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Zulu: Multi-platform Commercialized OpenJDK (azulsystems.com)
48 points by balakk on Oct 23, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments



Wow, they seem to be going out of their way to avoid mentioning any benefits I might get from using Zulu over OpenJDK or Oracle JDK for that matter.

Knowing Azul through Cliff Click's excellent blog posts I was expecting to see better GC, scalability work etc. but nope - this just seems to be rebranded JDK that is open source and has Enterprise support. Given Oracle they might have some success but that's about it.


Azul are just making sure that there's some enterprise-viable alternative to getting screwed by Oracle.

As in, Oracle installing adware with their Windows installer is currently damaging to Java as a brand, and making Oracle Java be less of a "sane default" than Sun Java was.


Zulu is just a binary distro of OpenJDK. The other cool stuff you mention (better GC, scalability, consistent latency, etc.) is all in the Zing product line.


Zulu is simple: It is a free and freely re-distributable binary distribution of OpenJDK for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. Each binary is tested and certified (literally), which in the Java world is no small thing.

For MacOS and Windows, Zulu is the only binary distro of OpenJDK that I am aware of. For Linux (as of this writing), Zulu is the only publicly available binary distro of OpenJDK 8 that actually undergoes TCK testing and Java SE compatibility testing. [RedHat provides 7 and 6 binaries through the IcedTea project, but IcedTea has not yet shipped a Java 8 version].

So unless you want to build OpenJDK from source (and test top verify what you built is good), you'll need to get a binary from somewhere. Zulu is that somewhere.

To demonstrate the simple value of a tested and certified binary build: The current default Java binary thing you get on docker's official Java runtime image for Java 8 is 8u40 (https://registry.hub.docker.com/_/java/). But 8u40 doesn't actually exist. It is still in development in OpneJDK and won't be released until March 2015. So this thing you pull off a repo is certainly not a tested or released version (likely a top of tree snapshot built from source and just pushed to an experimental repo).

For a current list of companies and organizations that are actually able to fully test OpenJDK 8 (or 7, or 6), see the TCK signatories list at: http://openjdk.java.net/groups/conformance/JckAccess/jck-acc...

<< And yes, I work for Azul. >>


How come IBM is missing from this list? I thought the ditched Harmony and are now contributing to OpenJDK. I remember some keynotes some years ago.


I really can't get over the level of marketing here. "Report" after "report" from a company that specializes in generating favorable copywriting out of thin air (https://451research.com/about).

This is clearly not a product being targeted at developers, so I have no idea why "Open Source" or Docker is being pushed, other than being profitable buzzwords. In fact, on first impressions this looks like exactly what I would produce if I wanted to cheat clueless IT executives into buying a rebranded copy of OpenJDK.

If that's the goal, maybe it will work. If not, they badly need to rethink the site.


The obvious question is - does it provide anything additional on top of `OpenJDK` that I can already install via `apt-get install openjdk` ? I suppose those builds are 100% open source too.

I skimmed through 451's analyst report if Azul is bringing any of their own improvements to Zulu but answer seems negative.


They apparently have a pretty cool garbage collector for the JDK, but it's not part of Zulu, it's part of Zing (their commercial JVM).

Also, this has been around for like a year, so it's not even really that new...


A lot of companies would love use OpenJDK instead of OracleJDK or any other proprietary JDKs. This is wise move from azul to provide support for openJDK.


The only reason I use the Oracle jdk in my enterprise vs. OpenJDK is performance. Oracle goes out of their way to make it a pain in the ass to install their jdk. If Oracle's jdk were available via apt, this would be a no contest.

I'm curious if there's a performance improvement with Zulu and if there are apt repos available.


> Oracle goes out of their way to make it a pain in the ass to install their jdk.

1 - Download from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8...

2 - install package

3 - configure PATH


Yes, there are apt repos available. Also yum repos (see links and docs at http://www.azulsystems.com/products/zulu/downloads).

On x86, if you can measure performance diffs between same-version OpenJDK/Zulu and OracleJDK, you are probably measuring noise. Zulu is simply a binary build of OpenJDK. As far as we can tell, the performance is identical because the source is the same.


From Java7, I thought both Oracle jdk and OpenJDK were almost the same. Does Oracle still offer an edge over performance?


