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Installing the Java plugin for Firefox


You have a Linux box (e.g. Ubuntu) and you want to run an applet in Firefox. It starts, but then it hangs, and you have no idea what the hack is going on.

My Case

I had Firefox 3.6.3 and I wanted to use OpenCms 7.5.1’s upload feature. The uploading is done via an applet that started but when I chose the file to upload and clicked OK, nothing happened. The CPU was on 100% and using the top command I noticed that a Java process is stuck. A bit later I figured out that it must be the Java plugin…


In Firefox, verify what Java plugin you have. Go to ToolsAdd-onsPlugins. Here I had the icedtea Java plugin. This is a crap, use the official Sun plugin instead.

Open Synaptic and remove this plugin. I also removed all openjdk packages.

Then install these:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

Now let’s see the list of alternatives:

sudo update-java-alternatives -l

Here I got this output:

java-6-sun 63 /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun

Set the official one:

sudo update-java-alternatives -s java-6-sun

Now restart Firefox and check the Java plugin again. You should see Java(TM) Plug-in 1.6.0_22 (or something more up-to-date).


If you cannot install sun-java6-jre because it’s not in the repository, add Canonical Partners to your software sources.


Find more info here.

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