Java classpath 101

Rules governing the omnipresent Java classpath:

  • -classpath or its abbreviation -cp is applicable on both the javac compiler and the java JVM invoker.
  • In Unix the classpath parameters are using : as a delimiter, whereas in Windows ; is getting used.
  • In Unix package structure is defines using forward slash whereas in Windows backward slash.
  •  In terms of hierarchy
    • the -classpath invocation overrides the system classpath
    • the classpath is read from left to right
    • it uses the first match it finds.
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