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So, I broke Java Preferences.app. I'm on Mountain Lion. I had Java 6 SE (the Apple-distributed JDK/JRE) and Oracle's Java 7u10 preview. Trying to get a stub app to launch with Java 7, I unchecked the Java 6 SE checkboxes in Java Preferences.app. Now not only will my stub app not launch, but Java Preferences.app won't launch (it says there's no valid JRE 1.4+ available). I understand this is probably because Apple's Java launcher stub is not compatible with 7u10 -- not sure how to manually re-enable SE 6, though.

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Two things are needed worst case (and assuming you are still on 10.6 Snow Leopard):

  1. Re-download the SE 6 and install it
  2. Manually enable browser plug in if you care to have that functionality:
 ln -sf /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle/Contents/Resources/JavaPlugin2_NPAPI.plugin "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin"
 ln -sf /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Commands/javaws /usr/bin/javaws

There is great coverage of the how and why I came up with these steps from Rich Trouton's blog:

Apple also has similar steps in their KB article about the move from SE 6 to 7 here:

  • The link to Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 11 (Java 6 Update 37 for Snow Leopard) is no longer appropriate since the opening poster has confirmed his use of Mountain Lion. For OS X Lion v10.7 or later, for the same version of Java: Java for OS X 2012-006. – Graham Perrin Nov 3 '12 at 18:33
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https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/69670/8546 and https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/70418/8546 refer to Apple article HT5559, modified 2012-10-22:

Java for OS X 2012-006: How to re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 applet plug-in and Web Start functionality

to disable Java 7 and re-enable the Apple-provided Java SE 6 plug-in

  • three commands
  • a fourth command to re-enable Apple's Java SE 6 Web Start.

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