Skip to main content

Newbie Question: How can I download SDK?

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2005-09-24


I am sure this a very typical newbie questions. I go to sun's website to download the SDK to learn JAVA and start coding while reading the book. So clicking on SDK takes me to JDK and never tells me which one I should download. I am using this on Windows platform. Java's website is so not user friendly, really confusing. Can anyone help me find where what the difference is and where I should start?

Thank you

Reply viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: 2004-07-10

Hi ferasn,

JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment and contains all necessary software and libraries to run compiled java programs. You can't run a java program or applet if you don't have a JRE.

JDK (Java Development Kit) is a JRE plus several development tools, such as the compiler (javac), packager (jar), and many others. So, to start developing, you need to download the JDK.

The JDK includes only basic command line tools. You might also want to download some of these other tools to get started:

- If you are used to work with simple text editors, there are several alternatives. Most editors today have some level of Java support, from simple syntax hilite to auto complete. Some names that come to mind are TextPad, Context, NodePad++, and JCreator.

- If you are used to "make" and other build script tools, the closest equivalent for java is Ant ( There's also Maven (, which is a little higher level.

- If you come from an IDE background, I suggest you try either Eclipse ( or Netbeans ( In the JDK download page there's also a link to dowload Netbeans and the JDK all at once.

- The documentation is a separate download, it's available from the same JDK download page. I strongly recommend you download it :-)


Joined: 2005-09-24

Wow, Thanks gatto, this is very helpful. with so many options and very different directions, it is hard to know which way to go. THank you for your directions and help