back to article Apple vanishes Java from Mac OS X Lion

Apple has removed the Java runtime from its upcoming Mac OS X Lion, according to a report based on firsthand experience with a preview release of the OS. Appleinsider reports that the latest developer release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion removes both Java and Rosetta, the package used to run PowerPC code on Intel-based Macs. But …


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  1. mafoo


    I think Rosetta has been a download option for a while now. The first time you try and run a PPC binary it goes "You need additional software to run this program, would you like to download and install it now?" - or something to that effect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Correct. But...

      Now they say that you won't even have the option to install it.

      So much for using my Okidata C3300N printer on Mac OS X anymore.

      (yes, the driver's only for 10.5. Yes, I installed it in 10.6, and it works after I was prompted to download and install Rosetta).

      I can only hope that Foo2zjs can be compiled on 10.7 given that both Apple and Oki's certainly expecting me to throw out the printer and buy a new one given that there have been zero new drivers for Intel-only Macs. Nevermind that this bloody thing costs a fortune and still works with a variety of other PCs I have.

      1. mafoo

        Could be

        Yes, they could be scrapping it to save on licensing costs, but its early days for Lion - the pre releases tend to use different software update ids.

        As far as I'm aware no one has tried using the package from 10.6 to install rosetta into Lion - it could give you an indication of whether they really mean to kill it.

  2. PushF12

    Java threatened Apple too

    Java had the potential to displace traditional platforms, so Apple was threatened by Java in the same way that Microsoft was threatened.

    The difference is that Apple took a measured approach. They licensed Java from Sun and they waited, but Apple was positioned to block it on Mac OS X if it became successful.

    Apple made the correct strategic choice and didn't waste resources by fighting the fashion trend. Java eventually died for lack of merit.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Since the main aim of Java was to provide a write-once, run-anywhere platform-agnostic development target, it reduced the power of vendor lock-in. When Java debuted, Apple had a tiny market share, so why would they feel threatened by a technology that would reduce lock-in to their rivals' operating systems?

      Apple had to develop their own JVM because no-one else would - in other words, Apple wanted Java on their platform. However, they are now in a position where they can rely on both Oracle and the wider Java community to develop the JVM, and provide a better experience for end-users (e.g., more timely security updates).

    2. morphoyle

      silly wabbit.

      Java is alive and well on the business side of computing. I use it frequently at work. Many VPN clients use it, and so do several VOIP applications. It would be suicidal for Apple to cut support for Java entirely. The real money comes from the business side. A lot of major companies won't think twice about paying high prices for technology, unlike the average consumer.

    3. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      Thats all well and good.

      It sounds like a fair summary, but doesnt sound much like apple when you consider the way they are handling flash for the idevices.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Java never died, there are more people programming in Java than any other language. It really is everywhere, it's just become so much a part of the tech ecosystem that you don't even notice it anymore.

      1. Ammaross Danan

        @AC: "Died?"

        "Java never died, there are more people programming in Java than any other language. It really is everywhere, it's just become so much a part of the tech ecosystem that you don't even notice it anymore."

        Just because CS majors are exposed to only Java during their education, doesn't equate to "more people." As for "it's everywhere," Last I checked, Call of Duty: Black Ops wasn't written in Java. Nor was Windows/Linux. Nor was Flash Player, or BigTable, Avast, PeachTree, etc etc. (various samplings of different programming fields). As a poster said before: Java is primarily used in business or online web games (think Bejeweled). It's just not practical for many other application types.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obvious troll, but I'll bite

      If "Java died for a lack of merit", then explain why MicroSofts preferred development platform is a clone of it. Also explain why Apples preferred development platform is the precursor to Java (both inspired by Smalltalk, which is why the object model and class libraries exhibit so many similarities).

      Most enterprise software is written in Java. Compared to C++, development times are far shorter, and performance typically as good. Compared to scripting languages, performance, tools and type safety are far better.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Java threatened Apple too

      I beg to disagree with you here. :->Java on a Mac did not die from lack of merit.

      IMHO Apple were justified in removing it from the OS install because the version they shipped was always a few key releases behind what you could D/L from Sun/Oracle.

      They got hammered in the press for this.

      Devs like me didn't care. We just downloaded the version we needed for our work and got on with said work regardless.

