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Ending Java 6 support

Following our published roadmap for Java support we are ending support for Java 6 with the release of OMERO and Bio-Formats 5.2 later this year.

We are not alone

This will potentially affect users of the ImageJ plugins for Bio-Formats and OMERO-ImageJ (OMERO.ij). Note that Java 6 has been unsupported since February 2013 and will no longer work with MacOS X after 10.11. This change is also being made by other ImageJ plugin developers.

Version support

Our current and planned support for Java 6 and Java 7 is as follows:

Bio-Formats and OMERO Minimum Java
5.0 (old) 1.6
5.1 (current) 1.6
5.2 (forthcoming) 1.7

The change for 5.2 will affect ImageJ and Fiji with a bundled version of Java 6, and users of non-bundled ImageJ and Fiji who have Java 6 provided by the operating system (this includes older Linux distributions providing OpenJDK6).

What to do

In all cases, it should be possible to download a 1.7 or 1.8 JRE for your platform from Oracle, or alternatively install OpenJDK 7 or 8 for supported platforms.

One exception is older and unsupported versions of MacOS X (10.6 and earlier), however support for these versions was already dropped with the 5.1 release.

If you upgrade the system’s version of Java, you can then run a version of ImageJ or Fiji without a bundled JVM.

ImageJ bundle users

Users of ImageJ with a bundled JVM may download a new version either using the “platform independent” version without a bundled JRE, or download the MacOS X or Windows versions with a bundled Java 8. These are marked as experimental, but our testing has shown them to be perfectly functional with the Bio-Formats and OMERO.ij plugins.

Fiji users

Fiji for “all platforms (no JREs)” will work with the system Java 7 or Java 8. The Fiji downloads for individual platforms currently provide Java 6, but will be bundled with Java 8 in the near future. For now, the “all platforms (no JREs)” download is recommended.

If you can’t upgrade

Users who are unable or unwilling to upgrade their Java to version 7 or later will be able to continue to use the 5.1 and earlier releases of Bio-Formats and OMERO with ImageJ, both of which will retain Java 6 support for their lifetime. However, we do not intend to back-port new features and would always recommend you use a Java version with security support.