Categories: Java

OpenJDK vs Oracle JDK Choosing the best


JDK is a development environment used to develop applications along with tools used to compile and debug Java codes.

JDK is bundled together with JRE and JVM together with other components needed to develop, compile and debug Java applications.

OpenJDK features releases every six months, the continuous releases help to improve developer’s experience and it is supported by the Java community who contribute to its development.

Oracle JDK, on the other hand, is a stable version of OpenJDK meant for commercial purposes that are licensed; it takes a relatively long time after every release before the next release unlike in the OpenJDK.

Developers using OpenJDK affirmed the technical bugs and lethal crashes disappeared when they switched to the licensed version; the Oracle JDK.

But this is without saying that they are both the popular choices aside from their slim differences.

Let’s now look at OpenJDK vs Oracle JDK



It is a free open-source version of Java SE Edition released in 2007 by Sun Microsystems which started back in 2006 and licensed under GNU GPL license.

OpenJDK will have a feature release every six months supported only until the next release and it becomes a continuous release targeted at java developers.

OpenJDK was developed by Oracle Corporation and other major contributors like Red Hat, Apple Inc., IBM, OpenJDK & Java community and others, therefore, it is actually the next big thing according to me.

Oracle JDK

It was developed by Oracle under Sun license and implemented under Java SE specifications.

Oracle JDK is completely based on Java programming language and it is bundled with many tools and components in its library.

The reason why it is targeted towards the enterprise users is because of its rich library as compared to OpenJDK and its long term support to ensure stability for the developers using it.


Key differences between Oracle vs OpenJDK

Oracle JDK and OpenJDK are popular choices for Java developers in the market available to date, although they are almost similar feature-wise, still, there exist major differences between the two, I will focus on these differences below.

  • OpenJDK releases are rapid; every 3 months, whereas Oracle JDK’s releases happen after every 3 years.
  • Oracle JDK concentrates most on stability because they are considerate to their enterprise audience and users while OpenJDK focuses on performance and advancement without minding about stability.
  • Oracle JDK offers long-term support to the changes effected in their releases whereas OpenJDK only offers support until the next release is planned and implemented.
  • Oracle JDK is licensed under the binary code license agreement while the OpenJDK license is under the GPL v2 license.
  • The build process in Oracle JDK is propagated from the OpenJDK, hence the difference technically is slim apart from performance in OpenJDK and stability in Oracle JDK key noticeable difference.
  • Another noticeable difference is the fact that Oracle JDK has been implemented by giant companies like Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA, and Minecraft while OpenJDK is less preferred.
  • Flight recorder feature in Oracle JDK and Font renderer feature in OpenJDK forms one of the noticeable difference between the two JDKs
  • Oracle JDK has better renderers compared to OpenJDK which has fewer render options due to its distribution with its own renders.
  • Oracle JDK experience high performance compared to OpenJDK whose JVM performance and responsiveness is lower.
  • Oracle JDK has the less open-source community as compared to OpenJDK whose community strives to improve feature releases focussed on improving performance.
  • Using OpenJDK has no issues with licensing and it is completely free to use open-source, compared to Oracle JDK, Java developers often than not, face issues with licensing.
  • Lethal crashes and bugs are unlikely for Oracle JDK users while developers using OpenJDK are likely to face implications.
  • Oracle JDK is a fully paid version while OpenJDK is a free version with tremendous contribution from Oracle, OpenJDK and other parties involved in feature release and bug fixes to improve OpenJDK performance.
  • Since version 1.0 of Oracle JDK, the development was done by Sun Systems, it was later acquired and maintained by Oracle, while OpenJDK was initially based only Java SDK version 7.


Oracle JDK and OpenJDK are both open-source JDK’s used to develop Java stand-alone applications, Java web applications, and graphical user interfaces.

The only difference between the two most popular JDKs among Java developers is the licensing factor on the additional integration of useful tools and their implementations in Oracle JDK.

On the other hand, the rapid feature release from the OpenJDK, Java community and other giant companies’ contributions puts it on the edge, it is performance-oriented rather than stability.

Therefore, it has room for scalability, performance improvement, other tools, and third-party feature integration and implementation that can be fine-tuned as per the requirements of the JVM with the aim to give an upper hand to performance without a second thought on stability issues.

It is okay to choose OpenJDK for performance but it is important to choose Oracle JDK for stability –  the reason why Oracle JDK audience is enterprise users.



Hillary Koech

I am a software engineer with over 5 years of experience, a Linux enthusiast with a passion for article writing and press releases on Information technology.

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Hillary Koech

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