What changed in licensing after Java 11?


  • Oracle’s JDK (commercial) – you can use this in development and testing for free, but if you use it in production you have to pay for it

  • Oracle’s OpenJDK (open source) – you can use this for free in any environment, like any open source library

That's it. You don't need to know anything else.

Anyway I have more to discuss here.

Starting with Java 11, Oracle will provide JDK releases under the open source GNU General Public License v2, with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE), and this is the Open JDK. From Java 11 this will be identical to the Oracle JDK with the exception of few cosmetic and packaging differences. Those exceptions are:

  • -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures option not available in open jdk

  • Open JDk can not provide usage log data to the “Advanced Management Console” tool.

  • The output of the java --version and java -fullversion is different.

  • OpenJDK cryptography framework allows either a valid signature or unsigned third party crypto provider.

  • Oracle OpenJDK builds are currently available as zip and tar.gz files.

Oracle JDK and Open JDK will be functionally equal.We can run our applications without any changes or loosing any features. Oracle JDK can be used with a commercial licence while Open JDK can be used as an open-source.

Support and Updates

If you are a paid Oracle JDK customer, you will get support and updates as per the licence. But if your are using Open JDK, you won't get updates for the past versions. You will have to use the latest JDKs as they come out or run the old JDK without updates. However, there are other vendor such as Azul, IBM and Red Hat which provide JDKs (paid and free plans).

Oracle plans

Since oracle has moved to a faster cadence for Oracle JDK and as a result, updates will be provided for 6 months (if you need updates/support for longer duration for production, you have to buy Oracle JDK) until the next release.

Oracle will lead the first 6 months of the Open JDK LTS. But afterwards updates will only be provided to Oracle JDK. Moreover oracle will work with other Open JDK vendors to hand over these updates to open JDK. At this point as I have mentioned earlier these other vendors will have options to provide updates and support to users. These other JDKs could differ from Oracle JDKs, but Technology Compatibility Kit will ensure that binaries of those JDKs are compatible with the Java SE standards.

Open JDK plans

On 08/17/2018 05:36 PM, Stephen Colebourne has said
OpenJDK is a community project. It's up to the community to support it. In practice this means that a group of organizations and individuals will maintain each OpenJDK LTS release for some period (TBA for 11, but it's sure to be a lot longer than six months.) I am certain that there will be a jdk11u project, and it will be properly and professionally run. I think it's likely that I'll be leading the project, but someone else may be chosen. Given that we don't know when Oracle will end their support it's hard to say any more.

Oracle is a heavy contributor to the Open JDK. It is the base for both open JDK and Oracle JDK. Of the 2,468 JIRA issues marked as fixed in JDK 11, 1,963 were completed by people working for Oracle

[source :https://blogs.oracle.com/java-platform-group/building-jdk-11-together].

Oracle will contribute to Open JDK version while they are providing updates to the corresponding Oracle JDK. Once that version is superseded, oracle will cease contribution and start working on the next version while handing over the current Open JDK to the community. Other vendors will take the leadership and continue to work on the relevant Open JDK version.

Open JDK builds and Vendors

There are many Java SE/Open JDK vendors which provide paid or free updates and support. There are distinct certification processes which run by the Java Community Process, to be completed before publishing a JDK build and if these build passes the TCK, they can be recognized as "Java SE compatible".

Few vendors of Open JDK:

  • OpenJDK builds by Oracle

  • AdoptOpenJDK builds

  • Red Hat OpenJDK builds

  • Azul Zulu

  • IBM

  • SAP

  • Liberica

  • Amazon Corretto

Furthermore ...

JavaFX libraries have been removed from both Oracle and Open JDKs, starting from Java 11 and will be available as a separate SDK. The java packager and webstart have also been removed from both JDKs, starting from Java 11.

As a developer with few years of experience my opinion is, Java's future is bright. All these changes are better for the future of java as well as for the community. I'm hoping to explore more into the java universe and i have much to learn.


  • https://medium.com/@javachampions/java-is-still-free-c02aef8c9e04

  • https://openjdk.java.net/legal/gplv2+ce.html

  • https://blog.jetbrains.com/idea/2018/09/using-java-11-in-production-important-things-to-know/

  • http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/jdk-dev/2018-August/001823.html

  • https://blog.joda.org/2018/09/time-to-look-beyond-oracles-jdk.html

  • https://www.infoq.com/news/2018/11/red-hat-openjdk-gc-Nov18

  • https://blogs.oracle.com/java-platform-group/oracle-jdk-releases-for-java-11-and-later