SDKMAN is an amazing project that makes it easy to manage multiple versions of Java and Scala on a single computer.
It also provides support for other Java ecosystem projects like Maven, SBT, and Spark.
SDKMAN stands for Software Development Kit MANager.
SDKMAN is the best Java version management solution because it works out of the box for a variety of different programs.
Install SDKMAN with
curl -s "https://get.sdkman.io" | bash.
source "$HOME/.sdkman/bin/sdkman-init.sh" to load SDKMAN (this step is optional – you can also just close your Terminal and reopen it).
sdk version and make sure
SDKMAN 5.9.1+575 is output to verify the installation was successful.
The installation script will append these lines to your
~/.zshrc file (you don’t need to add these lines – the installer will add them for you):
#THIS MUST BE AT THE END OF THE FILE FOR SDKMAN TO WORK!!! export SDKMAN_DIR="/Users/powers/.sdkman" [[ -s "/Users/powers/.sdkman/bin/sdkman-init.sh" ]] && source "/Users/powers/.sdkman/bin/sdkman-init.sh"
echo $PATH and see that .sdkman is prepended to the PATH as follows:
SDKMAN uses the shim design pattern to intercept Java relevant commands and route them to the correct software versions. This design pattern is also used in other version management tools like rbenv (Ruby) and pyenv (Python).
List the available Java versions with
sdk list java:
================================================================================ Available Java Versions ================================================================================ Vendor | Use | Version | Dist | Status | Identifier -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AdoptOpenJDK | | 15.0.1.j9 | adpt | | 15.0.1.j9-adpt | | 15.0.1.hs | adpt | | 15.0.1.hs-adpt | | 14.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 14.0.2.j9-adpt | | 14.0.2.hs | adpt | | 14.0.2.hs-adpt | | 13.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 13.0.2.j9-adpt | | 13.0.2.hs | adpt | | 13.0.2.hs-adpt | | 12.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 12.0.2.j9-adpt | | 12.0.2.hs | adpt | | 12.0.2.hs-adpt | | 11.0.9.j9 | adpt | | 11.0.9.j9-adpt | | 11.0.9.hs | adpt | | 11.0.9.hs-adpt | | 8.0.272.j9 | adpt | | 8.0.272.j9-adpt | | 8.0.272.hs | adpt | | 8.0.272.hs-adpt Amazon | | 15.0.1 | amzn | | 15.0.1-amzn | | 11.0.9 | amzn | | 11.0.9-amzn | | 8.0.275 | amzn | | 8.0.275-amzn more versions not listed...
Install Java 8 with
sdk install java 8.0.272.hs-adpt. Here’s the terminal output when the installation is complete:
Repackaging Java 8.0.272.hs-adpt... Done repackaging... Cleaning up residual files... Installing: java 8.0.272.hs-adpt Done installing!
SDKMAN stores files it downloads in the
Now install Java 11 with
sdk install java 11.0.9.hs-adpt. Type
sdk list java to show the Java versions that have been installed and the Java version that’s currently being used.
================================================================================ Available Java Versions ================================================================================ Vendor | Use | Version | Dist | Status | Identifier -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AdoptOpenJDK | | 15.0.1.j9 | adpt | | 15.0.1.j9-adpt | | 15.0.1.hs | adpt | | 15.0.1.hs-adpt | | 14.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 14.0.2.j9-adpt | | 14.0.2.hs | adpt | | 14.0.2.hs-adpt | | 13.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 13.0.2.j9-adpt | | 13.0.2.hs | adpt | | 13.0.2.hs-adpt | | 12.0.2.j9 | adpt | | 12.0.2.j9-adpt | | 12.0.2.hs | adpt | | 12.0.2.hs-adpt | | 11.0.9.j9 | adpt | | 11.0.9.j9-adpt | | 11.0.9.hs | adpt | installed | 11.0.9.hs-adpt | | 8.0.272.j9 | adpt | | 8.0.272.j9-adpt | >>> | 8.0.272.hs | adpt | installed | 8.0.272.hs-adpt
You can also see the Java version that’s being used by running
Using java version 8.0.272.hs-adpt
Switch to Java 11 with
sdk use java 11.0.9.hs-adpt. Run
sdk current and confirm that Java 11 is being used.
sdk use java command will only switch the Java version for the current shell. You’ll lose those settings when the shell is closed.
You can set a default Java version for whenever shells are started. Set SDKMAN to default to Java 8 with
sdk default java 8.0.272.hs-adpt.
Close the shell, reopen it, and run
sdk current java to confirm SDKMAN is using Java version 8.0.272.hs-adpt by default now.
You can also check the version by running
java -version. You should see output like this:
openjdk version "1.8.0_272" OpenJDK Runtime Environment (AdoptOpenJDK)(build 1.8.0_272-b10) OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (AdoptOpenJDK)(build 25.272-b10, mixed mode)
Lots of programs require the
JAVA_HOME environment variable to be set.
Lucky for you, SDKMAN automatically sets the
JAVA_HOME environment variable.
