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19 May 2011, 10:22

Oracle make JRockit Java VM free of charge

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Oracle Logo Following Oracle's announcement that it plans to unify the two Java Virtual Machines it owns, Hotspot and JRockit, into a single virtual machine, Oracle has now made the JRockit virtual machine available for no charge for "development and internal production use". The blog announcement by Henrik Ståhl, the JRockit product manager, notes that the developers are currently taking ideas and features from JRockit and porting them over to OpenJDK, but now Oracle wants to converge the licensing of the two virtual machines ahead of the actual converged virtual machine. While the current JRockit implementation will remain proprietary, the move is designed to to simplify the progress to a single JVM by getting more feedback on any regressions between the future converged JVM and the current JRockit.

It is available under a Binary Code Licence (BCL), which is a slightly modified version of the JDK 6 Licence agreement that was used by Oracle (and previously Sun) for the binary versions of the Java Development Kit, including the historical limitation that it is only for general purpose devices and not for use on dedicated devices such as kiosks, netbooks and Blu-ray devices.

The difference in the licences is that the JRockit variant specifically notes there is particular functionality as commercial and chargeable; the notes identify these as including JRockit Flight Recorder, JRockit Mission Control and JRockit Virtual Edition. Previously this functionality had to be purchased as part of another Oracle product, such as the WebLogic application server, but now they can be purchased as standalone items.

Ståhl says that users who move from the current Hotspot VM to the JRockit VM should bear in mind that they will still have to plan a move to the future converged JVM and that he believes most users will probably benefit more from looking at this JDK 7 now or when the final version launches in the summer. JRockit is available to download from Oracle's Technology Network.


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