      When I first start work on a new system almost the first thing I do is to check the version of java that is installed as the system default.

      This is true for Windoze and Linux. Neither of which install java OOTB (well you can on some versions of Linux in a non standard install) on a simple installation.

      When Apple announced this I failed to understand the gnashing of teeth from certain quarters.

      To me this is a non event.

      Paris because she sheds tears when anything gets removed.

      1. putaro

        You downloaded the version you needed for Mac OS X?

        How, pray tell, did you download the latest version of Java for Mac OS X from Sun/Oracle? The only source for Java on the Mac was (and remains until the OpenJDK port is complete) Apple.

        You're talking through your hat.

        1. Rolf Howarth


          Were I to have downloaded Java for Lion I would be under an NDA preventing me from discussing the fact but suffice it to say that I think you're talking through YOUR hat. What's to stop Apple making whatever system components or applications they want available through the Mac OS X Software Update mechanism? Or do you think "download" == "must be available on a public web site" ? I assume you missed Apple's statement that Apple would continue providing and supporting Java SE 6 for both Snow Leopard and Lion, and that Oracle/OpenJDK would provide SUBSEQUENT releases?

    7. DrXym

      Java has never been loved on OS X

      Sun / Oracle deliver timely updates and fixes to users on Windows / Linux / Solaris. Apple delivers patches & updates sometimes, never or years later.

      If Apple are no longer pretending to maintain it, it might be beneficial in the long term. An independent group or Oracle will take over and actually give the thing the respect and attention it needs.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Can I still play Minecraft on it though?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the big deal

    That is a very lame title for the article.

    Java is still there, just an automatic download, probably managed by Sun instead of Apple.

    I really cannot see what the big deal is here:

    - for "the rest of us", it seamlessly downloads teh first time you need it

    - IT professionals can install Java proactively if they have (to install) software that requires Java

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Backwards compatibility

    Big mistake removing Rosetta.

    Used to be a mac could run anything written for a mac, now it'll be for macs written in the last 7 years.

    Windoze in comparison can still run win3.1 apps, dos programs etc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Care to back that up

      with a real-world example of an application you've run in the last seven years which was not a Universal Binary?

      1. DZ-Jay

        Here's a few...

        From my MacPro running MacOS X Snow Leopard:

        - Soundtrack Pro 1.0, which cost me $500.00 USD.

        - MacMAME

        - WarCraft 3.0

        Basically any software that has not been updated in the last five years or so because they are no longer in circulation or supported.


        1. E Haines


          If by "WarCraft 3.0" you mean Warcraft III, that's a universal binary and runs natively on Intel Macs since years. (Obviously via patch, not the version included on the disc, but why would you be using that.)

      2. Shusui

        Eudora ...

        ... still in use under 10.6.

    2. ThomH

      Quite the contrary

      Microsoft's dedication to backwards compatibility costs them substantially in bloat, security and ongoing quality of code and seven years' backwards compatibility (albeit that I count only five in this case — the first Intel Macs, and hence the first Intel OS X, shipped in 2006) is about the Mac average.

      In 1991, System 7 introduced the concept of being 32bit clean and made the MultiFinder non-optional, causing compatibility to be withdrawn for many older apps over the years immediately following. The mid-90s are awash with developed, heavily promoted and then nearly immediately dropped Apple technologies — see OpenDoc, Quickdraw GX, Rave, etc. Following which there's the transition into OS X, and now the final steps of the move away from PowerPC. And it's not just the emulator they get to drop, it's a whole bunch of legacy support stuff in the system libraries, since limiting to Intel binaries limits them to 10.4 behaviours.

    3. Conner_36

      take a better look

      Last I checked windows didn't switch cpu architectures 3 times. Apple (I hope as an investor) is more focused on selling devices to general consumers the ones who don't have crucial software that ran 10 years ago. Take a look at their move away from enterprise servers to home office. I hear that 10.7 will include the server part of the os.

      If your geeky enough to find the right emulators you can run any old mac software through emulation.

      1. KroSha

        Server vs Client

        The Server is in OSX anyway. The CLI of the Client includes almost all the tools that you need for running a server. The major limitation is that Client has a maximum of 10 AFP connections at one time. There is also no DNS service. But pretty much anything else is catered for.

