Ant on Ubuntu without GCJ

Originally published January 02, 2009.
Information provided in this post may be out of date.

You may be surprised to learn Ant requires GCJ when installed through Synaptic or apt on Ubuntu.  GCJ is GNU’s Java compiler.  When you’re using Sun’s JDK and compiler, GCJ can get in the way – at worst it creates conflicts; at best it causes confusion.

Here’s how I installed Ant on Ubuntu without GCJ. Be sure to check out (easier) alternatives suggested in the comments, below.

  1. Download the current `.tar.bz2` distribution of Ant from
  2. Unpack archive using `tar`.
  3. tar -xjvf apache-ant-*-bin.tar.bz2
  4. Move the unpacked directory to `/usr/local/ant`.
  5. Change that directory's owner to `root`.
  6. chown -R root:root /usr/local/ant
  7. Add the following lines to `/etc/bash.bashrc`.
  8. export ANT_HOME=/usr/local/ant
    export PATH=${PATH}:${ANT_HOME}/bin

From a new shell, run ant. You should see the following: ` Buildfile: build.xml does not exist! Build failed ` Yes, it’s a failure message. But it means Ant is working as expected. :)