I'm running linux (ubuntu 19.04) and I cannot start the old minecraft versions like beta or alpha. The error message I get is always the same and it's concerning the "jinput-platform-2.0.5-natives-linux.jar" file and the fact that it (already?) exists. (Included the full message in the attached file)
As you can see there seems to be some problem with the file but I can't really fix it on my end. I'm using Openjdk 11 but I already tried using version 8 and it didn't help as well. Tried making a separate folder for this Alpha minecraft version but it wouldn't help either. Already chowned the whole .minecraft folder.
(Also tried manually deleting the jinput file so it redownloads but the result is identical).
I have no problem running the newest release/snapshot version.
I did the most logical thing you could do and downloaded the jinput library manually from the link displayed in the error / log. The difference was about 10 mb's. Now when I start older minecraft versions there is no error displayed, the log is empty but the game never really starts. I have to add that this whole thing doesn't happen only with alpha and beta versions. So far I've noticed that nothing below 1.0 release works.
Bump due to the fact that I managed to solve this. Someone can pin this or add to some FAQ probably.
Managed to install Java 7 and I'm able to run old minecraft versions now. You need to provide the path to the java 7 bin and the java executable in the profile of your minecraft version.
Open JDK didn't seem to work for me, you need to get the Java 7 distribution from Oracle. In order to get it you need to either create an account on their site as they don't allow "anonymous" downloads for their archive versions or get it from some other website if you actually value your personal data.