What causes imported Maven project in Eclipse to use Java 1.5 instead of Java 1.6 by default and how can I ensure it doesn't?

0 votes
asked Aug 21, 2010 by chris-collins

I imported a Maven project and it used Java 1.5 even though I have 1.6 configured as my Eclipse default Preferences->Java->Installed JREs.

When I changed the Maven project to use the 1.6 JRE it still had the build errors left over from when the project was using Java 1.5 (I described these build errors earlier in: I have build errors with m2eclipse but not with maven2 on the command line - is my m2eclipse misconfigured?)

I'm going to delete the project and try again but I want to make sure this time that it uses Java 1.6 from the start to see if this eliminates the build problems.

How do I make sure the project uses Java 1.6 when I import it?

8 Answers

0 votes
answered Aug 21, 2010 by pascal-thivent

The m2eclipse plugin doesn't use Eclipse defaults, the m2eclipse plugin derives the settings from the POM. So if you want a Maven project to be configured to use Java 1.6 settings when imported under Eclipse, configure the maven-compiler-plugin appropriately, as I already suggested:


If your project is already imported, update the project configuration (right-click on the project then Maven V Update Project Configuration).

0 votes
answered Jan 6, 2012 by nicholas

I wanted to add something to the answer already provided. maven-compiler-plugin by default will compile your project using Java 1.5 which is where m2e get's its information.

That's why you have to explicitly declare the maven-compiler-plugin in your project with something other then 1.5. Your effective pom.xml will implicitly use the default set in the maven-compiler-plugin pom.xml.

0 votes
answered Jan 1, 2015 by iowatiger08

I found that my issue was someone committed the file .project and .classpath that had references to Java1.5 as the default JRE.

<classpathentry kind="con" path="org.eclipse.jdt.launching.JRE_CONTAINER/org.eclipse.jdt.internal.debug.ui.launcher.StandardVMType/J2SE-1.5">
        <attribute name="owner.project.facets" value="java"/>

By closing the project, removing the files, and then re-importing as a Maven project, I was able to properly set the project to use workspace JRE or the relevant jdk without it reverting back to 1.5 . Thus, avoid checking into your SVN the .project and .classpath files

Hope this helps others.

0 votes
answered Jan 20, 2015 by pitchblack408

    <!-- ... -->


0 votes
answered Jan 24, 2015 by tony-vu

Your JRE was probably defined in run configuration. Follow these steps in Eclipse to change the build JRE.

1) Right click on the project and select Run As > Run Configurations

2) From Run Configurations window, select your project build configuration on the left panel. On the right, you will see various tabs: Main, JRE, Refresh, Source,...

3) Click on JRE tab, you should see something like this

enter image description here

4) By default, Work Default JRE (The JRE you select as default under Preferences->Java->Installed JREs) will be used. If you want to use another installed JRE, tick the Alternate JRE checkbox and select your preferred JRE from the dropdown.

0 votes
answered Jan 10, 2016 by manuelvigarcia

Project specific settings

One more place where this can go wrong is in the project specific settings, in Eclipse.

  1. project properties: click your project and one of the following:

    • Alt + Enter
    • Menu > Project > Properties
    • right click your project > project properties (last item in the menu)
  2. click on "Java Compiler"

  3. Uncheck "Enable project specific settings" (or change them all by hand).

Because of client requirements we had them enabled to keep our projects in 1.6. When it was needed to upgrade to 1.7, we had a hard time because we needed to change the java version all over the place:

  • project POM
  • Eclipse Workspace default
  • project specific settings
  • executing virtual machine (1.6 was used for everything)
0 votes
answered Jan 27, 2016 by hogi

I added this to my pom.xml below the project description and it worked:

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by max

Here is the root cause of java 1.5:

Also note that at present the default source setting is 1.5 and the default target setting is 1.5, independently of the JDK you run Maven with. If you want to change these defaults, you should set source and target.

Reference : Apache Mavem Compiler Plugin

Following are the details:

Plain pom.xml

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0"



Following plugin is taken from an expanded POM version(Effective POM),

This can be get by this command from the command line C:\mvn help:effective-pom I just put here a small snippet instead of an entire pom.


Even here you don't see where is the java version defined, lets dig more...

Download the plugin, Apache Maven Compiler Plugin ยป 3.1 as its available in jar and open it in any file compression tool like 7-zip

Traverse the jar and findout


file inside folder


Now you will see the following section in the file,

    <basedir implementation="java.io.File" default-value="${basedir}"/>
    <buildDirectory implementation="java.io.File" default-value="${project.build.directory}"/>
    <classpathElements implementation="java.util.List" default-value="${project.testClasspathElements}"/>
    <compileSourceRoots implementation="java.util.List" default-value="${project.testCompileSourceRoots}"/>
    <compilerId implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="javac">${maven.compiler.compilerId}</compilerId>
    <compilerReuseStrategy implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="${reuseCreated}">${maven.compiler.compilerReuseStrategy}</compilerReuseStrategy>
    <compilerVersion implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.compilerVersion}</compilerVersion>
    <debug implementation="boolean" default-value="true">${maven.compiler.debug}</debug>
    <debuglevel implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.debuglevel}</debuglevel>
    <encoding implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="${project.build.sourceEncoding}">${encoding}</encoding>
    <executable implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.executable}</executable>
    <failOnError implementation="boolean" default-value="true">${maven.compiler.failOnError}</failOnError>
    <forceJavacCompilerUse implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.forceJavacCompilerUse}</forceJavacCompilerUse>
    <fork implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.fork}</fork>
    <generatedTestSourcesDirectory implementation="java.io.File" default-value="${project.build.directory}/generated-test-sources/test-annotations"/>
    <maxmem implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.maxmem}</maxmem>
    <meminitial implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.meminitial}</meminitial>
    <mojoExecution implementation="org.apache.maven.plugin.MojoExecution">${mojoExecution}</mojoExecution>
    <optimize implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.optimize}</optimize>
    <outputDirectory implementation="java.io.File" default-value="${project.build.testOutputDirectory}"/>
    <showDeprecation implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.showDeprecation}</showDeprecation>
    <showWarnings implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.showWarnings}</showWarnings>
    <skip implementation="boolean">${maven.test.skip}</skip>
    <skipMultiThreadWarning implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.skipMultiThreadWarning}</skipMultiThreadWarning>
    <source implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="1.5">${maven.compiler.source}</source>
    <staleMillis implementation="int" default-value="0">${lastModGranularityMs}</staleMillis>
    <target implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="1.5">${maven.compiler.target}</target>
    <testSource implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.testSource}</testSource>
    <testTarget implementation="java.lang.String">${maven.compiler.testTarget}</testTarget>
    <useIncrementalCompilation implementation="boolean" default-value="true">${maven.compiler.useIncrementalCompilation}</useIncrementalCompilation>
    <verbose implementation="boolean" default-value="false">${maven.compiler.verbose}</verbose>
    <mavenSession implementation="org.apache.maven.execution.MavenSession" default-value="${session}"/>
    <session implementation="org.apache.maven.execution.MavenSession" default-value="${session}"/>

Look at the above code and find out the following 2 lines

    <source implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="1.5">${maven.compiler.source}</source>
    <target implementation="java.lang.String" default-value="1.5">${maven.compiler.target}</target>

Good luck.

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