Amazon Corretto 18 Released - Why Go For It?
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Thursday, 07 April 2022

Corretto, the build of the Open Java Development Kit with long-term support from Amazon, has been updated to support the latest release,18, of OpenJDK.

The first general availability of Corretto was for OpenJDK 8, released on January 2019 - see our report of the December 2018 preview. Since then Corretto became the default OpenJDK distribution on Amazon Linux 2 and everywhere Amazon runs its services.

Corretto includes patches from Amazon that have proven useful in running their own services, but other than that it is at par with the rest of OpenJDK distros (TCK tested) and therefore can be used interchangeably. These patches include security fixes, performance enhancements, garbage collection scheduling, preventing out-of-memory situations, as well as improved monitoring, reporting, and thread management. What is important here is that Amazon upstreams its patches to OpenJDK, thus benefiting the whole OpenJDK league.

Amazon commits to LTS support. For instance, having being introduced on January 2019,Correto version 8's EOL is June 2026 and meanwhile updates are released quarterly. For enterprises, a distribution that is backed long term by a such a big player is very important.

The OpenJDK 18 features to be found in Correto 18 are: 

  • UTF-8 by Default
  • Simple Web Server
  • Code Snippets in Java API Documentation
  • Reimplement Core Reflection with Method Handles
  • Vector API (Third Incubator)
  • Internet-Address Resolution SPI
  • Foreign Function & Memory API (Second Incubator)
  • Pattern Matching for switch (Second Preview)
  • Deprecate Finalization for Removal 

With so much choice amongst OpenJDK vendors, which one should you go for? In Microsoft Jumps on the OpenJDK Bandwagon we find that the main difference is that the various distros:

"may contain backported fixes and enhancements we deem important to our customers and our internal users,which may have not yet been formally backported upstream"

As such the Microsoft build of OpenJDK is recommended when running Java applications on Azure. Red Hat is the OpenJDK to choose if you're on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, while Corretto if you run Java applications on Amazon Linux 2 in AWS. Then there's Liberica JDK which is the runtime of choice by VMware for Spring Boot and Spring Native. I covered Liberica Native Image Kit in "Making GraalVM-Based Executables Easy". There's also the vastly popular Adoptium and Azul Zulu.

This illustrative chart detailing the differences between the builds of the various vendors is from Azul's website, although Microsoft's is missing. You'll find that the differences are subtle.

For enterprise use what it really comes down to when choosing between vendor-specific platforms are factors such as the level of fixes, availability of updates and support. However for personal use, or software houses that do nothing out of the ordinary, then any distribution will do.

A final recommendation,is that when looking for information on everything about the OpenJDK, the go to source is Foojay as detailed in "Foojay - All About Java and the OpenJDK".


More Information

Amazon Corretto 18 is now generally available

Related Articles

Amazon Releases Corretto - OpenJDK Distribution

Making GraalVM-Based Executables Easy

Microsoft Jumps on the OpenJDK Bandwagon

Foojay - All About Java and the OpenJDK


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