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Java SDK help

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Pretty much my brother said hey let's learn Java and gave me a link to this site, as well as exercises, and then I bought the Headfirst into Java book as well. I've worked with a bit of C# and some scripting so I'm excited to learn, but I have no idea how to get the SDK set up going. I know that there is the 1.6 version out, but I don't know what I need to install so I can compile from the command prompt, and run files as well.

I'm also not sure about path files for bin folders. I'm not sure if it should be Path, or CLASSPATH, or what.

I would really appreciate any input or help on how to get started with this. I would really also appreciate if you didn't give me a link and say do x, to get such and such, because sometimes links like that are vague, like sun.java.com. If you do put a link could you please elaborate or tell me specifically what to do.

Thanks a lot in advance I really appreciate any help.
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Welcome to JavaRanch, Logan

No links? But the links I shall give are very detailed and give step-by-step instructions.

You virtually never need to alter your classpath.
You virtually always have to alter your PATH, otherwise you get error messages like "java is not recognised as a program or file."

Download Java here. Make sure to use what is called JDK 6 update 6.
The installation instructions are on this page. When you install Java, write down the name of the folder you are installing it into.

You will find this link in the Java Tutorial called "Common Problems." In it, you get a link to instructions on setting the PATH. You will almost certainly want to set it permanently.

  • Your PATH starts with the drive letter (eg C:\) on Windows and / on Linux.
  • Your PATH ends with bin.
  • If your PATH doesn't work on Windows, try closing the command prompt window and opening a new one.
  • You can set your PATH for the lifetime of a shell on Linux by writing something like export PATH=/usr/java/jdk1.6.0_06/bin/:$PATH
  • Setting the PATH permanently on Linux means editing a text file, sometimes .bashrc. Go onto a Linux forum for more details about that.
  • You can set the PATH for the lifetime of a command prompt window on Windows, but I can't remember how ot do it.
  • Good luck with it Any problems, don't hesitate to ask again.
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