Java – Setting the JVM via the command line on Windows

command-linejavajvmwindows

Is it possible to specify the JVM to use when you call "java jar jar_name.jar" . I have two JVM installed on my machine. I can not change JAVA_HOME as it may break code that is all ready running.

Kind Regards

Stephen

Best Solution

Yes - just explicitly provide the path to java.exe. For instance:

c:\Users\Jon\Test>"c:\Program Files\java\jdk1.6.0_03\bin\java.exe" -version
java version "1.6.0_03"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_03-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.6.0_03-b05, mixed mode, sharing)

c:\Users\Jon\Test>"c:\Program Files\java\jdk1.6.0_12\bin\java.exe" -version
java version "1.6.0_12"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_12-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 11.2-b01, mixed mode, sharing)

The easiest way to do this for a running command shell is something like:

set PATH=c:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_03\bin;%PATH%

For example, here's a complete session showing my default JVM, then the change to the path, then the new one:

c:\Users\Jon\Test>java -version
java version "1.6.0_12"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_12-b04)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 11.2-b01, mixed mode, sharing)

c:\Users\Jon\Test>set PATH=c:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_03\bin;%PATH%

c:\Users\Jon\Test>java -version
java version "1.6.0_03"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_03-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.6.0_03-b05, mixed mode, sharing)

This won't change programs which explicitly use JAVA_HOME though.

Note that if you get the wrong directory in the path - including one that doesn't exist - you won't get any errors, it will effectively just be ignored.