Patch-in-Place and Static JRE Installation

See JDK 7 and JRE 7 Installation Guide for general information about installing JDK 7 and JRE 7.

This information applies to Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) installers running on Microsoft Windows.

Note: This information may refer to versions of the JRE that do not exist; these versions are used to demonstrate the concepts of patch-in-place and static JRE installations.

In the past, when a user installed different versions of the JRE, the user would be left with multiple installation directories and several entries in the Add/Remove Programs dialog in the Control Panel. This resulted in unnecessary proliferation of unused JREs.

The JRE can now be installed in two configurations: patch-in-place and static. JRE updates may be configured to patch an existing installation or to do a brand new installation.

The JRE may be installed in silent (non-interactive) or nonsilent (interactive) modes. For more information on silent install and uninstalling a silent installation, see Command-Line Installation in JRE Installer Options.

Patch-in-Place Installation

The patch-in-place mode implies that when a version of the JRE exists on a machine, any updates belonging to the same JRE family will be done in place, meaning, the existing JRE will be patched with changes. A JRE is installed in patch-in-place mode by default. The default installation directory of a patch-in-place installation is C:/Program Files/Java/jre<n>, where <n> is the Java SE minor version number.

For example, if a user previously installed JRE 7 Update 1 in the default directory C:/Program Files/Java/jre7 directory, and now attempts to install JRE 7 Update 3, the JRE 7 Update 3 installer does not create a new directory. Instead, it updates the preexisting C:/Program Files/Java/jre7 directory with the new 7 Update 3 content. The user is left with JRE 7 Update 3 only. JRE 7 Update 1 no longer exists.

Static Installation

When a JRE is installed in static mode, it will not be updated in place by later versions. A later version from the same JRE family will be installed in a separate directory. This mode ensures that vendors, who require a specific version of the JRE for their product, can be certain that the JRE will not be overwritten by a later version.

Some of the characteristics of a static JRE installation are as follows:

The default installation directory of a static JRE is C:/Program Files/Java/jre<version>. For example, by default, a static JRE 7 Update 10 will be installed in the directory C:/Program Files/Java/jre1.7.0_10.

To perform a static JRE installation, use the command-line option STATIC=1. See JRE Installer Options for more information.

See JRE Update Scenarios to see examples of how the installer performs.

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