JVM Terminated: Java 1.6 on Mac OS X 10.5.x (for PlayBook) breaks Flash Builder

The Problem: JVM Terminated
You are a Flash developer using Flash Builder and a Mac running OS X Leopard (10.5.x). You want to develop an app for the new BlackBerry PlayBook using Adobe AIR so you get everything you need from the BlackBerry site ( and install it according to the instructions.

Once you have the BlackBerry SDK installed, VMWare installed and running the BlackBarry virtual machine simulator you’re all ready to head over to Flash Builder to output your AIR project to try it in the Simulator. To your surprise, Flash Builder won’t launch! When you try, you get a nasty error message reading JVM terminated Exit code=-1 and on and on. Neither Flash Builder 4 nor the prerelease Flash Builder Burrito will launch. WellThatsFine…

What happened?
You’re pretty sure some part of the PlayBook installation hosed your Flash Builder, but what part? The PlayBook SDK? VMWare and/or the BlackBerry Simulator? Nope, it was the Java upgrade. Flash Builder requires a 32bit version of Java, but Java 1.6 is required to do AIR PlayBook work and there’s only a 64bit version of Java 1.6 for Mac 10.5.x (no 32bit version). So it would seem you have to choose between Flash Builder or Playbook tools.

Fix it!
If you just want to roll your system back so Flash Builder works again you’ll need to re-install an older version of Java. You may think you can just revert the change you made when you followed the Java upgrade instructions from RIM, but that won’t work. Instead, here’s how to re-install the older version of Java:

  • Delete /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework
  • Download and install the 32 bit version of Java for Mac OS X 10.5 (Update 9) from the Apple Downloads page: Java 1.5 will be the default version that is enabled when you install it.

That’s it! You should be up-and-running with Flash Builder again.

You are not dissuaded from Playbook development, so what’s the solution to get both Flash Builder and Java 1.6 running on your machine?
Since you’ll need to work with Java 1.6 but Flash Builder 4.5 isn’t compatible with the 64bit version of Java 1.6 for Mac OS X 10.5.x the only solution is to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6, which comes with a 32bit version of Java 1.6. The good news is that it’ll only cost you $29 to upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard.

Special thanks to BlackBerry Forums user Derek O’Brien for providing the solution…

Mac OS X, 10.5.8, Java 1.5, Java 1.6, JVM terminated, Java exit code =-1, PlayBook, AIR, Flash Builder 4.5, Flash Builder Burrito

Oh, and the error at the top of this post is seen when launching Flash Builder 4 after Java is upgraded to 1.6. If Flash Builder Burrito is installed the error message will be different, reading: The JVM shared library “/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework”
does not contain the JNI_CreateJavaVM symbol.

The official system requirements for Flash Builder Burrito:

The Adobe bug I filed for this issue:

2 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. Had the same problem!

  2. Had the same Issue


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