Hello World in Java on Windows

This DrJava-based Java programming environment is no longer being supported (because DrJava in no longer being actively developed and DrJava is incompatible with Java 11). It has been replaced by the following IntelliJ-based programming environment for Windows.

This document instructs you on how to set up our Java programming environment for your Windows computer. It also provides a step-by-step guide for creating, compiling, and executing a Java program using either DrJava or the Command Prompt. All of the software used is freely available.

These instructions apply to 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista SP1, and XP SP3.

You can defer steps 4–6 until Section 1.5 of the textbook.

We strongly recommend using the Windows installer described below; however, we do have manual instructions.

0.   Install the Programming Environment

Our installer downloads, installs, and configures the Java programming environment you will be using, including Java SE 7, DrJava, and the standard libraries from our textbook.

1.   Create the Program in DrJava

Now you are ready to write your first Java program. You will develop your Java programs in an application called DrJava. DrJava features many specialized programming tools including syntax highlighting, bracket matching, auto indenting, and line numbering.

2.   Compile the Program from DrJava

It is now time to convert your Java program into a form more amenable for execution on a computer. To do this, click the Compile button. If all goes well, you should see the following message in the Compiler Output pane at the bottom:

Compilation completed.

If DrJava complains in some way, you mistyped something. Check your program carefully, using the error messages in the Compiler Output pane as a guide.

3.   Execute the Program from DrJava

Now it is time to run your program. This is the fun part.

Congratulations, you are now a Java programmer!

4.   Command-Line Interface with the Command Prompt

The command-line provides capabilities beyond those available in DrJava, including redirection and piping. You will type commands in an application called the Command Prompt.

5.   Compile the Program from the Command Prompt

You will use the javac command to convert your Java program into a form more amenable for execution on a computer.

6.   Execute the Program from the Command Prompt

You will use the java command to execute your program.


Listed below are some common questions about this document. If you encounter errors that you can't figure out, ask for help.

When running the installer, I get an access denied error message. What should I do? Make sure you are using an administrator account. Rerun the installer.

The installer doesn't execute. Why? The installer requires PowerShell. Run Windows Update to update your computer. If you are running Windows XP, you must have Service Pack 3. You can manually download PowerShell 2.0 for Windows XP or Vista by clicking the corresponding link under Windows Management Framework Core (WinRM 2.0 and Windows PowerShell 2.0).

The installer got stuck after selecting some text, but there are no error messages? The Command Prompt may have gone into Select Mode, which pauses the installation until you press Enter twice to exit that mode.

The installer didn't work on my machine. What should I do? First, please contact a staff member to identify what went wrong.

What does the installer do? In short, it downloads, installs, and configures Java, Java3D, DrJava, Checkstyle, Findbugs, and the standard libraries. Here is a more detailed list:

  1. Downloads and installs Java SE 7 from either java32.zip or java64.zip. This includes the Java Runtime Environment (java.exe) and part of the Java Development Kit (javac.exe and tools.jar).

  2. Downloads and installs Java3D 1.5.2 from either j3d32.zip or j3d64.zip.

  3. Downloads the textbook standard libraries from stdlib.jar. Creates wrapper scripts javac-introcs and java-introcs that classpath in the standard libraries.

  4. Downloads and installs Checkstyle 6.9 from checkstyle.zip. Downloads our checkstyle configuration file from checkstyle.xml. Creates a wrapper scripts checkstyle-introcs.

  5. Downloads and installs Findbugs 3.0.1 from findbugs.zip. Downloads our findbugs configuration file from findbugs.xml. Creates a wrapper scripts findbugs-introcs.

  6. Downloads and installs the latest stable version of DrJava, from drjava.jar. Creates a shortcut on the desktop to DrJava. Downloads and installs the DrJava configuration file from drjava-config.txt. to C:\Users\<username>\.drjava. Note that this will overwrite any existing .drjava configuration file.

