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Oracle announced that it will provide JDK releases in two combinations ( an open source license and a commercial license):

  1. Under the open source GNU General Public License v2, with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CPE)
  2. Under a commercial license for those using the Oracle JDK as part of an Oracle product or service, or who do not wish to use open source software.

These combinations will replace the historical BCL(Binary Code License for Oracle Java SE technologies), which had a combination of free and paid commercial terms.

The BCL has been the primary license for Oracle Java SE technologies for well over a decade. It historically contained ‘commercial features’ that were not available in OpenJDK builds. However, over the past year, Oracle has contributed features to the OpenJDK Community, which include

From Java 11 onwards, therefore, Oracle JDK builds and OpenJDK builds will be essentially identical.

Minute differences between Oracle JDK 11 and OpenJDK

  • Oracle JDK 11 emits a warning when using the -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures option. On the other hand, in OpenJDK builds this option results in an error. This difference remains in order to make it easier for users of Oracle JDK 10 and earlier releases to migrate to Oracle JDK 11 and later.
  • The javac –release command behaves differently for the Java 9 and Java 10 targets. This is because, in those releases the Oracle JDK contained some additional modules that were not part of corresponding OpenJDK releases. Some of them are:
    • javafx.base
    • javafx.controls
    • javafx.fxml
    • javafx.graphics
    • javafx.media
    • javafx.web

This difference remains in order to provide a consistent experience for specific kinds of legacy use. These modules are either now available separately as part of OpenJFX, are now in both OpenJDK and the Oracle JDK because they were commercial features which Oracle contributed to OpenJDK (e.g., Flight Recorder), or were removed from Oracle JDK 11 (e.g., JNLP).

  • The Oracle JDK always requires third party cryptographic providers to be signed by a known certificate. The cryptography framework in OpenJDK has an open cryptographic interface. This means it does not restrict which providers can be used.  Oracle JDK 11 will continue to require a valid signature, and Oracle OpenJDK builds will continue to allow the use of either a valid signature or unsigned third party crypto provider.
  • The Oracle JDK has always required third party cryptographic providers to be signed by a known certificate.  The cryptography framework in OpenJDK has an open cryptographic interface, meaning it does not restrict which providers can be used.  Oracle JDK 11 will continue to require a valid signature, and Oracle OpenJDK builds will continue to allow the use of either a valid signature or unsigned third party crypto provider.

Read more about this news in detail on Oracle blog.

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