Installing Groovy on a Mac

Having heard about Groovy and Grails for the last few years but not having actually had a look at it I installed Groovy on my Mac the other week for a bit of a play. It’s always good and fun to have a look at a different language even if if you’re not going to use it in your day to day job. Coming from predominantly a Java background Groovy seemed like a good choice as it runs on the Java platform and the language is similar. Having had the opportunity to use Objective-C for a few months last year and seeing how in some ways it was more powerful than Java (but also in other ways frustrating), I was curious to see what power Groovy gave to a developer.

The first step though was to get Groovy installed on my Mac. So I thought I’d put a post up mainly for anyone new to developing on a Mac. Whilst I’ve had my Mac for a year or so, I hadn’t really had it setup for anything other than Java until recently, and there were definitely some things that were a little different to what I was used to on Windows as well from my prior limited stint in Ubuntu land.

These instructions are based on a setup for OS X. I’d imagine the setup may be similar on any other version?

  1. Java should already be installed on your machine. Confirm this by opening up a Terminal and typing in ‘java -version‘.
  2. Download the binary Zip release of Groovy from the Groovy site.
  3. Extract the contents into /usr/local – e.g. my install location is /usr/local/groovy-1.7.6/. You will probably need to need to use the sudo command for the extract as you will need to be superuser to write to the location.
  4. Check if a file called environment.plist exists in the following location /Users/YOUR_USER_NAME/.MacOSX. If it doesn’t create it.
  5. Open environment.plist in the Property List Editor
  6. Add an entry for JAVA_HOME if not present, ensure the value is the location of your Java installation. This should be /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/CurrentJDK/Home
  7. Add an entry for GROOVY_HOME if not present and ensure the value is the location Groovy is installed. E.g. /usr/local/groovy-1.7.6
  8. Add an entry for PATH if not present, and ensure the Groovy bin and Java bin directories are present by adding  $JAVA_HOME:$GROOVY_HOME/bin
  9. Log out and re log back in for the changes to take effect.
  10. Check that everything is all setup correctly by opening a Terminal and running groovy -version which should show you which version of Groovy is installed.

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