Java is a host platform for Clojure, on which Clojure projects and tools run. No experience of Java or its platform is required for successful Clojure projects.
Check to see if there is an appropriate version of Java already installed.
Open a terminal and run the command
If Java is installed, you will see something like this in your terminal:
If the version is
17 or above, then jump to the Clojure install page
Install Java run time edition (JRE) using the
apt package manager command in a terminal (prompts for the account login password)
Optionally include Java sources
openjdk-17-source package to support navigation of Java Object and Method source code, especially useful when using Java Interoperability from within Clojure code.
Practicalli Clojure CLI Config provides the
:src/java17 alias to include the Java sources in the classpath when running a REPL.
openjdk-17-jdk package is not available, add the Ubuntu OpenJDK personal package archive
Using Homebrew, run the following command in a terminal to install Java 17:
Switching between Java versions
More than one version of Java can be installed on MacOSX. Set the Java version by opening a terminal and using one of the following commands
Show the Java versions installed
Switch to Java version 17
Alternatively, install JEnv Java version manager
For Windows 10 use Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Terminal are recommended if you have administrative privileges and are happy to use a Unix system on the command line.
Follow the scoop-clojure install instructions, summarized here:
scoop can also be used to install clojure
If Chocolatey does not work, then try the manual Java install.
Download OpenJDK 17 Hotspot from Adoptium - pre-build OpenJDK binaries freely available for multiple operating systems.
Run the file once downloaded and follow the install instructions.
Multiple versions of Javaλ︎
jenv provides a simple way to switch between multiple installed versions of Java. jenv can be used to set the java version globally, for the current shell or for a specific project by adding
.java-version file containing the Java version number in the root of the project.
A little Java Knowledge
Very little knowledge of the Java language or the Java Virtual Machine is required.
It is quite simple to call Java methods from Clojure, although there are a wealth of functions and libraries provided by Clojure and its community to minimise the need for Java Interoperability.
Reading stack traces may benefit from some Java experience, although its usually the first couple of lines in a stack trace that describe the issue.
Clojure uses its own build tools (Leiningen, Clojure CLI tools) and so Java build tool knowledge is not required.
When libraries are added to a project, they are downloaded to the
$HOME/.m2 directory. This is the default Maven cache used by all JVM libraries.
clojure -Spom will generate a Maven pom.xml file used for deployment. Understanding of a minimal Maven POM (pom.xml) file is useful when managing issues with packaging and deployment.
The Java Virtual Machine is highly optimised and does not usually require any options to enhance its performance. The most likely configuration to supply to the JVM are to manage the amount of memory assigned, specifically for resource constrained environments.