How do I tell Gradle to use specific JDK version?


I can't figure out to get this working.


  • I have an application built with gradle
  • The application uses JavaFX

What I want

  • Use a variable (defined per developer machine) which points to an installation of a JDK which will be used for building the whole application / tests / ...

I thought about having the file, defining the variable. Something like

JAVA_HOME_FOR_MY_PROJECT=<path to my desired JDK>

What I don't want

  • point JAVA_HOME to the desired JDK

I could live with many suggestions:

  • a solution that defines a system environment variable which I'm able to check in my build.gradle script
  • a variable defined in
  • overriding the JAVA_HOME variable only for the build context (something like use JAVA_HOME=<my special JDK path defined somewhere else defined>)
  • something else I didn't think about


  • How to wire a variable (how ever defined, as variable in the, system environment variable, ...) to the build process?

I have more than one JDK7 available and need to point to a special version (minimum JDK_u version).

Any answer is appreciated and I'm thankful for every hint to the right direction.

8/23/2017 10:27:31 PM

Accepted Answer

Two ways

  1. In in the .gradle directory in your HOME_DIRECTORY set


  1. In your build.gradle

     compileJava.options.fork = true
     compileJava.options.forkOptions.executable = '/path_to_javac'
9/4/2020 12:40:19 AM

To people ending up here when searching for the Gradle equivalent of the Maven property maven.compiler.source (or <source>1.8</source>):

In build.gradle you can achieve this with

apply plugin: 'java'
sourceCompatibility = 1.8
targetCompatibility = 1.8

See the Gradle documentation on this.


If you are executing using gradle wrapper, you can run the command with JDK path like following



If you are using linux and gradle wrapper you can use following solution.

Add path to file:

javaHome=<path to JDK>

Add to your gradlew script file:

DIR=$( cd "$( dirname "${BASH_SOURCE[0]}" )" && pwd )
source $DIR/ 2>/dev/null

if ! [ -z "$javaHome" ]

In this solution, each developer can set his own JDK path. File shouldn't be included in version control system.


There is one more option to follow. In your gradle tasks, you can set your desired jdk path. (I know this is a while since the question was posted. This answer can help someone.)

Right click on the deploy or any other task and select "Open Gradle Run Configuration..."

enter image description here

Then navigate to "Java Home" and paste your desired java path.

enter image description here

Please note that, bin will be added by the gradle task itself. So don't add the "bin" to the path.


I added this line in my GRADLE_HOME/bin/gradle file - export JAVA_HOME=/path/to/java/version