SUN Java No Longer Welcome In Debian GNU/Linux

The release of Java update 29 from Oracle marks not only security updates, but a change to the licensing, removing Debian’s ability to distribute the non-free JVM. The clause in the Java license under which we were able to distribute Java, the DLJ, has been removed. As a result, the sun-java6 package is no longer suitable for the archive, and has been removed, as documented in Debian Bug #646524 [2]. Sylvestre Ledru suggests [3] that sun-java6 installs be migrated to openjdk, the open-source alternative, using the following command:
apt-get –purge remove sun-java6-jre && apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
Kai Wasserbäch has also been pointed out elsewhere [4] that this upgrade path might not be suitable for all Java programs, and special attention should be paid to re-testing installed Java applications on OpenJDK.

For those who don’t know what “DLJ” means, read the FAQ.

“1. What is the Operating System Distribution License for Java (a.k.a. the “Distro License for Java” or DLJ)?

The DLJ is a license created specifically for individuals and communities who want to distribute Sun’s binary Java Development Kit (JDK) or Java Runtime Environment (JRE) with a Linux or OpenSolaris Operating System (OS) distribution.
2. Why is Sun releasing the DLJ?

It’s been difficult for developers who want to use Java SE technology on a broad choice of Linux or OpenSolaris distributions to easily obtain and use Sun’s JDK or JRE. One issue has been the redistribution terms of the Binary Code License (BCL) for Java SE technology, which was never intended to license these bits for general distribution with an Operating System. With this new license, Sun is enabling the developer community to distribute our binary JDK and JRE with distributions of Linux or OpenSolaris operating systems, while still maintaining compatibility with the Java Specifications.”

So, once again, we see a negative effect of the takeover of SUN by Oracle. I executed the recommended commands to remove Sun Java from Beast. It was done in less than a minute. Good riddance. What’s left? MySQL. Replacing that with MariaDB will be more difficult because a lot of dependencies will have to change on my system.

One wonders what Oracle intends with FLOSS. Elimination of the DLJ must be seen as an unfriendly act just as SUN’s developing the DLJ was seen as friendly. We saw the same with going to ASF. Thank goodness I cannot afford Oracle’s products. I don’t have many.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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11 Responses to SUN Java No Longer Welcome In Debian GNU/Linux

  1. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser Of course I forgot Sun insaneness to use Java at every turn inside OpenOffice so people using OpenOffice were forced to use Java or would not work.

    That is another project in libreoffice kill the Java dependency for core functionality.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser not duplicating icons is a basic that should not have been wrong.

    There has been lack of threading incorrect and over locking all down to the same kind of things. OpenOffice code base was not kept as clean as is should have been.

    Yes there was duplicate code blocks inside Openoffice as well some patched against bugs some not. Same code copied into different sections of OpenOffice had different fixes. So leading to the nice random nature of Openoffice.

    For all the features LibreOffice has added the code base of libreoffice has shrunk compared to OpenOffice.

    Making money and producing good program can get in way. In OpenOffice case this was true. The developers with the skill to clean up code-bases in horrid conditions mostly are forbin from signing copyright assignment.

    Copyright assignment allows you to make a closed source binary with extensions that you don’t have to release to anyone. So in theory you should be able to make more money. The developers that a locked out can be the very ones you need.

    Of course Oracle and Sun did not want someone else releasing a closed source version of the code base either without permission from them. This is now greed getting in way.

    Closed source version based off an apache license would not have locked out as many developers. Some would have still been locked out. Problem is OpenOffice covered to this after all the main developers jumped ship. Ie missed the boat.

    Basically note the word -can- get in way. Making Money and Good Software does not have to get in way. Method you choose to make money from the software can result in your not getting the developers you need to produce good software. Wrong money making method ie produce closed source program exclusively resulted in issues for OpenOffice.

    Now of course you are right it always possible to make a good application and make money even with foss but the method for making the money better be compatible with the developers you need. Developers are what in the end make the different between a good application and crap.

    “uncompetitive piece of crap” It might still be in your eyes but its no where near the uncompetitive bit of crap OpenOffice was.

    First job that started when Libreoffice forked off what a huge code base clean up. They have still not got to the end of it. When OpenOffice was given to apache IBM offered up there office suite as a alternative code base because its cleaner.

    OpenOffice internally is one huge mess and you need the developers and resources to fix it. Getting those resources is what lead to the LibreOffice and OpenOffice split.

