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SDKMan is a great tool for installing Java versions and a lot more. But it is not handy when you just want to switch between Java 11 and Java 17 on the commandline:

$ sdk use java 17.0.1-tem

Using java version 17.0.1-tem in this shell.

You have to provide the full version and vendor (in my case Eclipse Temurin) for SDKMan to select the JDK of choice. But I just want to say sdk 17 or sdk 11. On macOS you can use the default installers and use /usr/libexec/java_home to select the right Java version. But unfortunately SDKMan doesn’t provide such an experience.

In order to get this:

$ jdk 17

Using java version 17.0.1-tem in this shell.

I wrote the shell function below to select the top installed version for the JDK you request:

function jdk() {
  sdk use java `sdk ls java | grep installed | grep $1 | awk '{print $NF}' | head -1`
}

It uses SDKman’s functionality to:

  • list the installed java versions,
  • filters out the installed java versions,
  • filters the requests versions (you can have multiple installed, e.g. 17.0.0-tem and 17.0.1-tem)
  • selects the last column of the SDKman line
  • instructs SDKman to use that version

Have fun with this one!