JDeveloper installation on Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Let's get the "why?" out of the way first - Personally I like to know what IDE's are alive and well for any for any Java development I might be doing especially if it's something new or something I have not done for a while.

Currently NetBeans is my first choice.  Certainly Eclipse is a great standby for any Java development (and a whole lot of non-Java stuff for that matter).  I have tried to get into the in some circles extremely popular Intellij IDEA IDE but so far I am not a fan.

JDeveloper, from Oracle, has an interesting history (I think back to my JBuilder days any time it's mentioned).  It still exists and I assume is well respected or at least used by those in Oracle shops because it does seem to integrate nicely with (or is at least aware of) all things Oracle.

Recently I wanted to check out some functionality specific to JDeveloper and decided I needed to install it on a relatively new MacBook Pro running OS X 10.8.2 (aka Mountain Lion).  After trying to install JDeveloper using the current default Java (1.7.0_11) and given what I was able to learn via Google, I decided I wanted to try the installation using Java 6.

Java 6 is installed on this computer but it's not the default and at least using the control panel I am not able to make it be the default.  For some of you this may mean "stop reading now because this guy can't  switch to Java 6 using the GUI" and if that's the case please let me know what I am missing.  (GUIs are nice but not generally my first choice to understand what's happening or NOT happening as was the case here.)

After downloading the "Generic" flavor of JDeveloper version from Oracle's website (which is huge by the way), I tried to install it from the command line like this:

java -jar jdevstudio11123install.jar

There are lots of posts about Oracle's JDeveloper installation instructions for OS X which amount to setting up a symbolic link for the Java runtime jar file so that the Apple-released Java looks more like the Sun/Oracle version.  While this is nice to know if you have not had the pleasure, my computer already had the suggested symbolic link in place.  (There are actually some other interesting tidbits in their instructions but none of them seem to have any relevance to the problem I was having trying to install the IDE.)

The error I was getting was the not-very-helpful "A fatal error has occurred.  This application will terminate." message from the installation program.

So how did I make it work?  From the command line I did the following:

First I set JAVA_HOME via this command:

export JAVA_HOME=/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6.0/Home

Next I forced this version of Java to be the default (first found in the path) for the installation like this:

export PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH

And then I confirmed which version would run by issuing this command:

java -version

which resulted in this output:

java version "1.6.0_37"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_37-b06-434-11M3909)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 20.12-b01-434, mixed mode)

And finally I proceeded with the installation by running this command:

java -jar jdevstudio11123install.jar

I took all the defaults and my installation was a success.



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