Java Fatal Error: Unable to find package java.lang in classpath or bootclasspath

The problem comes from IntelliJ bug (existing at least in version 14). It happens when your JDK directory is under the user profile directory. For example, JDK located in this directory (for Windows):


will be stored in IntelliJ internal configuration (file 'jdk.table.xml') as:


But your %USER_PROFILE% environment variable could point at some other (non default) location. Then IntelliJ will look at the wrong directory.

Possible fix: Install your JDK at different directory, which is outside your profile directory. Like:


Then register this JDK for use in your IntelliJ project settings.

Vladimír Schäfer

I just spent quite few hours on this and found a solution which might work for you as well. IntelliJ seems to have a bug which expects the JDK to be in a different directory than is specified. I followed these steps:

  • open intelliJ, click help -> show log in explorer
  • modify build-log/build-log.xml and change <priority value="info" /> to <priority value="debug" />, you may have to run the editor as an administrator
  • run the compilation which fails with "Error:java: Fatal Error: Unable to find..."
  • open build-log/build.log and search for rt.jar, you should find it in a block with a set of other JRE libraries and the directory which points to the file should be wrong

In my case the JDK is included in D:\Development\software\jdk1.8.0_20, while the log points to C:\Users\Vladimir\Development\software\jdk1.8.0_20

I fixed the issue by copying my JRE to the place which is expected in the log. And just like in your case this seems to only happen with JDK 1.8.

I encountered this on Arch Linux 4.16.13 with IntelliJ 2018.1.4 after importing a Java project using Gradle. I made sure that there is a registered JDK in "Project Settings" -> "Project" but IntelliJ was unable to find the classes from the JDK, java.util.List for example.

The solution was to add a new JDK entry at the same path as the existing JDK (/usr/lib/jvm/java-8-openjdk in my case). This will cause IntelliJ to put the files under jre onto the classpath whereas with the old JDK entry, only the files under lib were on the classpath.

If this problem occurs when importing a project in netbeans then try to create a new project then check the properties of your new created project and match those properties with the project that you imported in my case there was a difference between target of android package version.

From what I understood, debugging for hours, the problem is with the location where the jdk1.8 gets installed(/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.8.0_92.jdk/Contents/Home), instead of under System/Library).

So the following has to be done to fix in intellij 1. For an existing project, right click and select module settings, and SDK and add 1.8 as a version. 2. Using a terminal go to ~/Library/Preferences//options/. Remove the old JDK specific lines in jdk.table.xml. Update the default version in project.default.xml

Clean you project in intellij and build. It should use the new jdk and sync.

Had the same problem. Simple fix to others in case the other answers are complex.

Go to File -> Project Structure Under Project SDK, choose new and add another JDK.

The default use in my case was 1.8 that was of build 181. I choose the 1.8.0_192 I had recently downloaded.

After applying, the project loads itself. When I re-ran the test, it works!