How to Install Java on Ubuntu and Get Ready to Code With Confidence

Java is one of the most widely used programming languages globally thanks to its portability, scalability and extensive ecosystem. As a developer, being able to efficiently use Java on the Linux operating system can enhance your skills and productivity. This comprehensive guide will walk through how to install Java on Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions.

A Brief History of Java

Java is a high-level, object-oriented programming language first released in 1995 by Sun Microsystems, which was later acquired by Oracle Corporation. Over 25 years, Java has seen many major releases that added significant new language features and libraries.

Some key milestones in Java‘s evolution:

  • J2SE 1.2 (December 1998) – Swing GUI widget toolkit introduced.
  • J2SE 5.0 (September 2004) – Major addition of generics, annotations, enums, etc.
  • Java SE 8 (March 2014) – Lambda expressions added for functional programming.
  • Java SE 16 (March 2021) – Records and pattern matching support added.

Today, Java continues to be one of the most widely used programming languages globally. According to TIOBE‘s September 2022 rankings, Java is the 2nd most popular language, behind C but ahead of Python, C++ and JavaScript.

The PYPL Popularity Index also shows Java consistently ranking in the global top 3 over the past several years.

Some key drivers behind Java‘s popularity include:

  • Portability – Java code can run on any platform with the JVM installed.
  • Object-oriented – Java pioneered mainstream OO adoption with classes/objects.
  • Open source – OpenJDK and many frameworks/tools are open source.
  • Enterprise usage – Heavily used for backend services, big data, financial apps.
  • Android – The Android SDK is primarily based on Java APIs.

Now that we‘ve covered some background on Java itself, let‘s discuss the benefits of running Java on Ubuntu Linux specifically.

Why Run Java on Ubuntu?

Choosing to develop Java applications directly on a Linux environment like Ubuntu has some major advantages:

Linux Skills

Java developers who are familiar with Linux tools, shell scripting, servers and automation have very marketable cross-platform abilities. Ubuntu is an extremely popular distribution to focus those Linux skills on due to its simplicity and large community. Running Java on Ubuntu facilitates efficient open-source development.

Access to Open Source Tools

Almost all major open source Java libraries, frameworks and tools either target or provide best support on Linux systems. Since Ubuntu provides access to the latest open source packages and versions, developers can take full advantage of the Java ecosystem.

Cloud and Production Readiness

The dominance of Linux in cloud computing and servers means that developing and testing Java apps natively on Ubuntu better prepares the software for real-world production deployment. DevOps methodologies are also heavily centered around Linux.

Now let‘s dive deeper into what components comprise a Java environment, before we install it on Ubuntu.

Understanding the Java Environment