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Choosing between OpenJDK and Oracle JDK

chaitanya karthikk
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Posts: 806

Hi all, we are starting a project using java technologies. Our client is not interested in purchasing tools or sdk-s when there are alternatives. So we are thinking to use OpenJDK. I hope Oracle JDK is only free for home purpose or learning purpose. I think if we plan to do business on it we have to purchase a license. This is why we are going for OpenJDK. I have few questions

1. I don't know exactly whether can we develop and sell products using OpenJDK, next, OpenJDK is not available for Windows operating system.
2. In the site (openjdk.java.net) they gave a link to download openjdk for windows but it points to Oracle site. Is there an OpenJDK implementation available for windows operating system?
3. The site only speaks about JDK. What about JRE? Should we use Oracle JRE in production environment?

Can anyone please help me. Thank you in advance. good day.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
Greg Charles

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2968

I don't think you mean you "hope" Oracle JDK is only free for home use, but maybe you mean you "believe" that to be true? In any case, the Oracle JDK is in fact free for any kind of use as far as I know. The license is viewable at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/terms/license/index.html. It does exclude certain Commercial Features, but that seems to mean JRockit and a few other tools, not the commercial use of the Java Development Kit and Runtime Engine.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 15082

See also my answer in your other copy of this question. (Please do not post the same question in more than one forum).

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Randy Nielsen

Joined: Jan 23, 2013
Posts: 3
I don't pretend to be a lawyer but in my experience Oracle can and will force you to sign a license agreement with $ attached to it, provided you commercially re-distribute their JRE binaries as part of your product. Before getting to deep into this I highly recommend you consult with an attorney experienced in these matters. I don't know the legality of re-distributing your OpenJDK build binaries. Notably the TCK (Test Compatibility Kit), which allows you to test-certify a build, is covered under a separate license. From http://openjdk.java.net/faq/: "To test for compatibility of your implementation to the Java SE specification, you will need to apply to Oracle to obtain access to the Test Compatibility Kit (TCK). Oracle makes the Java SE TCK available under a variety of commercial and non-commercial agreements." So if you're developing games or whatever go for it. if you're developing any kind of "commercial" application, be very careful. Spend the $ on a good attorney.

Campbell Ritchie

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 46349
Welcome to the Ranch Randy Nielsen.
Winston Gutkowski

Joined: Mar 17, 2011
Posts: 8927

Randy Nielsen wrote:I don't pretend to be a lawyer but in my experience Oracle can and will force you to sign a license agreement with $ attached to it, provided you commercially re-distribute their JRE binaries as part of your product.

Really? Like the others, I've always assumed that the basic stuff was free, even for most commercial applications. And since you can download the JRE from almost anywhere (indeed, many OS's come with it pre-loaded), I can't imagine how Oracle could possibly keep track of violations.

The whole point about Java is that it's a free development and distribution platform; and although I have no illusions about Oracle when it comes to money-grubbing, the minute they decide to start charging people for its use is the day it will die.


Bats fly at night, 'cause they aren't we. And if we tried, we'd hit a tree -- Ogden Nash (or should've been).
Articles by Winston can be found here
chaitanya karthikk
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2009
Posts: 806

Thanks all, hope Oracle will not charge anything in future also. I do have another question in the which is unanswered. What about OpenJDK for windows? What about OpenJRE? Should I install OpenJDK in production also? Or I have to copy the JRE folder and distribute it?
Matt Schuetze

Joined: Mar 13, 2014
Posts: 1
Howdy. Like Randy, I am not a lawyer. In full disclosure, I work for Azul Systems. I can say with pride that you now do have a professional alternative for OpenJDK on Windows. We call it Zulu. It's a free download with a liberal distribution policy. Starting last fall, Azul aimed to treat OpenJDK like many other open source projects: the software is free and participation in the Zulu Community Forum is free with registration, but formal tech support carries a fee schedule. The same tech pros who support Zulu also support Zing, our flagship JVM product renowned for intense server workloads. They know their way around a JVM.

If you remain unsure, I welcome you to review and try Zulu, no strings attached, no registration, nada. Visit http://www.azulsystems.com/products/zulu. Regarding the Windows platform in particular, we did our first JSE 7 release last fall, and posted our first JSE 6 release yesterday, available both as Zip files and as MSI installers. We focused on 64-bit foremost as that is the more common server architecture as of this writing. If you have any questions, feel free to browse the Zulu community forum, or respond here and I'll keep this thread going. Thanks and best of luck with your project.

And indeed, as a general tip, beware redistributing any software without thorough review of its license. For that you may want a real lawyer, certainly not me or Randy. Cheers.
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subject: Choosing between OpenJDK and Oracle JDK
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