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#32553 - 01/21/15 12:58 PM Should I remove Java from my Mac?
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
EasyFind found a ton of Java stuff. I don't know if any of it is being used. Is it safe to delete?
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OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#32554 - 01/21/15 01:29 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Tough question.

I, too, am not certain whether or not I need Java, so the middle-road I've followed is to navigate to /Applications/Utilities/Java Preferences.app > General and turn it off by unchecking the boxes, and to also uncheck the "Allow Java" box in Safari > Preferences > Security.

I've not run into any trouble since I've done it, but I know Java sometimes comes up, so I've just left things that way rather than delete anything.

Edit: Y'know, I think you're like me, an inveterate deleter, so try this: D/l GrandPerspective, and go through the rectangles, and you'll find a ton of stuff you can delete that you'll never miss when it's gone.


Edited by artie505 (01/21/15 01:48 PM)
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#32555 - 01/21/15 01:55 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: deniro]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
It's safe to delete Java as long as you aren't using it.

Java is just as safe as any other programming language. Maybe even a little safer.

It is insane to go around running every application you come across on the internet. Especially if you don't even know you're doing it. It doesn't matter whether the program comes to you as an embedded applet on a web page, or come as a .exe attachment to an email message. It doesn't matter if it's written in C or C# or Java or Assembler, if you didn't download it on purpose from a reputable developer to meet a specific need, it has no business running on your computer.

As a special case of that, it is insane to tell your browser it has permission to download and run any application that a website offers. For example, ActiveX was one of Microsoft's more idiotic ideas. It allowed a website to download compiled native code to your machine and run it there, where it had the full run of your system. The intent was to allow fancier graphics than your browser natively allowed. The unintended consequence was that it had unrestricted ability to install malware on your system.

Java was widely believed to be immune to these problems. An embedded Java application can indeed provide fancier graphics than your browser natively supports, but has no direct access to your filesystem and cannot affect anything outside that web page's sandbox.

At least in theory. Flaws were found in the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) that did allow carefully crafted Java applets to break out of the sandbox and gain full access to your computer.

The headlines shouted "JAVA UNSAFE!!!" They should have said, "On reflection, it turns out that Java's security is almost but not quite as bullet-proof as previously believed."

But remember, when you download an application to run it on your computer, it has full access to everything. Doesn't matter what language it's written in. The fact that you installed it on your computer is what gives it that access. (Unless it's from the App Store. App Store applications are required to be sandboxed.) Most apps you download onto your Mac will be written in Objective C and/or C++, but a few popular apps (Minecraft, for example) are written in Java. From a security standpoint, it makes absolutely no difference.

If you remove Java from you system, you'll break any apps that use it. They may be apps you know and love.

If you disallow Java in your browser (which is not the same thing), you'll only break a few websites. And fewer every day, since the websites that still use Java are moving away from it to soothe users who panicked over the scary headlines. Instead, they're using HTML 5 and other features of newer browsers that weren't available widely or at all when the original decision to use Java was made.

I recommend disallowing Java in your browser. I have no opinion whether you should remove it from your system. If you do keep it, keep it up to date.

Java has two faces, the JRE and the JDK. JRE (Java Runtime Environment) is all you need to run Java programs written elsewhere. JDK (Java Development Kit) is what you need to write your own Java programs. If you didn't already know this, you don't need JDK. When you go to Oracle (the current owner of Java) to check for downloads, be sure to check which of these they're talking about. (JDK without JRE is pretty much useless, so downloads typically will or will not be labeled as "including JDK".)

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#32558 - 01/21/15 02:40 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: ganbustein]
deniro Offline


Registered: 09/09/09
Quote:
If you remove Java from you system, you'll break any apps that use it


How do I know which programs use it?

Edit: Yes, I am a deleter. Re: GrandPerspective. There's also Disk Inventory X. And Disk Wave if you just want file size.


Edited by deniro (01/21/15 02:45 PM)
_________________________
OS X 10.11.6
iMac 21.5", Mid 2011
2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 24 GB
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
Using Apple computers since 1980

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#32559 - 01/21/15 03:12 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: deniro]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Just try GrandPerspective; you'll love it, if for no more than its aesthetics. Promise.

Expanding on ganbustein's usual excellent post, since you're running OS X 10.6.3, you Java is not up to date; I can't locate them, but there're posts, if not an entire thread, devoted to a recent Java scare and the applicable patch.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#32564 - 01/21/15 07:11 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: deniro]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: deniro
Quote:
If you remove Java from you system, you'll break any apps that use it

How do I know which programs use it?

Easily! They're the ones that broke.

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#32565 - 01/21/15 07:20 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: ganbustein]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: ganbustein
Originally Posted By: deniro
Quote:
If you remove Java from you system, you'll break any apps that use it

How do I know which programs use it?

Easily! They're the ones that broke.

