How to Check Java Version Installed on Linux

How do I check my current Java version? There are several ways to check if Java is installed and which version is running on your system.

In this tutorial, learn how to check the Java version installed on Linux distros, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian.

tutorial on checking Java version on linux


  • A user account with sudo privileges
  • Access to the command-line/terminal window
  • A version of Java

Method 1: Check the Java Version On Linux

To check the Java version on Linux Ubuntu/Debian/CentOS:

1. Open a terminal window.

2. Run the following command:

java -version

3. The output should display the version of the Java package installed on your system. In the example below, OpenJDK version 11 is installed.

example of checking the version of java running on ubuntu linux

Note: If the output indicates there is no such package on the system, you can install it with the help of one of our guides – How to install Java on Ubuntu or How to Install Java on CentOS.

You can also check the version of the primary Java compiler – javac (pronounced “java-see”) with the command:

javac -version

Check javac version on Ubuntu.

Method 2: Find Version by Checking Path Where Java is Installed

There are two ways to find the path of the Java directory.

The first option includes running a single command:

update-alternatives --list java

The system should respond with the path where Java is installed.

Check Java directory path to find the java installation version

Note: This option may not work on CentOS systems. If you have issues finding the path of the Java directory with the command above, use the alternative outlined below.

Alternatively, you can use the whereis command and follow the symbolic links to find the Java path.

1. Run the command:

whereis java

Check Java path on Ubuntu.

The output tells you that Java is located in /usr/bin/java.

2. List the content of the /usr/bin/java directory:

ls -l /usr/bin/java

Locate Java directory on Ubuntu.

Inspecting the directory shows that /usr/bin/java is only a symbolic link for /etc/alternatives/java.

3. Just like in the previous step, list the content of the provided path by running:

ls -l /etc/alternatives/java

Find Java path on Ubuntu.

Finally, the output displays /etc/alternatives/java is another symbolic link and that the real path of the Java directory is /usr/lib/jvm/java-11-openjdk-amd64/bin/java.

Method 3: Search for Java in the Installed Packages List

You can also prompt the system to list installed packages and search for Java, with its version number.

Find Java by listing all installed packages.

1. To generate a list of all installed packages, use the command:

sudo apt list --installed

2. Scroll up/down until you find the Java packages as shown in this example.

Find Java in the installed packages list.

To avoid searching through all installed packages, list Java packages only. Prompt the system to list a specific software package. In this case, the package name is openjdk:

sudo apt list --installed | grep -i openjdk

Search for Java in the Installed packages list on Ubuntu.

Note: CentOS users need to modify the commands for listing installed packages for their package manager. Use the commands: sudo yum list installed and sudo yum list installed | grep -i openjdk instead.


With this article, you have successfully checked the Java version installed on Linux. We also covered checking the Java path and searching for Java among the installed packages.

Once the Java version is confirmed, you can start developing anything from lightweight mobile to desktop applications.

Sofija Simic
Sofija Simic is an aspiring Technical Writer at phoenixNAP. Alongside her educational background in teaching and writing, she has had a lifelong passion for information technology. She is committed to unscrambling confusing IT concepts and streamlining intricate software installations.
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