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Which Java do I download?

Rose Grissinger

Joined: Oct 23, 2008
Posts: 1
Hi all!

I'm a newbie who just purchased Head First Java by Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates. Unfortunately, I'm stuck on the setting up Java page. I have tried clicking around and searching the site, but am still at a loss as to what exactly to download (way too many choices). For example, I can go to, but then I have choices of:

Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 Update 10
Java SE Development Kit (JDK) 6 Update 10
JDK 6 Update 10 with Java EE
JDK 6 Update 10 with NetBeans 6.1

Also, is the "Java SE 6 Documentation" download the same as the API documentation?

Can someone help me out?

marc weber

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Welcome to JavaRanch!

You want Java SE Development Kit (JDK) 6 Update 10. (Be sure to follow the installation instructions, especially the part about updating the PATH variable.)

The "Java SE 6 Documentation" should contain the API documentation (along with some other stuff).
[ October 23, 2008: Message edited by: marc weber ]

"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 46397
Originally posted by Rose Grissinger:
Also, is the "Java SE 6 Documentation" download the same as the API documentation?

As far as I can remember, yes it is, but you can use it offline. It may have more in than the API, but everything is available online.
Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3028
The API is part of the documentation, not all of it. The docs can be found online, or downloaded to you box for offline use.
Tomendra Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 28, 2008
Posts: 47
if you are studying head first java then you should download jdk1.5 with update 16,because head first java is written on the features of jdk1.5.

Strength Is Life,Weakness Is Death- Swamy Vivekanand.
SCJP 5.0(87%)
Rob Spoor

Joined: Oct 27, 2005
Posts: 20276

I disagree. Downloading the latest JVM will be better. It has more bug fixes, more security fixes, and code written for earlier versions of Java will compile and run without problems. Worst case you get a few deprecation messages, but that's it, and you can choose to ignore those.

How To Ask Questions How To Answer Questions

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 1
Thanks a lot!! I just bought the Head First Java 2nd too and I was confused about what version should I have downloaded.

The authors should clarify what version to download on the book website.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Which Java do I download?
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