September 27, 2023

Helping You Find the JDK That Fits Your Needs

In the last few years, the choice of JDKs has exploded. Almost everyone offers one, even Microsoft. Unsurprisingly, people struggle to pick a JDK and are looking for help.

While we can learn that Java Is Still Free and get told which JDK we should use, nobody seems to provide a comprehensive overview of the differences between the various JDKs. The best I could find is OpenJDK vs Oracle JDK – Comparison Table authored by Azul1.

Therefore, I have created JDK Comparison.

Introducing JDK Comparison

JDK Comparison allows you to compare most2 JDKs on the market, feature by feature. Multiple filters help you narrow your choices. There is even a button that lets you focus on the differences by hiding the commonalities. Dozens of explanations and footnotes should help you understand what each feature means and provide additional sourcing.

While compiling the list, I learnt some interesting things:

  • It is hard3 to figure out what additional patches the vendors apply to their JDKs. In most cases, it is nothing more than a custom trust store and a handful of backports (CustomisationsCustomisations).
  • If you need a JDK for Windows on ARM, you have only two options for JDK 21 and three options for JDK 17 (Platforms: WindowsARM, 64-bit).
  • Alibaba Dragonwell and Eclipse Temurin are the only JDKs with a Software Bill of Materials (SecuritySBOM).
  • Eclipse Temurin is the only JDK with Windows-based container images (Platforms: WindowsContainer Images).
  • Neither Amazon nor Microsoft offer support for their JDKs for workloads that do not run on their clouds (SupportPaid Support).

Apart from the comparison itself, there is a page that answers frequently asked questions. For example, it details the options you have if you want to move away from Oracle JDK 8 and need JavaFX or Web Start.

Tell Me What You Think

I am happy to add features to the comparison, expand the FAQ, or fix errors. I would also be thrilled to accept contributions. If you find the comparison helpful, it would be terrific if you spread the word or tell me directly about it.

  1. Unfortunately, it contains some puzzling statements. For example, it claims that Amazon does not have the “Engineering capacity to root-cause & fix bugs” despite employing multiple prolific OpenJDK contributors. ↩︎

  2. The FAQ outlines which JDKs are on the to-do list and why some will not be added↩︎

  3. If you work for a vendor: Please publish change logs and link them from your downloads page. Ideally, publish the full source code that you used to build the JDK (not on the very same download page. ↩︎