Install The Latest OpenJDK 17, 16, 15, 13, 11 or 8 in Ubuntu, Debian or RHEL Using Zulu OpenJDK Builds

Zulu OpenJDK builds on Ubuntu

A more accurate title would be (but it's way too long): install the latest OpenJDK 17, 16, 15, 13, 11, 8 and even 7 in Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, RHEL, or SLES using the free, open source Zulu OpenJDK builds by Azul Systems. DEB, RPM and tar.gz binaries available, as well as apt and yum repositories.

Azul Systems provides tested, certified builds of OpenJDK, under the name of Zulu. Zulu is free and open source software (and freely redistributable), and offers up to date OpenJDK builds of Java 17, 16, 15, 13, 11, 8, and 7.

The Zulu OpenJDK builds are available for Windows, macOS and Linux. On Linux, there are DEB and RPM packages to make it easy to install on Debian, Ubuntu, RHEL, Fedora, Oracle Linux or SLES and so on, as well as .tar.gz binaries, and Alpine Linux specific builds. Repositories are also available, for all Linux distributions mentioned above minus Fedora (it didn't work for me on Fedora 29) and Alpine Linux.

So why use the Zulu OpenJDK builds instead of Oracle Java or OpenJDK?

  • The Oracle Java license has changed for releases starting April 16, 2019. The new license only permits certain uses, like personal and development, at no cost, requiring a commercial license for other cases.
  • OpenJDK is not always up to date - this depends on the Linux distribution you're using. As an example, Ubuntu 18.10 and 18.04 have OpenJDK 8u191, and Ubuntu 19.04 doesn't even have OpenJDK 8, while the latest Oracle JDK 8 and Zulu JDK 8 is version 8u212. Also, OpenJDK 12 is only available on Ubuntu 19.04. Here's the OpenJDK situation in Ubuntu:
  • As reported by an Azul employee, Zulu is ran through the full JCK/TCK to ensure that it complies with the Java SE spec, as defined by the JCP/JSR. What's more, an analysis is ran to ensure that every single compiled file has the correct GPLv2 with CPE license header, guaranteeing that you don't encounter licensing issues when using Zulu OpenJDK builds.


Download / install Zulu OpenJDK 17, 16, 15, 13, 11, 8 or 7 in Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, RHEL, etc.

Zulu OpenJDK 17, 16, 15, 13, 11, 8 or 7 builds for Windows, macOS and Linux can be downloaded from this page. On Linux there are binaries available as DEB, RPM and .tar.gz (64bit).

Zulu OpenJDK is also available in repositories (for 64bit only) provided by Azul Systems, for Debian, Ubuntu and other Debian or Ubuntu based Linux distributions like Linux Mint, elementary OS and so on, as well as RHEL, Oracle Linux or SLES.

The repositories retain older package versions, so for example, you can downgrade the package to the version that was available before the last update, in case something goes wrong with the latest release. See how to downgrade packages (in general) on Debian or Ubuntu.

Both the DEB / RPM packages and the repositories packages update the Java alternatives in order to make Zulu OpenJDK default. If you are using the "oracle-java15-installer" (or older) on Debian/Ubuntu, you must remove the "oracle-java15-installer-set-default" package to get Zulu OpenJDK to be the default system Java.

The Zulu OpenJDK packages do not include desktop integration, so you won't find any OpenJDK desktop files in your application menu, or have the option of opening some JAR file from the file manager with Zulu OpenJDK.

Import the Zulu repository key and add the Zulu repository as follows:

  • Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions that support add-apt-repository:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 0xB1998361219BD9C9

sudo apt-add-repository 'deb stable main'

sudo apt update

  • Debian:
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys 0xB1998361219BD9C9

echo "deb stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zulu.list

sudo apt update

  • RHEL or Oracle Linux:
sudo rpm --import

sudo curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/zulu.repo

  • SLES (might also work in openSUSE - not tested):
sudo rpm --import

sudo zypper addrepo zulu

Now you can install one of the Zulu OpenJDK builds provided by Azul Systems:

  • Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Debian or Ubuntu based Linux distributions:
sudo apt install zulu-<version>

  • RHEL or Oracle Linux:
sudo yum install zulu-<version>

  • SLES:
sudo zypper install zulu-<version>

In all cases above, <version> is the Zulu OpenJDK version, which can be 17, 16, 15, 13, 11, 8 or 7 (so the package names are: zulu-14, zulu-13, zulu-11, zulu-8 and zulu-7).

Extra Zulu OpenJDK links you may find useful: