The Much Talked About Free Java License Is Here

The Free Java License is now available. The distinctions are purely aesthetic. It's the same software, but it's distributed under a different licence.


Oracle corporation stated in September 2017 that it would publish the JDK under the GPL as “Oracle OpenJDK” and also under an Oracle Technology Network (OTN) licence as the Oracle JDK. 

While providing Oracle OpenJDK builds under the GPL was well-received, developers, academia, and companies expressed a desire for the trusted, rock-solid Oracle JDK to be available under unambiguously free terms licence as well. Oracle expressed that it values comments from the developer community and is glad to share that the request will be addressed with Java 17


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Support to JDK

According to the article, Oracle will continue to support Oracle JDK LTS releases under the NFTC for at least one full year following the release of the succeeding LTS version, providing you with greater upgrade options. While you can continue to use the six-monthly JDK release cadence to gain faster access to new features, performance improvements, and other enhancements, you now have the time necessary to move from one Oracle JDK LTS to the next if that is your preferred approach.

Oracle JDK Licensing information may be found in the Oracle Java SE Licensing FAQ.

No additional costs

Without incurring additional costs, the Oracle Java SE subscription continues to include value-added services such as the Java Management Service, Advanced Management Console, and GraalVM Enterprise. With 24×7 support (from the same Oracle developers who develop the source code for the majority of the Java platform used globally) and a low monthly cost of just $25 (USD) per processor or $2.50 (USD) per user, the Oracle Java SE Subscription continues to be a high-value choice for thousands of organisations, large and small.

Report summarised

  • Oracle is giving away its industry-leading Oracle JDK, including quarterly security patches – also commercial and production.
  • No-Fee Terms and Conditions (NFTC) is the new Oracle licence. Subject to the conditions, this licence for Oracle JDK allows commercial and production use by all users. Redistribution is allowed without charge.
  • Downloading, using, sharing, and redistributing the Oracle JDK has never been easier.
  • Oracle will provide free releases and updates for one year after the next LTS release, starting with Oracle JDK 17. Earlier versions are unaffected.
  • Oracle will keep releasing Oracle OpenJDK under the GPL on the same schedule since Java 9.

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Dr. Nivash Jeevanandam
Nivash holds a doctorate in information technology and has been a research associate at a university and a development engineer in the IT industry. Data science and machine learning excite him.

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