When you run
echo $JAVA_HOME, you should see something like
View the available SBT versions with
sdk list sbt:
================================================================================ Available Sbt Versions ================================================================================ 1.4.2 1.3.1 1.1.0 1.4.1 1.3.0 1.0.4 1.4.0 1.2.8 1.0.3 1.4.0-RC2 1.2.7 1.0.2 1.3.13 1.2.6 1.0.1 1.3.12 1.2.5 1.0.0 1.3.11 1.2.4 0.13.18 1.3.10 1.2.3 0.13.17 1.3.9 1.2.1 1.3.8 1.2.0 1.3.7 1.1.6 1.3.6 1.1.5 1.3.5 1.1.4 1.3.4 1.1.2 1.3.3 1.1.1
Install SBT 1.3.13 with
sdk install sbt 1.3.13. After installing, respond with a “Y” to set 1.3.13 as your default SBT.
You can clone a SBT project and run the test suite if you’d like to verify that your SBT version was installed correctly. Here are the optional verification steps.
- Clone spark-daria with
git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:MrPowers/spark-daria.git
cdinto the spark-daria directory
sbt testand make sure the test suite finishes successfully
List the available Scala versions with
sdk list scala:
================================================================================ Available Scala Versions ================================================================================ 2.13.3 2.12.1 2.13.2 2.12.0 2.13.1 2.11.12 2.13.0 2.11.11 2.12.12 2.11.8 2.12.11 2.11.7 2.12.10 2.11.6 2.12.9 2.11.5 2.12.8 2.11.4 2.12.7 2.11.3 2.12.6 2.11.2 2.12.5 2.11.1 2.12.4 2.11.0 2.12.3 2.12.2
Install Scala 2.11.12 with
sdk install scala 2.11.12.
sdk use scala 2.11.12 to switch to the Scala version you just downloaded. Type
scala in the Terminal and it’ll open up an interactive Scala REPL with Scala 2.11.12. Type
:quit in the REPL to exit.
As you might have guessed, you can set a default Scala version with
sdk default scala 2.11.12.
SDKMAN’s command line interface is consistent for all the SDKs. The commands to list, install, change, and set default versions follow the same syntax for each SDK. It’s easy to memorize the commands.
sdk list spark to see the versions of Spark you can download:
================================================================================ Available Spark Versions ================================================================================ 3.0.1 2.2.0 3.0.0 2.1.3 2.4.7 2.1.2 2.4.6 2.1.1 2.4.5 2.0.2 2.4.4 1.6.3 2.4.3 1.5.2 2.4.2 1.4.1 2.4.1 2.4.0 2.3.3 2.3.2 2.3.1 2.3.0 2.2.1
sdk install spark 2.4.7 to install the latest version of Spark 2.
Spark is a great example of a project that needs specific Java, Scala, and SBT versions to work properly. Spark 2 projects should be run with Java 8, Scala 2.11, and SBT 1.3 for example. Run
sdk current to show all the current versions that SDKMAN is currently using.
java: 8.0.272.hs-adpt sbt: 1.3.13 scala: 2.11.12 spark: 2.4.7
This machine currently has the right dependencies setup for a Spark 2 project.
spark-shell to start a Spark REPL. You can see that it’s using the right versions:
Spark session available as 'spark'. Welcome to ____ __ / __/__ ___ _____/ /__ _\ \/ _ \/ _ `/ __/ '_/ /___/ .__/\_,_/_/ /_/\_\ version 2.4.7 /_/ Using Scala version 2.11.12 (OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM, Java 1.8.0_272) Type in expressions to have them evaluated. Type :help for more information.
Other supported SDKs
SDKMAN also supports a bunch of other SDKs.
It supports projects such as Maven, Groovy, Kotlin, Spring Boot, and more.
You can use the same syntax patterns we’ve seen in this blog post to install the SDKs, change versions, and set defaults.
SDKMAN has an elegant, consistent public interface and the commands are easy to remember.
Where SDKMAN stores packages
SDKMAN stores file in
To find where SBT 1.3.13 is installed, type
sdk home sbt 1.3.13. It’ll return something like
The arguments to the
sdk install command align with where the files are stored in
sdk install java 8.0.272.hs-adptstores files in
sdk install sbt 1.3.13stores files in
When you run
sdk install, the downloaded binaries get saved in
$HOME/.sdkman/archives. For example,
Some of the binaries are pretty big and can end up taking a lot of space on your computer. You should periodically delete them with the
sdk flush archives command. Once you install the software, you don’t need the binaries anymore.
Other alternatives for managing Java / SDK versions
There are other ways to download and switch Java versions.
You can download Java versions with Homebrew and switch versions with jenv. This approach is a little harder because jenv is not as user friendly and the Homebrew commands to download Java tend to change. It’s easier to just use SDKMAN.
Jabba helps you download different version of Java and lets you switch between them, but it doesn’t provide access to any of the SDK versioning. You’ll rarely use Java in isolation and will often want to switch between versions for core libraries like SBT and Scala. SDKMAN saves you from reinventing the wheel by providing a single, consistent interface that works for a variety of different projects.
Jabba’s main advantage is that’s it’s cross platform (because it’s written in Go). Jabba provides a unified interface on Mac, Windows, and Linux. If you need a cross platform solution, go with Jabba.
Managing Java versions was painful for me until I started using SDKMAN.
I struggled with manual installations. The Homebrew downloads / jenv switching workflow helped, but didn’t solve versioning for SBT, Scala, or Spark. jenv is a great project, but it has some quirks that make it slightly more difficult to work with. Downloading Java versions via Homebrew is annoying because the commands change frequently so the Stackoverflow answers are often stale.
SDKMAN will let you manage multiple versions of Java and other core libraries on your machine with minimal hassle. Try it out and you’ll be sure to love it.