With its Corretto 8 Java build, Amazon Web Services is readying its own no-cost distribution of standard Java featuring long-term support, giving Java users a potential alternative to Oracle’s own Java Development Kit (JDK).
The open source Corretto distribution of OpenJDK currently is in beta. It is multiplatform and can be deployed in the cloud, on premises, and on a user’s local computer. Licensed under the Gnu Public License Version 2, Corretto is designed as a drop-in replacement for all Java SE (Standard Edition) distributions, unless users are using features not included in OpenJDK.
Amazon touts assurances of free, long-term support for Corretto, in contrast to Oracle’s paid support for businesses to use Java SE. Amazon promises security updates distributed for free for Corretto 8 until at least June 2023, with quarterly updates. Aside from security updates, patches will cover performance enhancements, garbage collection scheduling, monitoring, and prevention for out-of-memory situations. Reporting and threat management also will be covered by the patches.
Corretto 8 currently provides the features in 2014’s OpenJDK Version 8 (not the current OpenJDK 11), whereas Oracle’s JDK has been updated several times since. The future Corretto 11 version will support OpenJDK 11's features by April 2019, Amazon says. It also intends for Corretto to become the default OpenJDK variant on Amazon Linux 2 next year.
The Corretto 8 beta is available for Amazon Linux 2, Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and Docker images. A production version is planned by spring 2019, with the addition of support for Ubuntu Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
When Corretto binaries are installed on a host and invoked to run applications, existing command-line options will continue to work. Amazon has run the Java Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) on Corretto releases to ensure Java SE compatibility.
Where to download the Corretto 8 beta
You can download Corretto 8 beta from the project website.