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Installing Java Software Development Kit

Install Java 2 SDK (Windows)

Objective: Install the Java 2 SDK.


This exercise is not scored. It is an opportunity for you to check your understanding of the material covered in the preceding lesson. When you are finished, click the Submit button to receive credit for having completed it.

Background | Overview

In this exercise you will download and install the Java 2 SDK, Standard Edition from Sun's Java 2 Platform Web page. If you have never installed software before this task may seem daunting, but it's really just a few simple steps. A description of the steps you will need to take is provided below. Please refer to Sun's SDK Installation Instructions for additional details.


  1. Download the latest Java SDK, Standard Edition for Windows from

You can save this file in any folder you like, but just make sure you keep track of where you save it.
  1. The file you are downloading is a self-installing executable, which means that once the file is downloaded, you will run it on your computer to install the SDK. This file is large, so if your Internet connection is slow, now might be a good time to get a cup of java.
  2. Once the download is complete, install the SDK by running the SDK self-installing executable. The easiest way to do this is to double-click the icon in Explorer.

Screen shot of Explorer showing j2sdk1_3_0-win.exe highlighted

During the SDK installation you will be prompted for information such as the installation directory. You can accept all of the default settings.
  1. After the SDK is installed you need to set your PATH environment variable. The PATH environment variable is referenced by Windows to determine where to look for executable applications. The bin directory relative to the SDK installation directory should be added to the PATH variable so that all of the SDK tools can be executed from any directory. To set your PATH for your current Command Prompt window you can use the set command. Assuming that your SDK installation directory is C:\jdk1.3, here's how you would add the SDK bin directory to your PATH.

    set PATH=%PATH%;C:\jdk1.3\bin
Note that this applies only to the current Command Prompt window. Setting your PATH permanently is highly recommended. Detailed instructions for this can be found in Sun's SDK Installation Instructions.
  1. To confirm that your installation is successful, change your current directory to your progfun directory and issue the command:
    java -version

Here is what you should observe:
C:\progfun>java -version
java version "1.3.0"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, 
Standard Edition (build 1.3.0-C)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.3.0-C, mixed mode)

If you receive the error:
Bad command or file name (Windows 95/98)
The name specified is not recognized as 
an internal or external command, operable 
program or batch file (Windows NT)

then it is likely your PATH is not set correctly. You can issue the command:

to see how your PATH environment variable is currently set. Double check to make sure it includes the bin directory relative to your SDK installation directory.
If you are still having difficulty installing the Java SDK, visit Install Java SDK.