My project is using a specific version of JDK which is jdk-6 and the default JDK_HOME path will vary from distribution to distribution, so I wrote a script to guess it. Is there any way to do this better?

shopt -s extglob

JDK_ROOT_DIR=( /usr/java/ /usr/java/jdk/  /usr/j2se/  /usr/j2se/ /usr/j2sdk/ /usr/jdk/ /usr/lib/java/ /usr/lib/j2se/ /usr/lib/j2sdk/ /usr/lib/jdk/ /usr/lib/jvm/java/ /usr/lib/jvm/j2se/ /usr/lib/jvm/j2sdk/ /usr/lib/jvm/jdk/ /usr/local/java/ /usr/local/java/jdk/ /usr/local/jdk/ /opt/java/ /opt/j2se/ /opt/j2sdk/ /opt/j2sdk/ /opt/jdki/ /usr/lib/jvm/ )
for sub_dir in "${JDK_ROOT_DIR[@]}"

#                                                 #
# For each subdirectory inside the root directory #
#                                                 #
#                                                 #
    # For openjdk                                 #
    for jdk_dir in $sub_dir/java-*6*-openjdk*!(common) ; do
        if [[ -d $jdk_dir ]]; then
            echo  $jdk_dir
            export JAVA_HOME=$jdk_dir
            exit 0

    # for IBM Java                                #
    for jdk_dir in $sub_dir/java-1_6_0-ibm-!(common) ; do
        if [[ -d $jdk_dir ]]; then
            echo $jdk_dir
            export JAVA_HOME=$jdk_dir;
            exit 0

    # for raspbian java                           #
    for jdk_dir in $sub_dir/jdk-8-oracle-arm32-!(common) ; do
        if [[ -d $jdk_dir ]] ; then
            echo  $jdk_dir
            export JAVA_HOME=$jdk_dir
            exit 0

echo "JDK directory not found." 
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ urk ... jdk-6? What stops you from migrating to 7, or even better 8? I know for a fact that most webapps won't work properly with jdk-6 anymore because the ciphersuites are too weak by modern standards ... \$\endgroup\$
    – Vogel612
    Nov 21 '16 at 8:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vogel612 what we are doing is a SDK for a driver, so I don't have that as an option. We have customers who are using JDK-6. But I can use the JDK 7 for compiling which is compatible with JDK 6, but again it is adding more complexities when it comes to building with ant. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 21 '16 at 9:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you really want to control the JDK you are using the best approach is just include one with your application. \$\endgroup\$
    – JimmyJames
    Nov 21 '16 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ you mean keep the JDK on the source repository ? We can't ship it to customers, because they could use JDK7 or 8 and i can't force that. What I need is that backward compatibility, when I compile with JDK 6 , it should work JDK 7 too \$\endgroup\$ Nov 22 '16 at 4:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ What's wrong with whereis javac? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 23 '16 at 1:05


The line containing the JDK_ROOT_DIR=( … ) definition is so long that it's unreadable and unmaintainable. In fact, you listed /usr/j2se/ twice. It would help to put one entry on each line.

The switch in naming in for sub_dir in "${JDK_ROOT_DIR[@]}" is confusing. Each "root dir" is suddenly being called a "sub dir"?

Your export JAVA_HOME=$jdk_dir statements are pointless, since you immediately exit after setting the variable. For that matter, the initial JAVA_HOME="" and JDK_TEMP="" assignments are also useless.

I know that you don't expect any whitespace or special characters in these directory names, but I would still make it a habit to double-quote variables according to best practice.


Your three cases (for OpenJDK, IBM, and Raspbian) are nearly identical and could be handled by a nested loop.

You should also shopt -s nullglob to avoid unnecessarily doing the -d test on failed glob expansions.

Suggested solution

In addition, I think that failure to find the JDK directory should result in a non-zero exit code, and the error message should probably be printed to standard error rather than to standard output.


shopt -s extglob nullglob

    'java-*6*-openjdk*!(common)'            # OpenJDK
    'java-1_6_0-ibm-!(common)'              # IBM Java
    'jdk-8-oracle-arm32-!(common)'          # Raspbian Java

for root_dir in "${JDK_ROOT_DIRS[@]}" ; do
    for subdir_glob in "${SUBDIR_GLOBS[@]}" ; do
        for jdk_dir in "$root_dir"/$subdir_glob ; do
            if [ -d "$jdk_dir" ]; then
                echo "$jdk_dir"
                exit 0

echo "JDK directory not found." >&2
exit 1
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If JAVA_HOME is already set, then you should use that. \$\endgroup\$
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 21 '16 at 13:45

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