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Inspired by this question on Stackoverflow, I noticed that my Java control panel reports that I have the latest version of Java installed (and I know that, because Safari is not blocking the plugin any longer), while the command line version seems to be different.

From Terminal:

$ java -version
java version "1.7.0_06-ea"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_06-ea-b20)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.2-b09, mixed mode)

Java 1.7.0_06 is not the latest version, as far as I know.

Hence my question:

If I install Java 1.7 from Oracle's web site and then rely on the "automatic" updating that it provides, will the command line version be stuck with the old version? A bit confused here.

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Something odd in the setup here the default install gave me (build 1.7.0_13-b20) - as a check what does which java give? – Mark Feb 14 '13 at 14:43
@Mark which java gives /usr/bin/java, which is a symbolic link to /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current/Commands/java. I imagine the old version I get on command line is the one I originally installed, while the one that the control panel refers to is the one that Safari uses. Still confused, though. – Monolo Feb 14 '13 at 14:47
Sadly Java on OS X is a huge bag of hurt lately with all the updates, blocking, changes, who packages what and when. If it weren't for I would just give up on anything needing java. – bmike Feb 14 '13 at 15:18
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The Java Control panel in System Preferences refers to the Java Applet Plugin (JRE) that is made available to Safari and other browsers.

If you use the Help>Installed Plugins you should see a version signature if it is enabled The latest JRE reports


The java you are looking at with java -version is the one installed with the full JDK. You need to download the installer for that separately now from Oracle When installed java -version should report

java version "1.7.0_13"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_13-b20)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.7-b01, mixed mode)
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