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As you probably know, Oracle Java (JVM/JDK) will not be available in the Debian / Ubuntu repositories anymore because Oracle retired the "Operating System Distributor License for Java" (JDL) and the only release available in the repositories will be OpenJDK.

But of course, Oracle Java can still be downloaded from its website if you really need it and don't want to use OpenJDK:

Linux users who prefer to use the thoroughly tested Oracle JDK 6 or Oracle JDK 7 binaries over OpenJDK builds packaged in their Linux distributions of choice can of course as usual simply get the gratis download at http://oracle.com/java under the same terms as users on other platforms.

- more info @ robilad

However, installing it in Ubuntu is not that easy, so here is how to install the latest Sun Oracle Java JDK 7 (at the time I'm writing this post) in Ubuntu.

Install Oracle Java JDK 7 in Ubuntu

Update: Oracle JDK 7 is now available in a PPA for Ubuntu users (the files are not distributed in the PPA, instead, the .deb automatically downloads and installs Oracle JDK). If you prefer the PPA way (which also provides automatic updates) instead of manually installing it, see: Install Oracle Java 7 in Ubuntu via PPA Repository

Warning: JDK 7 is available as a developer preview release, so use it at your own risk.

For the installation we'll be using an old script created by WebUpd8 reader Bruce Ingalls which I've updated to work with the latest Oracle JDK 7 (just a minor modification). The installation instructions below only work for Oracle JDK.

Let's begin!

1. Download the latest Oracle JDK 7 from HERE (you must click "accept license" and then download the .tar.gz package for your computer architecture - jdk-7-linux-i586.tar.gz or jdk-7-linux-x64.tar.gz; these filenames are just examples, they will change on future releases). You can use these instructions for older JDK versions too, but make sure you use the appropriate folder names, etc.

2. Extract the downloaded Oracle Java JDK archive in your home folder and rename the newly created folder to "java-7-oracle" - we must move this folder to /usr/lib/jvm using the following commands:
sudo mkdir -p  /usr/lib/jvm/ #just in case
sudo mv java-7-oracle/ /usr/lib/jvm/

3. Install Update Java package created by Bruce Ingalls (packages available for Ubuntu 11.10, 11.04, 10.10 and 10.04):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install update-java

If you don't want to add the WebUpd8 PPA, you can also manually download the script. The script may work with other Linux distributions, but it has only been tested on Ubuntu.

4. Now run the following command in a terminal to install Oracle Java JDK:
sudo update-java

The script will ask you to select the Java version - select "java-7-oracle" for Oracle Java JDK 7, click OK and wait for it to finish:

Java Updater

After a few minutes, Oracle Java JDK should be successfully installed on your Ubuntu machine. You can check out the version by running these commands in a terminal:
java -version
javac -version

The version should be "1.7.0".

Install Oracle Java 7 Browser plugin

The Java browser plugin should be installed automatically. But in case it doesn't show up in your browser, here's what to do.

Even though the steps below are for Firefox, the plugin will also be updated in Chrome (possibly other browsers too) as it looks under ~/.mozilla/plugins folder for plugins too.

Firstly, remove old Java plugin links using the commands below:
rm -f ~/.mozilla/plugins/libnpjp2.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin_oji.so
sudo rm -f /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libnpjp2.so /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/libjavaplugin_oji.so

And for the last step, let's create a simbolic link for the newly installed Java into the Mozilla plugins directory:

- 32bit:
mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/plugins
ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle/jre/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/

- 64bit:
mkdir -p ~/.mozilla/plugins
ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-oracle/jre/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/

Reverting the changes

Update 15 December, 2011: Sun Java is no longer available in the older Ubuntu repositories either so the only alternative is to install OpenJDK instead:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jdk icedtea-plugin

Now run our script:
sudo update-java

And select the "java-6-sun-" ("java-6-sun" works too) for Oracle JDK or the "java-1.6.0-openjdk" folder for OpenJDK.

Let's revert the browser plugin changes too:
rm -f ~/.mozilla/plugins/libnpjp2.so

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun- ~/.mozilla/plugins/

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun- ~/.mozilla/plugins/