:
On this new page I read the agreement and clicked on Agree.

Then on the next page I chose FTP Download.

Once I clicked on the button a window popped up allowing me to choose the location of the downloaded file. I chose to put it on the desktop. It should be easy for you to do the same thing. The file that you are now downloading is a self-extracting archive named jdk1_2_2-001-win so look for this name after the download completes.

From my office on campus (in Franklin Hall) it took about 11 (eleven) minutes for the one large bundle download to complete. This was on a Sunday night (on 01/23) at 10pm or so, so your mileage may vary, as you may expect.

Once you have the entire archive you no longer need Netscape, so you might as well close it. You will be unpacking the archive now, restart your computer, then add one environment setting, and finally test your installation with the "Hello, world!" program. So quit Netscape now.

Then verify that the archive appears on the desktop. Double click on it and unarchive it. The installer starts. It will take you through a sequence of menus. First I clicked Next, then Yes, then I confirmed the default directory

by clicking Next. Then availability of necessary disk space will be verified, and in my case I had enough room on the hard disk to accommodate the entire installation, so I clicked Next and Yes again, and Next and then everything was installed.

This part was so standard that I think you will have no problem with it.

Installation essentially means that a lot of files are being copied in the right places. If you have ever installed anything on your PC it should not be too difficult, although if this is a first for you let me know and I'll try to be a bit more explicit.

Once this is done (it takes about 3 minutes) you need to restart your computer, and the installer gives you this option. So choose Yes, I want to restart my computer now, and then log back in.

I do this and now I'm back in. I open a DOS (cmd window and I try javac and java from the command line. Perhaps I will get lucky. javac doesn't work. java does. That's because of the run-time environment that was installed as well.

But I am all set to finish the process so once I take note of this I close the DOS window and get ready to add one environment variable that will make them both work (both the compiler and the interpreter). So I choose

  1. Start
  2. Settings and then
  3. Control Panel
in that order, obviously.

Then I click on the System icon. A window with 6 tabs appears. I see one that is labeled Environment and I click on it. That's the one I need to work with.

In the part of the screen that lists the User Variables I add a variable

with the following value
and then I push
  1. Set and then
  2. Apply
Then I close all windows. I am done.

javac and java now work in any DOS window that I choose to open.

I verify this by using a text editor (such as Notepad) to create a simple program (such as which I compile and run to test my installation.

I'd say allocate about 90 minutes for the whole thing, that's about how much it took me to install the software, write these notes, review them and post them.

Hope this helps, if not please let me know and I will try to help.

Good luck!

Last updated: January 23, 2000 by Adrian German