Installation on macOS Platforms #

GraalVM Community distributions for macOS are comprised to tar.gz file. Unlike Oracle JDK or OpenJDK distributions for macOS that comes with the .dmg download, GraalVM does not provide the installation wizard.

On the contrary to OpenJDK installations performed only on a systemwide basis, GraalVM environment can be installed for a single user, so administrator privileges are not required. However, if GraalVM is meant to become a default JDK, administrator privileges are required. The JDK installation path is /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/<graalvm>/Contents/Home.

Follow these steps to install GraalVM Community on x86 64-bit macOS operating systems.

  1. Navigate to GraalVM Releases repository on GitHub. Depending on the workload, select GraalVM Community Edition based on JDK8 for macOS or GraalVM Community Edition based on JDK11 for macOS and download.
  2. Extract the archive to your file system:
    tar -xvf <graalvm-archive>.tar.gz

    Alternatively, open the file in Finder.

  3. Move the downloaded package to its proper location, the /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines directory. Since this is a system directory, sudo is required:
    sudo mv <graalvm> /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines

    To verify if the move is successful and to get a list of all installed JDKs, run /usr/libexec/java_home -V.

  4. There can be multiple JDKs installed on the machine. The next step is to configure the runtime environment.
    • Point the PATH environment variable to the GraalVM’s bin directory:
        export PATH=/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/<graalvm>/Contents/Home/bin:$PATH

      Verify whether you are using GraalVM with echo $PATH.

    • Set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to resolve to the GraalVM installation directory:
        export JAVA_HOME=/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/<graalvm>/Contents/Home

      To check whether the installation was successful, enter java -version command.

Optionally, you can specify GraalVM as the JRE or JDK installation in your Java IDE.

For Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition users, find the installation instructions here.

Note on macOS java_home command The information property file, Info.plist, is in the top level Contents folder. This means that GraalVM participates in the macOS specific /usr/libexec/java_home mechanism. Depending on other JDK installation(s) available, it is now possible that /usr/libexec/java_home -v1.8 returns /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/graalvm-ce-java8-20.3.0/Contents/Home. You can run /usr/libexec/java_home -v1.8 -V to see the complete list of 1.8 JVMs available to the java_home command. This command appears to sort the JVMs in decreasing version order and chooses the top one as the default for the specified version. Within a specific version, the sort order appears to be stable but is unspecified.

Install Additional Components #

The base distribution of GraalVM Community Edition for macOS platforms includes the JVM, the GraalVM compiler, the LLVM runtime, and the Node.js JavaScript runtime environment for servers and applications. The base installation can be extended with:


  • Native Image – a technology to compile an application ahead-of-time into a native executable.
  • LLVM toolchain – a set of tools and APIs for compiling native programs to bitcode that can be executed with on the GraalVM runtime. ​ Language Runtimes:
  • Python – Python 3.8.5 compatible
  • Ruby – Ruby 2.6.6 compatible
  • R – GNU R 3.6.1 compatible
  • Wasm – WebAssembly (Wasm) ​ These functionalities are not part of the GraalVM Community base distribution and must be downloaded and installed separately.

To assist a user with installation, GraalVM includes GraalVM Updater, a command line utility to install and manage additional functionalities. Proceed to the installation steps to add any necessary language runtime or utility from above to GraalVM.