Installing Java 1.5 back into Snow Leopard

EDIT: This no longer works as of 10.6.5 without some additional tweaks. I have to update the post accordingly.

In an amazing moment of WTF I discovered this morning that after installing Mac OS X 10.6 (aka Snow Leopard) that the only version of Java running on it was 1.6. Now as an end-user, people probably won’t care. And I can kind of understand why Apple did it, given that Sun has done and End of Service Life for J2SE 5.0 (also known as Java 1.5). However a bunch of us still use earlier Java versions in active development projects. This was incredibly short-sighted of Apple. I’d guess that the 1.5 version probably exists on Snow Leopard Server Edition, but I’m not interested in paying for the server license when I don’t run OS X servers. However, it’s possible to bring back Java 1.5 onto your Snow Leopard installation. There are a few other pages that explain how to do this but I’ll re-iterate the steps I used here because it uses the most recent J2SE 5.0 release:


First, get Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 5 from Apple.

Next get Pacifist from CharlesSoft. This is a great utility. It’s saved my butt a few times. Especially when I needed to get something from an Apple installation package without having to re-run the installer. This qualifies as one of those times. If you don’t already have a registered copy, get one. It’s worth US $20.

How to install.

1. Use Finder to go to System > Library > Frameworks > JavaVM.framework > Versions and delete the two aliases (symlinks) "1.5" and "1.5.0". If you skip this step you will lose your Java 1.6 installation that comes with Snow Leopard. That would be bad. So don’t skip this step!

2. In finder, open JavaForMacOSX10.5Update5.pkg that’s inside JavaForMacOSX10.5Update5.dmg with Pacifist. Drill down to Contents > System > Library > Frameworks > JavaVM.framework > Versions.

3. In Pacifist, select 1.5 and 1.5.0, right-click, and chose Install to Default Location.

You can probably do the same thing with the 1.4 installation if you need it. I didn’t try.. but it would probably work.

Update 12-4-2009:After installing the latest Java update for OS X 10.6 I was greeted with the following change to my Java Frameworks directory. FinderScreenSnapz003.jpg

Apparently the updater saw fit to move my Java installation for 1.5 aside during the update and recreate it’s own aliases/symlinks. If this happens to you follow step one, and rename the 1.5.0 1 folder back to the original name.

Thanks to the following articles from which I borrowed and stole heavily…

chxo internets

Subversion and Snow Leopard

Along with so many others, I upgraded to Snow Leopard. Overall the upgrade went without a hitch. However, I noticed that my Subversion repository was no longer available from Subclipse or via the Web Browser. Not good.

So I did some digging around and upon finding this article from Patrick Rice I was up and working again in a few minutes.

Apparently with the Snow Leopard upgrade, the Apache mod_dav_svn configuration was removed from /etc/apache2/other/svn.conf. Patrick references the following article. It’s extremely educational and informative: How To: Manage Your Own Subversion Repository In Leopard. The details still apply in Snow Leopard, as well.

Following these articles I just created a new /etc/apache2/other/svn.conf.

LoadModule dav_svn_module /usr/libexec/apache2/

<Location /svn>
    DAV svn

    SVNParentPath /Users/Shared/svn

    AuthType Basic
    AuthName "Subversion repository"
    AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/svn-auth-file
    Require valid-user

Restart the Apache server (via Sharing in the System Preferences application). And you should have your repository back.

The Latest on Software Update for OS X – Java 6

This Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 1 adds Java SE 6 version 1.6.0_05 to your Mac. This update does not replace the existing installation of J2SE 5.0 or change the default version of Java.

For more details on this update, please visit this website:

Please note what the aforementioned article says:

This release is only for Mac OS X v10.5.2 and later, and should not be installed on earlier versions of Mac OS X. This release is for 64-bit Intel-based Macs only and cannot run on PowerPC-based or 32-bit Intel-based Macs.

If you don’t want to wait for Software Update to refresh for you, just go here:

If you have a developer preview of Java 6 on your system you’ll need to remove the /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6.0 folder and the 1.6 alias (or ‘symlink’) if it exists.