Home  »  ArticlesGuidesHow ToLibrariesProgrammingTechnologyTools   »   Navigating the JDK Path in Ubuntu: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating the JDK Path in Ubuntu: A Comprehensive Guide

The Java Development Kit (JDK) is a crucial component for Java development on Ubuntu systems. Whether you’re compiling Java code, running Java applications, or setting up development environments, knowing the JDK path is essential. In this tutorial, we’ll explore various methods to find the JDK path in Ubuntu, catering to different scenarios and user preferences.

Method 1: Using the which Command

The which command helps locate executable binaries in your system’s PATH environment variable. To find the JDK path using which, open a terminal and type:

$ which java

This command will display the path to the Java executable, which typically resides within the JDK directory. However, note that it might not provide the exact JDK installation path, especially if you have multiple JDK versions installed.

Method 2: Checking the Default JDK Installation Directory

In Ubuntu, OpenJDK, the open-source implementation of the Java Platform, is commonly used. OpenJDK packages are usually installed under /usr/lib/jvm/ directory. To list installed JDKs, you can navigate to this directory using:

$ ls /usr/lib/jvm/

This command will list directories corresponding to different JDK versions installed on your system. Each directory represents a specific JDK version, containing the Java binaries and libraries.

Method 3: Utilizing the update-alternatives Command

The update-alternatives command allows you to manage symbolic links determining default commands. To find the JDK path using update-alternatives, execute:

$ update-alternatives --display java

This command will display information about Java alternatives, including the path to the default Java executable. This path points to the currently selected JDK version.

Method 4: Inspecting Environment Variables

Environment variables play a crucial role in determining system configurations, including the JDK path. You can inspect the JAVA_HOME environment variable to find the JDK path. Execute the following command:

$ echo $JAVA_HOME

If JAVA_HOME is set, it will display the JDK path. If not, it means the variable is not configured, and you might need to set it manually.


In this tutorial, we explored various methods to find the JDK path in Ubuntu. Whether you prefer using terminal commands, inspecting directories, or checking environment variables, these approaches provide flexibility and cater to different user preferences. By understanding how to locate the JDK path, you gain better control over your Java development environment, facilitating smoother development workflows and enhanced productivity.

Found this article interesting? Follow Brightwhiz on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to read and watch more content we post.