Java 8 End of Life (EOL)?


A few days ago, someone asked me has Java 8 reached the end of its life, and should we upgrade to Java 11 or Java 17. If you have the same question, let’s try to understand the situation, and do you need an upgrade or you can wait?

You should consider upgrading to a newer version of Java to ensure security, performance, and ongoing support, but Java 8 has a complex End-of-Life (EOL) situation.

First, let’s understand there are multiple JDK vendors. The primary differences among JDK vendors lie in their support models, additional features, performance optimizations, and licensing terms

JDK Vendors

Let’s explore some of the key JDK vendors and their differences:

  1. Oracle JDK: The original Java developer, historically most popular. Now subscription-based for commercial support; free updates for personal/development use are time-limited. Includes tools like Flight Recorder and Mission Control.
  2. OpenJDK: Open-source Java SE reference implementation. Community-driven (Oracle, Red Hat, IBM, etc.), providing a free alternative. Many JDK vendors base their distributions on OpenJDK.
  3. AdoptOpenJDK: Community-led effort for pre-built OpenJDK binaries across platforms. Provides LTS and interim releases, choice of HotSpot or OpenJ9 JVMs, with timely updates and community support.
  4. Amazon Corretto: Free, production-ready OpenJDK distribution by Amazon. Long-term support, security patches, optimized for AWS. Includes additional AWS-specific monitoring and diagnostic tools.
  5. Red Hat OpenJDK: OpenJDK build by Red Hat, integrated with RHEL. Targets enterprises with its commercial support and focus on stability and long-term use.

Now let’s come to EOL

Public Updates:

  • Oracle JDK 8: Oracle ended public updates for commercial use of Java 8 in January 2019. Public updates for personal use continue indefinitely.
  • OpenJDK 8: OpenJDK 8 still receives some security and bug fixes through various vendors, but these updates may have varying end dates.

Long-Term Support (LTS):

  • Oracle JDK 8: Oracle provides commercial Long-Term Support (LTS) for Java 8 until at least December 2030.
  • Other Vendors: Several vendors offer their own extended support for OpenJDK 8, often with longer support periods than Oracle. Some popular options include:

What does this mean for you?

  • New Projects: It’s strongly recommended to use a newer Java version (like Java 11 or Java 17, which are also LTS releases) for new development. These versions have significant performance improvements, security enhancements, and modern language features.

Important Considerations

  • Using outdated Java versions exposes you to potential security risks and compatibility issues.
  • Consult the specific support policies of the JDK distribution you’re using to confirm its end-of-life dates.

If you are using OpenJDK 8 EOL is Nov 2026 as of now. For more details check this : OpenJDK Life Cycle and Support Policy – Red Hat Customer Portal

If you are using Oracle JDK 8 check this: Premier Support has ended on 31 Mar 2022, but Extended support is available till 31 Dec 2030

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