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Is there a way to determine what application wants Java installed?

I recently installed OSX Mountain Lion and as you know, the default install removes any java VM, offering you to install it if something needs it.

After login in, something does try to launch 'java' and brings up the "To open 'java' you need to install Java SE 6 runtime. Would you like to install one now?".

Problem is, I have no idea what is trying to launch java and would like, instead of installing it again, to find out whether I need this or not.

I looked in my login items, removed all of them. Looked into "Macintosh HD/Startup Items" and temporarily removed stuff there too. To no avail.

Now I'm not discounting user error when trying to diagnose this but I'l love to know if there is an easy way to find out what process is trying to launch 'java'.

  • The very first place to go in situations like this is /Utilities/Console.app to check the logs.
    – ephsmith
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 20:27
  • I feel stupid, of course checking the logs was a great idea. Found the culprits in: 8/16/12 3:39:41.821 PM Download Java Components[321]: com.apple.message.domain: com.apple.java.usage2.DownloadOnDemand.request 8/16/12 3:44:34.938 PM Download Java Components[321]: com.apple.message.domain: com.apple.java.usage2.DownloadOnDemand.complete but how should I deal with this now? Is it safe to just remove? Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 21:28
  • It looks like you found the message where Java was downloaded. I don't see anything about what triggered the download.
    – ephsmith
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 21:41
  • Looking further, it seems like this is a LaunchAgent that is used to offer to download Java if needed. So this is just another symptom, not the cause. Something is calling 'java', causing this agent to bring up the dialog window. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 21:43
  • Let us know (flag or comment) if the question linked doesn't address your question. You should edit this question to make that difference explicit to assist the re-opener in determining how they differ.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 1, 2012 at 4:31

1 Answer 1


Also check ~/Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/LaunchAgents, /Library/StartupItems, /System/Library/LaunchAgents, /System/Library/LaunchDaemons, to get a more complete picture of what might be running/starting up on boot and login.

Dunno about you, but my installation came default with some com.apple.java.* plist files. I am running Mountain Lion.

  • One thing that does come to mind is that I think I experienced the same thing as you when I upgraded. I run CrashPlan on my machine to keep it backed up. Do you? It runs on Java.
    – Harv
    Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 19:58
  • Nope, I don't use crash plan. I did have the logitech harmony software which also uses Java but I un-installed it as part of my investigation. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 21:27
  • 6
    Found it! in ~/Library/LaunchAgents there was a leftover Facebook videchat launcher which used java (com.facebook.videochat). Removing that fixe the problem. Commented Aug 19, 2012 at 21:52
  • I recommend extreme caution with /System/Library/LaunchAgents and /System/Library/LaunchDaemons. These directories are loaded with Apple system files whose deletion could cripple or even disable OS X. Still, it's good to look inside them to get an idea of what happens at boot time.
    – jfmercer
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 21:43

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