Java Version Manager inspired by nvm (Node.js). You might have come across similar beauty in Go (gvm) or Ruby (rvm).

Supports installation of Oracle JDK (default), Zulu OpenJDK (since 0.3.0) and from custom URLs.

Tested on Mac OS X and Linux. Windows support is coming in #1.

It's written in Go to make maintenance easier (significantly shorter, easier to understand and less prone to errors compared to pure shell implementation). Plus it enables us to support Windows natively (no Cygwin) without rewriting the whole thing in PowerShell or whatever.

The goal is to provide unified pain-free experience of installing (and switching between different versions of) JDK.

Programming language: Go
Tags: Miscellaneous    
Latest version: v0.11.2

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jabba Latest Version Build Status

Java Version Manager inspired by nvm (Node.js). Written in Go.

The goal is to provide unified pain-free experience of installing (and switching between different versions of) JDK regardless of the OS (macOS, Linux x86/x86_64/ARMv7+, Windows x86_64).

jabba install

... and from custom URLs.


macOS / Linux

(in bash/zsh/...)

export JABBA_VERSION=...
curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | bash && . ~/.jabba/jabba.sh

(use the same command to upgrade)

The script modifies common shell rc files by default. To skip these provide the --skip-rc flag to install.sh like so:

export JABBA_VERSION=...
curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | bash -s -- --skip-rc && . ~/.jabba/jabba.sh

Make sure to source jabba.sh in your environment if you skip it:

export JABBA_VERSION=...
[ -s "$JABBA_HOME/jabba.sh" ] && source "$JABBA_HOME/jabba.sh"

In fish command looks a little bit different - export JABBA_VERSION=... curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | bash; and . ~/.jabba/jabba.fish

If you don't have curl installed - replace curl -sL with wget -qO-.

If you are behind a proxy see - curl / wget manpage. Usually simple http_proxy=http://proxy-server:port https_proxy=http://proxy-server:port curl -sL ... is enough.

NOTE: The brew package is currently broken. We are working on a fix.


While you can use the same snippet as above, chances are you don't want jabba binary & shell integration script(s) to be included in the final Docker image, all you want is a JDK. Here is the Dockerfile showing how this can be done:

FROM buildpack-deps:jessie-curl

RUN curl -sL https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.sh | \
    JABBA_COMMAND="install 1.15.0 -o /jdk" bash


(when JABBA_COMMAND env variable is set install.sh downloads jabba binary, executes specified command and then deletes the binary)

$ docker build -t <image_name>:<image_tag> .
$ docker run -it --rm <image_name>:<image_tag> java -version

java version "1.15.0....

Windows 10

(in powershell)

[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12
Invoke-Expression (
  Invoke-WebRequest https://github.com/shyiko/jabba/raw/master/install.ps1 -UseBasicParsing

(use the same command to upgrade)


# list available JDK's
jabba ls-remote
# you can use any valid semver range to narrow down the list
jabba ls-remote zulu@~1.8.60
jabba ls-remote "*@>=1.6.45 <1.9" --latest=minor

# install Oracle JDK
jabba install 1.15.0
# install Oracle Server JRE
jabba install [email protected]  
# install Adopt OpenJDK (Hotspot)
jabba install [email protected]
# install Adopt OpenJDK (Eclipse OpenJ9)
jabba install [email protected]
# install Zulu OpenJDK
jabba install [email protected]
jabba install zulu@~1.8.144 # same as "zulu@>=1.8.144 <1.9" 
# install IBM SDK, Java Technology Edition
jabba install [email protected]
# install GraalVM CE
jabba install [email protected]
# install OpenJDK
jabba install [email protected]
# install OpenJDK with Shenandoah GC
jabba install [email protected]

# install from custom URL
# (supported qualifiers: zip (since 0.3.0), tgz, tgx (since 0.10.0), dmg, bin, exe)
jabba install 1.8.0-custom=tgz+http://example.com/distribution.tar.gz
jabba install 1.8.0-custom=tgx+http://example.com/distribution.tar.xz
jabba install 1.8.0-custom=zip+file:///opt/distribution.zip

# uninstall JDK
jabba uninstall [email protected]

# link system JDK
jabba link [email protected] /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_72.jdk

# list all installed JDK's
jabba ls

# switch to a different version of JDK (it must be already `install`ed)
jabba use [email protected]
jabba use zulu@~1.6.97

echo "1.8" > .jabbarc
# switch to the JDK specified in .jabbarc (since 0.5.0)
jabba use

# set default java version on shell (since 0.2.0)
# this version will automatically be "jabba use"d every time you open up a new terminal
jabba alias default 1.8

.jabbarc has to be a valid YAML file. JDK version can be specified as jdk: 1.8 or simply as 1.8 (same as ~1.8, 1.8.x ">=1.8.0 <1.9.0" (mind the quotes)).

jsyk: jabba keeps everything under ~/.jabba (on Linux/Mac OS X) / %USERPROFILE%/.jabba (on Windows). If at any point of time you decide to uninstall jabba - just remove this directory.

For more information see jabba --help.



git clone https://github.com/shyiko/jabba $GOPATH/src/github.com/shyiko/jabba 
cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/shyiko/jabba 
make fetch

go run jabba.go

# to test a change
make test # or "test-coverage" if you want to get a coverage breakdown

# to make a build
make build # or "build-release" (latter is cross-compiling jabba to different OSs/ARCHs)   


Q: What if I already have java installed?

A: It's fine. You can switch between system JDK and jabba-provided one whenever you feel like it (jabba use ... / jabba deactivate). They are not gonna conflict with each other.

Q: How do I switch java globally?

A: jabba doesn't have this functionality built-in because the exact way varies greatly between the operation systems and usually involves elevated permissions. But. Here are the snippets that should work:

  • Windows

(in powershell as administrator)

# select jdk
jabba use ...

# modify global PATH & JAVA_HOME
$envRegKey = [Microsoft.Win32.Registry]::LocalMachine.OpenSubKey('SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment', $true)
$envPath=$envRegKey.GetValue('Path', $null, "DoNotExpandEnvironmentNames").replace('%JAVA_HOME%\bin;', '')
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable('JAVA_HOME', "$(jabba which $(jabba current))", 'Machine')
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable('PATH', "%JAVA_HOME%\bin;$envPath", 'Machine')
  • Linux

(tested on Debian/Ubuntu)

# select jdk
jabba use ...

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java ${JAVA_HOME%*/}/bin/java 20000
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/javac javac ${JAVA_HOME%*/}/bin/javac 20000

To switch between multiple GLOBAL alternatives use sudo update-alternatives --config java.


Apache License, Version 2.0

By using this software you agree to

This software is for educational purposes only.
Use it at your own risk.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the jabba README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.