Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Amazon Corretto: Another No-Cost JDK

In the blog post "A Tale of Two Oracle JDKs," I compared and contrasted the two JDKs provided by Oracle: Oracle OpenJDK and Oracle JDK (Java SE). There are numerous other JDK offerings available, most of which are based on OpenJDK. One of these is Amazon Corretto, which is the subject of this post.

Today's "What's New with AWS" post "Introducing Amazon Corretto (Preview)" announces Amazon Corretto as "a no-cost, multiplatform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK)." Amazon Corretto's main page describes what it has to offer: "Corretto comes with long-term support that will include performance enhancements and security fixes." This is significant because it advertises that Amazon will provide performance enhancements and security fixes to its JDK offerings past the 6 months for which Oracle has committed to making performance enhancements and security fixes to each new OpenJDK version.

The first version of Amazon Corretto is currently a preview version and is called Amazon Corretto 8 (which, of course, associates it with OpenJDK 8). The "List of Patches for Amazon Corretto 8 Preview" lists "the patches applied to OpenJDK for the Amazon Corretto 8 Preview." These currently include patches related to OpenJDK issues (including backports from OpenJDK 11) such as JDK-8187123 ["(reflect) Class#getCanonicalName and Class#getSimpleName is a part of performance issue"] and JDK-8213198 ["Not triggering mixed GCs in G1 leaves string table cleanup deferred"].

The Amazon Corretto FAQs presents the question, "What is included in Corretto's long-term support?" The answers to this question communicate that Amazon plans to "provide security updates for Corretto 8 until at least June 2023" and to "support Corretto 11 with quarterly updates until at least August 2024." That same answer tells us that plans are to release Amazon Corretto 11 in the first half of 2019. Current updates for both Amazon Corretto 8 and for Amazon Corretto 11 are planned to be made quarterly until at least their advertised ending month of support (June 2023 for Corretto 8 and August 2024 for Corretto 11).

There has been a lot of miscommunication recently about the required cost of purchasing Java in the future. Amazon Corretto is another supporte JDK distribution that will be free of cost. The Amazon Corretto FAQs feature the question, "Is there any cost associated with using Corretto?" The answers associated with that question are:

Corretto is distributed by Amazon under an Open Source license at no cost to you. It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Public License version 2 with the Class Path Exception (GPLv2 with CPE). Amazon does not charge for its use or distribution.

I highly recommend the Amazon Corretto FAQs to anyone potentially interested in adopting Amazon Corretto. In addition to providing answers about likely questions related to long-term support, licenses, and costs, these FAQs also explain the types of patches Amazon intends to make to OpenJDK distributions, explain the degree of drop-in replaceability of other OpenJDK-based distributions by Amazon Corretto, list the operating systems supported for running Amazon Corretto, and explain how Amazon Corretto can be used with or without use of Amazon Web Services (AWS).


These has been continuing confusion surrounding whether Java is still free or not. Amazon Corretto is another example of an OpenJDK-based JDK binary available free of cost with long-term support advertised.

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@DustinMarx said...

The recently published blog post "Amazon Corretto 8 Now Generally Available" announces that the "OpenJDK version [has been updated] to 8u202" and that "a much more comprehensive list of platforms is now supported." The post also states, "We are working on Corretto 11 builds corresponding to Open JDK 11 and will release with time for testing before April, 2019."

@DustinMarx said...

Amazon Corretto 11 is Now in Preview