How to Set 32-bit Java as Default in Snow Leopard

When you run a Java application on Snow Leopard, the 64-bit Java is used by default. This might be problematic when you run some older applications. We ran to this problem earlier when a user tried to activate his Matlab license. The message he got is

There was an unexpected exception: Can’t load library: / Applications/ / bin/ maci64/ libactivation.jnilib See the log file (/ var/ folders/ Mp/ Mp0PQFo9GbKznsjhgBiZf++++TI/ -Tmp-/ TMW_svact_christophergiuliano.log) for more details.

The solution is to set the 32-bit Java as default. Here are the steps:

  1. Invoke Java Preferences in Applications -> Utilities.
  2. Click on the entry of Java SE 6  32-bit and drag it before Java SE 6  64-bit in the Java Applications section.
  3. Close Java Preferences. The 32-bit Java will be used next time you run a Java application.

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