Java LTS Version Roadmap and Guide
People often download and install the latest version of Java, rather than the latest Java LTS version. In most cases, especially if it is on a server you probably want to be using a LTS version of java. Every major version of java is not a Java LTS version, for example Java 18, is not.
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 17 is the latest LTS version of java. Java 17 LTS was released in September 2021 and will be supported by Oracle until September 2026. Extended support for Java 17 LTS goes through September 2029.
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!
Java 11 LTS was released in September 2018 and will be supported by Oracle until September 2023. Extended support for Java 11 goes through September 2026.
Some older Java LTS versions were supported for even more than 8 years. Java 7 LTS has a support period of 11 years, and Java 8 LTS has a support period of 16 years!
The opposite of LTS
Java 9, Java 10, Java 12, Java 13, Java 14, Java 15, Java 16, Java 18 are all not LTS versions of Java. Java 19 and Java 20 will also not be a Java LTS release.
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. In fact 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 21 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 2023.
Table of Java LTS Versions
|Java LTS Version||Release Date||Premier Support Until||Extended Support Until|
|Java 7 LTS||July 2011||July 2019||July 2022|
|Java 8 LTS||March 2014||March 2022||December 2030|
|Java 11 LTS||September 2018||September 2023||September 2026|
|Java 17 LTS||September 2021||September 2026||September 2029|
|Java 21 LTS *||September 2023||September 2028||September 2031|
* As of this writing Java 21 has not yet been released, so the schedule may change
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Java LTS Version Roadmap and Guide was first published on December 08, 2020.
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