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.

  • 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?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 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
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 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 derflounder.wordpress.com I would just give up on anything needing java.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


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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