        The obvious advantage of buying the Server edition is the friendly GUI tools that come with it. If you're happy using the CLI, then you can make Client do almost anything you want anyway.

    4. Ian North

      Not for much longer

      "Windoze in comparison can still run win3.1 apps, dos programs etc"

      Not for much longer it won't. 64bit editions of Windows already won't run 16bit software without virtualisation and I doubt that MS are developing a 32 bit version of Windows 8

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Backwards (compatibility)

        "Care to back that up #

        Posted Sunday 27th February 2011 18:13 GMT

        with a real-world example of an application you've run in the last seven years which was not a Universal Binary?


        Like someone further down the page, I once had an old mac mini (when they were affordable and I needed a half decent unix box to compile legacy code) and have a licence for Office 2004. As it does what I want and is fairly Office-for-windows compliant, I would prefer not to have to upgrade to 2008/2011. MS themselves are supporting 2004 til 2012.

        There are a few apps and tools I'm sure if I wanted a new mac I would have liked to have lifted off that little machine.

        Suppose OS classic could be done with an emulator. So it could run Softwindows. An intel machine running an emulator to run an emultator to emulate an intel machine to run Windows 3.1 :)

        "Not for much longer it won't. 64bit editions of Windows already won't run 16bit software without virtualisation and I doubt that MS are developing a 32 bit version of Windows 8"

        64 bit 7 pro/ultimate includes 32 bit XP, which works similarly to the old OSX/OS9"classic" environment, I've ran Word 6.0 on this previously as an experiment!

    5. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      So what, time to move on!

      Yes, I still love playing Syndicate for DOS but it's now in an emulated DOS prog. The need is there for this execution of old binaries, most likely the FOSS crowd will front up a emulator to do it.

      Anyway, I thought all Mac people where movers and shakers, ready to go with the flow?

    6. NogginTheNog

      Windoze in comparison can still run win3.1 apps, dos programs etc

      Only the 32-bit versions, which from Windows 8 onwards may no longer exist.

      64-bit versions of Windows (not so common on the desktop, but taking over in the backend) no longer provide the 16-bit subsystems required.

  6. Tom 7


    "if you try to run a Java app on Lion, the OS will look for the latest version of the runtime and download it – with the user's approval."

    and a payment to Apple perhaps?

  7. Real Name

    When upgrading from Snow Leopard

    Lion will automatically upgrade Java for you.

  8. Bill Coleman


    The only Trojan for mac (that does not require you to validate the install by providing your password) is a Java exploit. It appeared just last year. It would not surprise me if this was a factor.

    No more rosetta though? looks like somebody is going to have to write a fully native version of MS Office for mac now.


      security? can you say "package manager"?

      @Bill Colemen: while, then why don't Apple just use a package manager which updates apps? I mean, that's the logical conclusion to the whole "walled garden" they have. Simply apply the same logic from their portable devices (?iOS?) to regular mac's and be done with it.

      By the by, .NET requires updates, just like Java. Should Apple come out with their own VM, to better achieve total lock-in, I'm sure it, too, will require updates.

      1. ThomH


        There are those that believe the LLVM/Clang push is part of an attempt to transition to a virtual machine (or, at least, to provide a path to one) without bundling it with a new language.

  9. Player_16

    MS Office 2004

    Yes I'm still using it. I can't see why I need to get all heavy-duty with a 'word' program if all it does is letter & numbers -with the occasional picture/graphic thrown in.

    I'm wondering if Marathon and Oni -that I haven't finished yet, will still run?

    They seem to run on anything!

  10. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Premature to drop Rosetta

    "Last I checked windows didn't switch cpu architectures 3 times."

    Windows is one big fail, so no comment.

    "Apple (I hope as an investor) is more focused on selling devices to general consumers the ones who don't have crucial software that ran 10 years ago"

    Absolutely false, the mac fanbois I talked to 5 or 10 years ago used the long-term backwards compatibility of Macs as a big advantage over other systems. Mac owners tend to buy costly software which they then proceed to use for a long time (since the version they got works, and they don't want to spend another $500-1000 for "version+1").

    Anyway.. since they only introduced the first Intel Macs in January, 2006 this seems very premature to me. But, I try to avoid Apples for exactly this kind of reason -- Jobs and co. seem to just do what they want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hear ya


      It was always nice to have that lineage, my old mac mini could run programs from 1984 and OSX programs from 2004.

