Running JavaFX with Java 11 on M1 Mac: Exploring the Possibilities

Published on 2024.02.08

Introduction

The release of Apple Silicon M1 chips has revolutionized the Mac ecosystem, providing significantly improved performance and energy efficiency. However, developers have faced challenges when it comes to running Java applications, particularly those that leverage JavaFX. In this article, we will explore the possibilities of running JavaFX with Java 11 on M1 Mac and discuss the steps to get started.

Understanding JavaFX Compatibility

JavaFX is a set of Java libraries and APIs for creating rich desktop applications and user interfaces. While JavaFX has historically been bundled with Oracle JDK, starting from Java 11, it is no longer a part of the standard JDK distribution. This change can lead to compatibility issues when running JavaFX applications on M1 Mac.

Setting Up Java Development Kit (JDK)

To begin, we need to ensure that we have a compatible JDK installed on our M1 Mac. While Apple Silicon natively supports ARM architecture, a number of open source JDK distributions now provide ARM versions. For this article, we will be using the AdoptOpenJDK distribution.

  1. Download the ARM-based JDK from the AdoptOpenJDK website.
  2. Install the JDK by following the provided instructions.
  3. Set up the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the installed JDK.

Configuring JavaFX Libraries

Once we have the JDK set up, we need to configure our project to use the JavaFX libraries. Since JavaFX is no longer bundled with the JDK, we need to specify the module dependencies explicitly.

  1. Add the required JavaFX dependencies to your project's build configuration file (e.g., pom.xml for Maven projects).
  2. Ensure that the javafx.* packages are imported in your application code.

Building and Running the Application

Before running the JavaFX application on M1 Mac, we need to use a specific flag to explicitly specify the module path.

  1. Use the -p or --module-path flag to specify the location of the JavaFX libraries. For example:
java --module-path /path/to/javafx/lib --add-modules javafx.controls,javafx.fxml -jar your-application.jar
  1. Run the application as you would normally do on other platforms.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While running JavaFX applications on M1 Mac, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting steps that can help:

  1. Update your IDE to the latest version, as older versions may not fully support M1 Mac.
  2. Check if there are any specific M1-compatible versions of JavaFX libraries available.
  3. Verify that the JDK and JavaFX libraries have been set up correctly by checking the environment variables and build configurations.

Conclusion

Running JavaFX with Java 11 on M1 Mac is not without its challenges, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you can overcome these hurdles and harness the power of Apple Silicon. With the improved performance and energy efficiency of the M1 chips, your JavaFX applications will run smoother than ever before.