Damn! I was gonna post just that, but I figured you'd trump me and held back.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#32568 - 01/22/15 09:06 AM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Expanding on ganbustein's usual excellent post, since you're running OS X 10.6.3, you Java is not up to date; I can't locate them, but there're posts, if not an entire thread, devoted to a recent Java scare and the applicable patch.

In turn I will expand on Artie's post. The only version of Java for OS X 10.6 was written by Apple based on what has then Sun Microsystem's Java. When Apple made the wise decision to turn Java support for the Mac over to Oracle (who by that time had bought out Sun Microsystems) they dropped support and update of Java. When exploitable vulnerabilities were found in Java applets they were corrected in Oracle's version of Java and in a subsequent patch to Java 6 by Apple. Since that time Oracle refined and improved the vulnerabilities fix in Java 7 but Apple has not further updated Java 6. Oracle does not have a Java version that runs on any OS X platform prior to OS X 10.7.3.

NOTE: The Java vulnerabilities were in Applets that only run within a browser environment. Java Applications that run stand-alone were not subject to the same vulnerability. Java was specifically designed to uniquely support the different environments Java applets are most often found in online games. There are several Java Applications commonly used on OS X including OpenOffice and its variants NeoOffice and LibreOffice, Moneydance, and a number of less well known cross platform specialty apps used with Glucometers, Blood Pressure monitors, and a large number of specialized corporate applications. All of these taking advantage of Java's unique cross-platform design and ability.

In case you cannot tell, I am a Java programmer and fan. It is a great and underutilized programming language.
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#32569 - 01/22/15 12:28 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: deniro]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
a number of web pages use java for their interface.

a recent change to firefox broke a javascript window on outlook's webmail interface. clicking the Upload button to attach a file failed to pop open the window. This is causing a fair amount of ruckus with firefox users unable to add attachments to work emails.

depending on what breaks on a webpage you need access to, disabling java may be a deal-breaker.
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#32570 - 01/22/15 02:01 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: Virtual1]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
a number of web pages use java for their interface.

a recent change to firefox broke a javascript window on outlook's webmail interface. clicking the Upload button to attach a file failed to pop open the window. This is causing a fair amount of ruckus with firefox users unable to add attachments to work emails.

depending on what breaks on a webpage you need access to, disabling java may be a deal-breaker.

The Java Runtime Environment (JRE), Java applications, Java applets, and Java servlets are totally unrelated to Javascript other than the first four letters in the name. You can remove Java from your system without any effect on Javascript (which is one of the many dialects of ECMAScript and defined in the ECMAScript standard). Javascript and JScript (Microsoft's variant) interpreters are built into each browser and there are often slight variations from the standards in different browsers which often accounts for ill behaving web sites from browser to browser.
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#32571 - 01/22/15 10:32 PM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Am I mistaken about there having been a non-Apple patch for Java that took Snowy users past v 1.6.0_65-b14-462 which I'm running (after having done a recent clean install)?

Thanks.

Edit: I've searched and can't find what I think I'm looking for.


Edited by artie505 (01/22/15 10:42 PM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#32836 - 01/31/15 07:04 AM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Ok, so here is the weird one:

My friend recently installed Photoshop on a new computer. Photoshop would not launch because it said it needed the latest version of Java. Just would not launch. So I downloaded the latest from Oracle, a link on an Apple discussion board where someone was looking for the "latest" version of Java. Photoshop still would not launch. Called the person who had set up the computer, and they said it was the wrong Java, had to get a specific version that was only on the Apple website. Then Photoshop launched. What's up with that?

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#32840 - 01/31/15 07:53 AM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: slolerner]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: slolerner
Ok, so here is the weird one:
[...] had to get a specific version that was only on the Apple website. Then Photoshop launched. What's up with that?

Your friend simply ran into a requirement for a specific version of Java, in this case Java 6. This is because there are differences in both functionality and compatibility between the various Java versions.
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#32841 - 01/31/15 07:58 AM Re: Should I remove Java from my Mac? [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: slolerner
My friend recently installed Photoshop on a new computer. Photoshop would not launch because it said it needed the latest version of Java. Just would not launch. So I downloaded the latest from Oracle, a link on an Apple discussion board where someone was looking for the "latest" version of Java. Photoshop still would not launch. Called the person who had set up the computer, and they said it was the wrong Java, had to get a specific version that was only on the Apple website. Then Photoshop launched. What's up with that?

As I have said before, I ran into this situation before with older perhaps poorly coded Java applications, but I have not encountered it with Java applets. (Applications run stand alone and applets run only within a browser environment.) My workaround was to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) from Oracle's web site rather than the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Java.com. Theoretically they should be the same but for some reason the runtime environment in the JDK is recognized but some Java applications do not recognize the stand alone JRE. By-the-way the latest version is Java 8 update 31.
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