In my experience yes. It is especially clear on more limited (ARM) devices (Chromebook ARM, Atom/Celeron laptops) though; if you get stuff running at all, it is very slow; swap Oracle JDK in and it's suddenly very usable. I myself don't do a lot with server side Java anymore, but my colleagues tell me the same things, but it's fast enough for most applications there. On the client it's far more obvious.


Huh? On Linux getting Oracle JDK is a matter of wget und tar. On Windows and Mac OS you get an installer. If you want OpenJDK on Windows or Mac OS you have to build from source.

For me the real difference is that you don't get Flight Recorder on OpenJDK.


Are the webupd8 repositories for Oracle JDK are too problematic from security standpoint?


The webupd8 PPA repositories are only available for Debian-based distros. Perhaps parent is running RHEL or CentOS.


Isn't OpenJDK already "free, 100% Open Source"?

What are the benefits of this "commercialization"?


Last time I checked OpenJDK had no Windows distribution. Given that Oracle bundles adware with their JDK, Zulu means that people like me may no longer have to look at Java as a massive joke.

<gasp> I might even have a JDK on my machine by the end of today.

This is great news for Windows users.


> Given that Oracle bundles adware with their JDK

A HN user should know better.

The JDK never had any bundles.

The JREs which are available at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/inde... also never had any bundle, even on Sun days.

The only one with bundles is the download from http://java.com/ and even then, it isn't Oracle or Sun's fault if people lack reading skills.

EDIT: Truth hurts


> The JREs which are available at ... also never had any bundle, even on Sun days.

Oh. I stand corrected.

> http://java.com/ and even then, it isn't Oracle or Sun's fault if people lack reading skills.

https://who.is/whois/java.com

Registrant Organization: Oracle Corporation

The adware-bundled installer is provided by Oracle. Whether or not I know better to install adware is irrelevant (because I do, and that's why I don't currently have a JRE installed). Nowhere does Oracle indicate where you can get the JRE without the adware bundle. Your comment is the first time I have read that such an installer exists.

What is relevant is Aunt Tilly's experience - as any HN user should know. She is told by something that she needs Java, goes here[1], clicks on the first link and gets adware. That is victimizing the ignorant and is why I do not take Oracle, and by association Java, seriously. That is why Zulu is exciting - because maybe now I can correct that perception and start doing some Java.

Reality hurts.

[1]: https://www.google.com/?q=java#q=java


The benefits are pretty obvious from the article.

Azul only works on the JVM. IBM/Oracle works on the JVM + other things.

Because as we know companies are only capable of doing one thing at a time and could never manage multiple projects. Because Java/JVM itself was written by that single focused company: Sun.


Enterprise support I guess. If you are a big enterprise, and not in favor of dealing with Oracle/IBM support, this is a pretty good alternative.


Is there some reason Azul can't support regular OpenJDK?


Zulu is regular OpenJDK.

OpenJDK is just source code. Binaries (built by various companies and orgs) comes from someplace else, and are usually called something else. E.g. RedHat calls theirs "IcedTea". Azul calls their binary distro of OpenJDK "Zulu".

When you get a binary build of OpenJDK from some place (in tar/zip form, or deb or rpm package form), some of those are well built and tested (e.g. Azul's Zulu and RedHat's IcedTead, and obviously Oracle's own JDKs). But some may not be. they may just be a random build from a random point in the source tree, using unknown tool chains and shipped with little or notesting. E.g. the Java 8 version you'd currently get on the experimental debian:sid repos is base don 8u40: a source tree that is still in flux and not planned to be released as 8u40 until March of 2015.

Many people care about running on a JDK version that was actually tested and verified. Right now Zulu is the only binary build of a Java 8 OpenJDK that meets that need. And on MacOS or Windows, it's the only one for 7 and 6 as well.


AFAIK "OpenJDK" is only the codebase, and much like "Chromium" there are no official binaries of "OpenJDK". Building, packaging and distribution of that code is up to other parties. For example, Linux distributions use IcedTea to build OpenJDK packages.


> Linux (including Docker)

feed the "buzz".


There's no relationship between companies as far as I am aware. I'd prefer it if we weren't mentioned, but that's their prerogative




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