  7. Adds C:\Users\<username>\introcs\bin and C:\Users\<username>\introcs\java\bin to the user PATH environment variable.

  8. Customizes the Command Prompt preferences by enabling QuickEdit and Insert modes and setting the Screen Buffer Size to 80-by-500. Creates a shortcut on the desktop to the Command Prompt.

  9. Tests that the installation succeeded by compiling and executing TestIntroCS.java.

How do I completely uninstall introcs.exe?

Can I run the autoinstaller on a drive other than C: ? Yes, but you will need to modify the command-line instructions accordingly.

What happens if I rerun the installer? It will re-download, install, and configure Java, Java 3D, Checkstyle, Findbugs, DrJava, and the standard libraries.

I couldn't get a Java runtime to install. Any advice? Try downloading Java using the Windows 7, XP offline installer.

What should I do if I have previously installed DrJava in another location? We suggest deleting it and using the version in C:\Users\<username>\introcs by using the newly created DrJava shortcut.

Can I use a different version of Java? Yes, but you will have to configure the Windows environment variables and DrJava compiler properties yourself.

Can I use an IDE other than DrJava? Yes you can use another IDE (such as Eclipse) but you will have to configure the IDE properties yourself (such as the classpath). If you have a 64-bit version of Java, install the 64-bit version of Eclipse.

I have a high-DPI display and the font size used by DrJava's is microscopic. How can I enlarge it? You can change the size of most fonts using Preferences -> Display Options -> Fonts. Unfortunately, there is not currently a good way to change the menubar font. Instead, try changing the look and feel using Preferences -> Display Options -> Look and Feel -> Plastic3DLookAndFeel.

When I launch the Eclipse IDE, I get a "Failed to load the JNI shared library" error. How can I fix this? You probably have a 64-bit version of Java and a 32-bit version of Eclipse. The installer installs a 64-bit version of Java if you have a 64-bit machine, which takes precedent over a previously installed 32-bit version of Java. To correct, either update to a 64-bit version of Eclipse or remove the C:\Users\<username>\introcs\java directory so that Windows uses your previously installed 32-bit version of Java. You can also specify which version of Java to use in the Eclipse.ini file.

How can I determine whether I am running a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows? Examine Start -> My computer -> Properties -> System. If you see x64 Edition, you are running the 64-bit version of Windows; otherwise, you are running the 32-bit version.

How do I break out of an infinite loop? In DrJava, click the Reset button in the menubar or select the menu option Tools -> Reset Interactions. From the Command Prompt, type Ctrl-c

When using standard input, how do I signify that there is no more data? If you are entering input from the keyboard, type Ctrl-z for EOF (end of file).

How do I configure Windows to reveal the .java or .class file extensions? Many Windows machines are configured to hide the file extensions. If this is the case, select Start -> My Computer -> Tools -> Folder Options -> View, uncheck the box next to Hide file extensions for known file types, and click OK.

I deleted the shortcut to the Command Prompt. Where can I find it? Go to All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt.

When I type, "java -version" or "javac -version" from the Command Prompt, I get an error. First, verify that the following two files exists:


If so, it is likely an issue with the Windows PATH environment variable. From the Command Prompt, type the following command to display it:

C:\Users\<username>> echo %PATH%
The PATH environment variable should include an entry for C:\Users\<username>\introcs\java\jdk\bin.

I successfully compiled HelloWorld.java with javac, but, when I execute, I get the error message "Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: HelloWorld". What am I doing wrong? First, verify that the file HelloWorld.class is in the current directory. Be sure to type java HelloWorld without a trailing .class or .java.

When I compile or execute a program from the Command Prompt that uses the standard libraries, I get an error. How can I fix this? Be sure to use the wrapper scripts javac-introcs and java-introcs.

How do I navigate to another drive from the Windows Command Prompt? From the Command Prompt, type H: to switch to the H: drive. Then, use the cd command to navigate to the desired directory.

Where can I learn more about Command Prompt? Microsoft maintains a command-line reference.

Can I use the Windows PowerShell instead of the Command Prompt? The Windows PowerShell is a more advanced command-line shell. However, it does not currently support the redirection of standard input.