Installing and using the binary distribution

The binary release includes only the binary compiled ‘.class’ versions of the same ‘.java’ source files in the source release. It does not include any documentation, so you probably want the source release in addition to the binary release. The purpose of the binary release is just to save you the time and trouble of compiling the sources.

The binary release requires Java 5 (JDK 1.5) or later. It does include support for certain Java 6 features (HttpServer, javax.script, and Unicode normalization), but these feature only work if you use Java 6, not Java 5. If you have an older Java implementation, or build for a mobile environment like Android, or optimize for Java 6, then you will need to get the source distribution.

The binary release comes as a .jar archive ‘kawa-1.14.jar’. Copy this archive to some suitable location, such as /usr/local/lib/kawa.jar.

Then, before you can actually run Kawa, you need to set CLASSPATH so it includes the Kawa archive. On Unix, using a Bourne-style shell:


On Windows you need to set classpath in a DOS console. For example:

set classpath=\kawa\kawa-1.14.jar

Then to run Kawa do:

java kawa.repl

To run Kawa in a fresh window, you can do:

java kawa.repl -w