Java SE 6

Java SE 6 is the current major release of the Java SE platform, with full support from NetBeans IDE.

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Key Features

Java SE 6 Key Features

Java SE 6 features and enhancements to the platform are summarized in the Umbrella JSR (JSR 270).

More Information

Many of you let us know you were happy with the release of Java SE 6, but still had questions. Product Marketing Manager Bill Curci was pleased to provide more information for you.


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  • Where can I read about the Swing-related enhancement in Java SE 6?

    A: Sun's technical writers recently did an interview with one of the lead architects/engineers on the Swing team, Scott Violett who provided the following summary of Swing related enhancements in Java SE 6:

    "The Java SE 6 release adds a cornucopia of new desktop-related features. We've added subpixel font rendering and improved our GIMP Toolkit (GTK+) and Windows look and feel. We've added much-requested features such as the splash-screen API, table sorting and filtering, and desktop APIs. Layout is easier with GroupLayout. Drag and drop is no longer a drag. Both the Java Web Start software and the Java Plugin Framework user experience is much improved. The list goes on and on. The complete catalog of major desktop features can be found here."

  • How is Java SE 6 different from the previous version (J2SE 5.0): what are the improved and updated areas, such as functionality, security, performance?

    A: Anyone who has existing Java applications, will benefit immediately from the performance, reliability, and UI improvements in Java SE 6. Coupled with the expanded monitoring and diagnositics capacities built into the platform, the release delivers dramatic out-of-the-box benefits without any coding changes or even a re-compile necessary. Simply running existing Java applications on this latest release is all that is needed.

    For developers, Java SE 6 streamlines web service and XML development, simplifies GUI development and augments native desktop support, expands programmatic access to native security facilities, and is the first release to offer a standardized framework for scripting languages. NetBeans IDE integrates with the release to further simplify the use of these and other new developer features in the release.

Press & Industry Quotes

"Sun does a good job of having not a lot of framework stuff baked into Java SE. That way it's easier to layer frameworks on top of it." Michael Cote, analyst with RedMonk, on InternetNews

"The really big deal here is that you don't need to do anything special to the startup to be able to attach on demand with any of the monitoring and management tools in the Java SE platform. [Java SE 6] adds yet more diagnostic information, and we co-bundled the infamous memory-heap analysis tool Jhat for forensic explorations of those core dumps." Danny Coward, Java SE Platform lead, SDA Asia

Test Your JVM Software Version

This test page contains an applet that automatically tests for and displays information about your operating system and, if installed, the JVM software and JRE implementation release software versions.


If you have used Java SE 6 (aka JDK6, Peabody), share your experience with the product team and for a chance to get highlighted on our site!

Fare Compare First logo

Graeme Wallace, CTO, FareCompare , "When the early builds of Java SE 6 came out, we jumped in to see if we could get any performance improvements, which are crucial to our business. To make a long story short, the difference between Java SE 5 and Java SE 6 was startling. In terms of crunching through air fares, we are talking an increase in speed of 25% to 30%."


Java Tutorial comprises online practical guides for programmers and includes hundreds of working examples. See also the Features release notes.

Technical Articles

Looking for an Older Release? Sun provides some older product and technology releases as a courtesy. These releases and products have completed the Sun "end-of-life" (EOL) process and are no longer supported under standard support contracts. However, you can access them via our archives.

Naming conventions have been changed. If you're not clear on the difference between J2SE and Java SE 6, please read the Naming and Versioning article.