JDK 21: Download the Latest Version of Java SE Platform
JDK 21 Download: How to Install and Use the Latest Java Development Kit
Java is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages in the world. It powers millions of applications across various domains, such as web, mobile, desktop, cloud, embedded, and enterprise. Java is also a platform-independent language, which means that it can run on any system that supports a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
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However, to develop and run Java applications, you need a software package called Java Development Kit (JDK). JDK contains all the tools and libraries that you need to compile, debug, test, and execute Java code. JDK also includes a Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which is a subset of JDK that contains only the components that are required to run Java applications.
The latest version of JDK is JDK 21, which is scheduled to be released in September 2023. JDK 21 is the next long-term support (LTS) release of Oracle's standard Java implementation, which means that it will receive updates and security patches for several years. JDK 21 is also the reference implementation of version 21 of the Java SE Platform, as specified by JSR 396 in the Java Community Process.
JDK 21 introduces many new features and enhancements that aim to improve the performance, security, productivity, and compatibility of Java. Some of the highlights of JDK 21 are:
String Templates (Preview): A new syntax for creating formatted strings using placeholders and expressions.
Sequenced Collections: A new interface for collections that maintain a stable iteration order.
Generational ZGC: A new garbage collection algorithm that divides the heap into generations and collects them separately.
Record Patterns: A new way to deconstruct records into their components using pattern matching.
Pattern Matching for switch: A new feature that allows switch expressions and statements to use patterns instead of constants.
Foreign Function & Memory API (Third Preview): A new API that allows Java programs to access native libraries and memory without using JNI.
Unnamed Patterns and Variables (Preview): A new feature that allows patterns and variables to be unnamed when they are not needed.
Virtual Threads: A new concurrency model that allows creating lightweight threads that are managed by the JVM.
Unnamed Classes and Instance Main Methods (Preview): A new feature that allows creating anonymous classes with instance methods.
Scoped Values (Preview): A new feature that allows creating values that are scoped to a thread or a fiber.
Vector API (Sixth Incubator): A new API that allows performing vector operations on arrays of primitive types.
Deprecate the Windows 32-bit x86 Port for Removal: A proposal to deprecate and remove the support for Windows 32-bit x86 platform in future releases.
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pose the Applet API for Removal: A proposal to deprecate and remove the Applet API and related classes in future releases.
Enhanced Pseudo-Random Number Generators: A new feature that allows creating and using custom random number generators.
In this article, we will show you how to download and install JDK 21 on different platforms, and how to use some of the new features and enhancements of JDK 21. We will also provide some tips and best practices for using JDK 21 effectively and securely.
How to Download JDK 21
There are two main sources from where you can download JDK 21: the official website of Oracle Java Downloads, and the early-access builds of OpenJDK JDK 21.
The official website of Oracle Java Downloads
The official website of Oracle Java Downloads is the primary source for downloading the latest stable releases of JDK. You can find the download links for JDK 21 for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms on this page:
To download JDK 21 from this website, you need to accept the Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE, which is a commercial license that requires you to pay a fee if you use JDK 21 for production purposes. You also need to create an Oracle account or sign in with an existing one.
The early-access builds of OpenJDK JDK 21
The early-access builds of OpenJDK JDK 21 are the pre-release versions of JDK 21 that are available for testing and evaluation purposes. You can find the download links for JDK 21 for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms on this page:
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how to install jdk 21 on windows
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how to configure java_home and path for jdk 21 on windows, linux, or mac
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how to use new features and enhancements in java se platform version 21
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To download JDK 21 from this website, you do not need to accept any license agreement or create any account. However, you should be aware that these builds are not fully tested and may contain bugs or errors. You should not use them for production purposes or rely on them for critical applications.
The compatibility and licensing issues of JDK 21
Before you download and install JDK 21, you should consider the compatibility and licensing issues that may arise from using it. For example:
Compatibility with previous versions of Java: JDK 21 may not be compatible with some of the features or libraries that were available in previous versions of Java. For instance, some of the deprecated or removed APIs in JDK 21 may break your existing code or cause runtime errors. You should check the compatibility guide for JDK 21 to see what changes have been made and how to migrate your code accordingly:
Licensing with Oracle Java SE: As mentioned earlier, if you download JDK 21 from the official website of Oracle Java Downloads, you need to accept the Oracle Technology Network License Agreement for Oracle Java SE, which is a commercial license that requires you to pay a fee if you use JDK 21 for production purposes. You should read the terms and conditions of this license carefully before downloading and installing JDK 21:
Licensing with OpenJDK: If you download JDK 21 from the early-access builds of OpenJDK JDK 21, you do not need to accept any license agreement. However, you should be aware that OpenJDK is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 with a linking exception (GPLv2+CE), which is an open-source license that allows you to use, modify, and distribute JDK 21 freely. You should read the terms and conditions of this license before downloading and installing JDK 21:
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How to Install JDK 21
Once you have downloaded JDK 21 from your preferred source, you can proceed to install it on your system. The installation process may vary depending on the platform and the type of package that you have downloaded. Here are the general steps for installing JDK 21 on Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms:
The installation instructions for Linux
If you have downloaded JDK 21 as a compressed archive file (.tar.gz), you can follow these steps to install it on Linux:
Extract the archive file to a location of your choice, such as /usr/local/jdk-21.
Add the bin directory of the extracted JDK 21 to your PATH environment variable, such as export PATH=/usr/local/jdk-21/bin:$PATH.
Optionally, set the JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the extracted JDK 21 directory, such as export JA