Pete Freitag Pete Freitag

Java LTS Version Roadmap and Guide

Updated: December 08, 2020

People often download and install the latest version of Java, rather than the latest LTS version of java. In most cases, especially if it is on a server you probably want to be using the LTS version of java.

So what is a Java LTS Version?

LTS stands for Long Term Support, this means that the java vendor (for example Oracle) will support it for a long time, several years. This includes patching it for security issues.

What is the latest Java LTS Version?

As of this writing Java 11 is the latest LTS version of java. It was released in September 2018 and will be supported by Oracle until September 2023. Extended support for Java 11 goes through September 2026.

How many years is a Java LTS version supported for?

If we look at Java 11 premiere support 5 years, and extended support is for 8 years. Eight years of support for a software version is a long time, hence why we call it LTS!

The opposite of LTS

Java 9, Java 10, Java 12, Java 13, Java 14, Java 15 are all not LTS versions of Java. Presumably Java 16 will also not be an LTS version.

If you are picking a non LTS version of Java, as you might guess these versions are supported for a very short period of time. Infact there is no overlap in support for these versions. For example Java 14 was released in March 2020 and support ended in September 2020, which also happens to be when Java 15 was released.

How long is a non LTS version of Java supported for?

Looking at the numbers, a non-LTS version of java is only supported for 6 months! That's not a very long time.

Are non LTS versions patched for security holes?

Only the latest non-lts version is patched, the older unsupported versions do not receive security patches.

When will the next LTS version of Java be released?

It appears that Java 17 may be the next LTS version of Java. Looking at the current pace of things, it appears that this version will first be released in September 2021.

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Java LTS Version Roadmap and Guide was first published on December 08, 2020.

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