Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Tale of Two Oracle JDKs

There has been concern recently that Java developers will inadvertently use the wrong Oracle-provided JDK implementation now (as of JDK 11) that Oracle provides builds of the open source OpenJDK and also provides commercial JDK builds based largely on the OpenJDK source.

The table below compares and contrasts the two versions of JDK that Oracle provides (but Oracle won't be the only supplier of JDK builds available for free and/or for support charge). Please keep in mind this represents my best personal understanding of the differences and similarities of Oracle's two offerings; please check with an authoritative source before making decisions regarding which Oracle JDK implementation to use (or even whether to use an Oracle implementation).

JDK Builds from Oracle (
Characteristic Oracle OpenJDK Builds Oracle JDK (Java SE Downloads)
Oracle's Descriptions "End users and developers looking for free JDK versions: Oracle OpenJDK offers the same features and performance as Oracle JDK under the GPL license." "Oracle Customers and ISVs targeting Oracle LTS releases: Oracle JDK is Oracle's supported Java SE version for customers and for developing, testing, prototyping or demonstrating your Java applications."
Web Address
License GNU General Public License, version 2, with the Classpath Exception Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE
Build Platforms (Binaries) Linux / x64 (tar.gz)
macOS / x64 (tar.gz)
Windows / x64 (zip)
Linux / x64 (tar.gz, deb, rpm)
macOS / x64 (tar.gz, dmg)
Windows / x64 (zip, exe)
Solaris SPARC (tar.gz)
Pay for Production Use No Yes
Oracle Support Select bug fixes and security patches until next JDK version's General Availability release Java SE Subscription
(Support for LTS versions for up to 8 years)
Several Other Paid Support Offerings under "Oracle Customers"
java -version Example openjdk version "11" 2018-09-25
OpenJDK Runtime Environment 18.9 (build 11+28)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM 18.9 (build 11+28, mixed mode)
java version "11" 2018-09-25
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment 18.9 (build 11+28)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 18.9 (build 11+28, mixed mode)
Required to Accept License Agreement No Yes
Java Flight Recorder Yes Yes
Java Mission Control Yes Yes
Advanced Management Console No Yes
This table represents my personal understanding only; refer to Oracle documentation and OpenJDK documentation for more authoritative information (see "References" below).

There are other implementations of the JDK that will be available as well, with some being free and some requiring payment. I did not discuss those alternatively provided JDKs in this post in order to keep the comparison cleaner and simpler between the "Oracle OpenJDK builds" and the "Oracle JDK builds".


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