Can I run NetBeans using only the Java Runtime (JRE)?

Some distributions of the IDE can run on the JRE, not requiring full JDK. Concerned IDE distributions are C/C++ or PHP bundles (formerly also Ruby) which don't require full JDK installation.

Have in mind, the full IDE distribution or any distribution which requires JDK libraries such as tools.jar and dt.jar like Java SE or Web & Java EE still need to run on full JDK installation. When you try to run such IDE distribution on JRE, you will get a warning on startup saying that many modules have to be disabled. If you continue, the IDE will come up and you'll be able to work with it, but many standard features will be unavailable.

Moreover, if you are running IDE on JRE and would like to install any plugin requiring JDK libraries via Tools|Plugins, Plugin Manager will prevent you from installing that plugin.

What to do if I'm running IDE on JRE and I need to use plugins requiring full JDK installation?

  1. install full JDK
  2. either edit <netbeans-IDE-installation>/etc/netbeans.conf
    1. unmark netbeans_jdkhome
    2. link to JDK location e.g. /usr/local/share/java/jdk1.6.0_07/
  3. or use --jdkhome command-line option e.g. ./bin/netbeans --jdkhome /usr/local/share/java/jdk1.6.0_07/

Applies to: NetBeans 6.5+

Platforms: All

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