    Oracle has had many Open Source project that were under Sun control jump ship on them when they took over. Trying to apply wrong money methods see this happen. You upset the developers that are the life blood of the program. Yes making money off FOSS is a art form. Doing enough to be profitable yet not doing enough to upset the Developers you depend on.

  3. Dr Loser says:


    Yes, I’ve noticed that trend recently, too. I’ve overheard dozens of people getting very excited about Libre Office. “I wanted to like OOo,” I hear them say, “but all that duplication was causing me nightmares.

    “Now that Libre has removed 150 duplicate icons, I can finally use this magnificent piece of software with a clear conscience. That rigorous intellectual cutting of bloat has really made the whole thing so much easier to use!”

    Then again, there are corner cases like myself who refuse to use it on the grounds that it is an uncompetitive piece of crap.

    “Making money and producing good program can get in way.”

    Each other’s way, I assume you mean. While I can accept that it is possible to produce a good “program” (let’s get with the times and call it an “application,” shall we?) — even a superior program, hypothetically — without making money, I have yet to see an example backing up your point.

    Leaving aside that one metric of a “good application” is that it will sell, ie make money, it’s hard to see why the two are incompatible.

    And no, I don’t see a FOSS rationale behind this, either. I suggest that it is always possible for a “good application” to make money.

    You don’t have to charge money for it, though. (And of course you don’t have to keep the code to yourself.) It’s basically your choice: after making a “good application.”

  4. Ray says:

    Solution: Iced-tea.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Ivan really Oracle did not have to re-write OpenOffice to make it worth using. They just had to get out the way to let the third party developers do it for them.

    Some of the fixes at Libreoffices are like how did that get let in. “Remove 150 duplicated redundant ‘missing icon’ icons to reduce bloat”. Yes 150 of the same icon exactly the same icon in different sections of the code base. Yes some of the weird strange and nuts corner case bugs removed from libreoffice mostly make the java ones look kind of sane.

    Making money and producing good program can get in way.

    Dr Loser java is unlikely to die. OpenJDK instead of sun java but what the hey. Oracle makes both.

    Maybe this might the be first step in Oracle making there end simpler. Hey no more sun jdk everything is OpenJDK no more specall sun jdk stuff. If that is the case this is a god send.

  6. Kozmcrae says:

    Alan Kay “Java is the most distressing thing to hit computing since MS-DOS.”

  7. lordtoran says:

    I generally avoid Java based software. Not because Java is “evil” IMO as a programming language but because at least on full-blown desktop platforms, it is an excessively fat package with numerous fat dependencies, plus it doesn’t integrate well with desktop environments and software packaging systems.

    C++ in conjunction with a scripting language might be the smaller evil in most circumstances, and the D programming language might also be worth looking at once it is more mature.

  8. Kozmcrae says:

    “They intend to make money, it’s a business not a charity.”

    That’s what Bill Gates is doing now With The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Just FYI Ivan.

  9. Ivan says:

    “One wonders what Oracle intends with FLOSS.”

    They intend to make money, it’s a business not a charity.

    “Elimination of the DLJ must be seen as an unfriendly act just as SUN’s developing the DLJ was seen as friendly.”

    What’s unfriendly about it? The DLJ just led to terrible implementations of the JRE and JDK that were chock full of weird corner case bugs. If anything, this is Oracle doing their users a favor.

    “We saw the same with going to ASF.”

    Yeah, shame on Oracle for not wanting to entirely re-write OpenOffice to make it worth using.

  10. Dr Loser says:

    “Thank goodness I cannot afford Oracle’s products. I don’t have many.”

    I sort of see what you mean here, Robert, but I think the standard reaction (eg mine) would be “Thank goodness I don’t have many of Oracle’s products. I can’t afford them.”

    On the other hand, as a programmer, I have hated and despised Java and its various devil offspring for about fifteen years now. I’m actually quite happy to join the FLOSS camp in promoting C, C++, Python, Perl, etc (no particular order and I don’t purposefully exclude PHP or Ruby or whatever).

    Please let Java die a well deserved death. It has spent the best part of fifteen years being nothing but a malign influence on software development.

    (And after that, XML. But I’m not gonna raise my hopes too high.)

  11. Clarence Moon says:

    Other than placating those with their snoots out of joint over philosophies, does this change possibly cause java programs that used to work break with the new version? It sounds suspicious to me.

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