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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Tue, 27 Dec 2011

I replace sun-java6 with openjdk-6 in Debian Squeeze, everything still works

When I did my initial tests on this Debian Squeeze installation back in 2010, I had trouble with OpenJDK. I only use Java for two web-based things, and one of those -- GoToMyPC.com -- wouldn't successfully open up a Java client window.

So I replaced openjdk-6 with sun-java6, found everything working and left it at that.

Now that Oracle is changing the license for Java that restricts the ability of Linux distributions -- including Debian and Ubuntu -- to redistribute the Oracle-created binaries to users, distributions are removing Sun Java from their archives and only offering OpenJDK.

I was worried. It had been many months since my last tests. What if either OpenJDK itself, or the sites I'm dealing with that use Java, fixed things so the open-source IcedTea Java browser package suddenly worked?

I didn't want to delete Sun Java, install OpenJDK, run into trouble and not be able to re-install Sun Java. I also didn't want to run a Sun Java setup with security vulnerabilities that wouldn't be fixed.

I needed to figure out if OpenJDK/IcedTea would play along with GoToMyPC.com, which my company prefers over LogMeIn, the latter of which I like much better in case you were wondering.

Here's how I did it:

I already had a live image of Fedora 16 on a bootable USB stick. I booted into Fedora, opened the Add/Remove Software application, searched for Icedtea and installed that and its dependencies, meaning the rest of OpenJDK.

I restarted the Firefox browser, went to GoToMyPC.com and logged in. The Java window opened, and I was on my remote desktop.

IcedTea worked in Fedora 16, and I felt pretty good about getting rid of sun-java6-jre and sun-java6-plugin in Debian and replacing it with openjdk-6-jre and icedtea6-plugin.

I booted back into Debian and did just that. I then started the browser (Iceweasel/Firefox 9.0.1, which just rolled in from the Mozilla Debian APT Archive), went to GoToMyPC.com and logged in.

Now running IcedTea and OpenJDK, the Java window opened, and I had my remote desktop.

My need for Java is extremely limited, and now that I can use OpenJDK/IcedTea instead of the Sun/Oracle Java binaries, I'm breathing a lot easier about my ability to get my work done now and in the future.