Updated Java 6 EOL date

The Java SE Support Roadmap reflects an updated timeline for the EOL of public support and public releases for JDK 6. The EOL date has been extended from July 2012 to November 2012, to allow some more time for the transition to JDK 7. We have also updated the EOL policy to clarify our intent for this, and future major releases. EOL for public support and fixes for Java SE will typically occur no earlier than:

  • Three years after the GA of a major release
  • One year after the GA of a subsequent major release
  • Six months after a subsequent major release has been established as the default JRE

This policy has been consistent through the history of Java. The JRE is free software, and as is the case with most free software, users are encouraged to adopt the latest stable version. For those who need longer support lifetimes, Oracle offers Java SE Support


Thanks! It is good to have a bit more time.

Posted by Lars Vogel on February 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM PST #

Is this for OpenJDK6 or just the proprietary JDK? Only the former is Free software (with a capital 'F' - free as in freedom).

Posted by Andrew John Hughes on February 16, 2012 at 04:24 AM PST #

It might help the transition if java.com would feature java 7:


*Why is Java SE 7 not yet available on java.com?*

The new release of Java is first made available to the developers to ensure no major problems are found before we make it available on the java.com website for end users to download the latest version. If you are interested in trying Java SE 7 it can be downloaded from Oracle.com

How do I convince my customers to use java7 if the site they go to says it's experimental?

Posted by guest on February 16, 2012 at 06:16 AM PST #

@Andrew - It is a lower case F, but your point is duly noted. I think the key message remains that, as with most software, it's not reasonable to presume support multiple streams indefinitely without sharing some of the costs.

@guest - We are working hard to make Java 7 the default JRE, but won't do so until the timing is right. You'll notice that we've updated the EOL for public support to confirm that we won't be moving away from six until Java 7 has had at least 6 months as the default JRE - so it's our own best interest to do this as quickly as we can, but only when the timing is right. It's a good sign for us that there are a lot of people pushing us hard to switch to Java 7 as the default, but we also have to balance with the people that want a bit more time with Java 6...

Posted by Donald Smith on February 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM PST #

as long a java 6 codes runs 100% in java 7 it's fine. Otherwise oracle should offer a long term support roadmap, especially if java should stay in enterprice applications.

Posted by suvi on February 18, 2012 at 08:14 AM PST #

suvi - If you follow the link in the last sentence of the blog post you will find details on our long-term support program.

Posted by Henrik Stahl on February 18, 2012 at 08:30 AM PST #

Thanks for the updates for more time for transition.

Posted by Terence on February 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM PST #

You really need to be much clearer about this, as the current policy is causing a lot of confusion. Our customers refuse to upgrade to Java 7 since "it's not officially supported by Oracle". If they call Oracle support, they confirm the info on java.com, that Java 7 is "only for developers" and that you "don't recommend" Java 7 and that the "stable" release is Java 6 build 31. At the same time, you classify Java 7 as GA and until very recently, 6 was set to EOL in July (now November). Java 7 cannot be GA and "only for developers" at the same time. Similarly, it cannot be GA but not officially supported.

Please be clear now:

1) Is Java 7 officially supported by Oracle or not?
2) Which Java version do you recommend for new installs in large corporations: 6 or 7?
3) Is Java 7 considered stable?
4) If you don't recommend Java 7 yet, how long will the upgrade window be from the time Java 7 is made the default, to when Java 6 EOLs (in November)?

It's OK for Java 6 to be the default download for end users, but if Java 7 is officially supported and you want anyone to use it, then you need to change the text on java.com to say that very clearly, and remove the "only for developers" text. Otherwise we don't have a hope of getting our customers to upgrade.

Posted by guest on February 28, 2012 at 02:42 AM PST #


My name is Donald Smith, and I'm on the Java SE PM team.

Sorry that it's not clear, we endeavor to make it as clear as we can. I believe the Java community was in a nice pattern through 1.2->3->4->5->6 -- but since Java 6 has been around for so long, we've all "forgotten" how to go through this process. Hopefully people are caught less by surprise for Java 7, 8 and 9 EOL...

Thanks for the very specific questions, it helps a lot.

1 - Java 7 is officially supported. Any customer or end user is able to report bugs, issues, and we will work to resolve bugs/issues. This has been true since the launch in July.
2 - This is a subjective question. I know of people and organizations who jumped into Java 7 at launch, and I know of people and organizations who have held off any considerations until end of this summer. It comes down to your comfort level, how rigorous your testing and validation is and how comfortable you are swapping infrastructure. There is no single answer that would apply to all people or organizations. In fact, there is still a measurable install base still using 1.4 and 1.5!
3 - Again, "stable" is a subjective term. I consider it stable. I do know of some orgs that use the rule of thumb that they won't look at a version of Java until it becomes the default JRE on Java.com. If that's your own definition of "stable", then I suppose we haven't achieved that yet. Again, it's a subjective conversation.
4 - When we updated the EOL time-lines a couple weeks ago, we were careful to explain the longstanding policy for setting the EOL dates. We won't declare Java 6 to be EOL (meaning no more public updates) until Java 7 has been the default JRE on Java.com for at least 6 months.

- Don

Posted by Donald Smith on February 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM PST #

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Henrik Stahl is VP of Product Management in the Java Platform Group at Oracle, and is responsible for product strategy for Java ME and SE.


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