Canonical have reversed their decision to remove Java from Ubuntu users’ machines.
Oracle, the owners of Sun Java, retired the ‘distributor license’ that allows operating system vendors to provide the package to users in August of last year. This change in terms forced Ubuntu’s security board to announce that it would be removing Sun JDK package from its ‘Partner‘ repository, and ‘upgrading’ the official Java release on Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10 and 11.04 with an ‘empty’ package, thus disabling it. as a ‘security measure’.
Ubuntu have now decided against the latter action to ‘prevent unexpected failures’ on users installations.
“The Sun JDK packages will remain installed on current systems with no further security updates. On new systems, it will no longer be possible to install the packages from the partner archive. “
Sun JDK packages will be removed from the Ubuntu partner archive on February 16th 2012, after-which they will no longer be available to install through the Ubuntu Software Centre or Synaptic Package Manager.
Because no further security updates will be issued for Sun Java on Ubuntu users who don’t rely on the official package are being urged to swap over to alternatives, such as the Oracle-endorsed OpenJDK.
The change in license does not affect availability of Sun Java for Linux only the permission for OSs to distribute it. Oracle’s Sun Java can be downloaded and manually installed from the Oracle website. Lazy users can use the solution provided by Ubuntu user Martin Wimpress.