      I would suggest though that Apple has changed for the worse.

      They no longer seem to be the type of company that want to focus on providing support for legacy applications, they are now the type of company that sells shiny trendy things to Nathan Barley, who can easily afford to buy a new one every year or two without worrying about running a legacy application.

      1. Janek

        Oh really?

        from 1984? Late 80s perhaps but I do recall Apple breaking compatibility with System 4. Not that you would want to run any of that software nowadays anyway...Since we have hard discs :-)

  11. Matthew 17

    Will struggle a bit without Rosetta

    I still have a few Apps that need it to run where there isn't a modern alternative.

    Maybe that'll change when I want to install Lion.

    Can't see Java going anywhere for a while at least whether you can download it from Apple or not.

  12. outer

    Rosetta Redux

    Rosetta gone with Lion? Don't make me cry. Rossetta was already bug-ridden under Snow Leopard. But since Rosetta hadn't changed since Leopard, Apple considered those flaws to be non-regressive, and so had no plan - clearly - to address them.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs it?

    Removed Java from my machine recently - nothing has failed so far? It seems that with all the Oracle/Apache fighting it is the beginning of the end for Java. Its only appeal for me was that all of the dev tools were free. It certainly never seem to quite get the build once run anywhere nirvana.

    Perhaps we should all try .net/mono?

  14. Mark .

    Re: I hear ya

    "It was always nice to have that lineage, my old mac mini could run programs from 1984 and OSX programs from 2004."

    Although only through emulation. Today's "Macs" have nothing to do with the 1984 Macs. You can run programs - but then I can run 1985 Amiga programs on Windows 7.

    It shouldn't matter if Apple want to drop emulation as standard, surely you can just use a 3rd party emulator, like you'd do for any other old platform, right?

    As you say, Apple today are a different company from what they used to be.

  15. John I'm only dancing

    So how do I get my System 6 games into my Lion mac?

    I have loads of games for System 6, all on floppy disc, and I wish someone here would tell me how to run these 8 bit games on my nice shiny Intel Mac?

    Bring back, Font/DA mover to install fonts and ResEdit, the best tool ever for tinkering with the Mac OS.

    Sorry folks, times change and the death of Rosetta should be welcomed, not mourned.

  16. cjrcl

    Farewell Rosetta

    My Starcraft, Office 2004 and Sibelius 3 all relie on Rosetta. It would be heart-rending to have to leave these pretty apps which have brought me much comfort. An OS often keeps a certain degree of compatibility, however, OS X 10.5 and 10.6 are over-encumbered with Intel x64, Intel x86 and Power 32-bit. As OS 9 (the M68K...) compatibility was ditched, It's time now for PPC, let alone that Apple has to license PowerVM from IBM.

  17. Michael C

    We KNOW why Java got dropped

    They TOLD us a year ago it was coming. It;s because, simply put, if it;s not included, SUN can patch it faster.... That's it. Apple has been systematically removing ALL code that is not their own in the favor of letting the owner of that app be responsible for its maintenance instead of Apple (and thus also take the anger when they patch it and break your java apps).

    As for Rosetta, If you still need PPC code on your intel mac, and the dev has yet to provide it, apply blame where it's due... If there is Intel native code, and you simply are complaining about being "forced" to upgrade to it (and pay for it) ad prefer to "keep your existing version", well nobody's making you buy 10.7 either... You choose to upgrade some, all, or none depending on your requirements. If you bought a $500 or $1K app, and didn't plan ahead for needing to eventually upgrade it, again, not Apple's fault. We knew Rosetta was a "temporary" solution for 4 years now.

  18. John Savard


    I think it's a shame that OS X didn't include OS 9 so that even if you didn't upgrade on a machine with OS 9, but bought a new one, you could move all your old software to it.

    And, of course, what about 68x00 Classic Mac applications? Apple simply shows it does not take seriously its obligations to its customers, by failing to ensure that every new Macintosh computer can run every single bit of software that ever ran on a Macintosh, all the way back to 1984. There might be a few random chance exceptions, but there should be no more than that.

    Of course, eventually, Windows users will have the same problem unless Microsoft and Intel, between them, can improve 64-bit support.

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