Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 Names and Versions

Version Number

Oracle's products evolve as the Java SE platform evolves. Each Oracle product has a version number to indicate which version of the Java SE platform it implements. Version numbers are commonly used for marketing and documentation purposes.

Oracle has two products that implement the Java SE 8 platform: JDK 8 (Java SE Development Kit 8) and JRE 8 (Java SE Runtime Environment 8).

Platform and Product Versions

Platform/Product Full Name Abbreviation
Platform name Java Platform, Standard Edition 8 Java SE 8
Product that implements the platform Java SE Development Kit 8 JDK 8
Product that implements the platform Java SE Runtime Environment 8 JRE8

Version String

Some of Oracle's products expose a version string which is separate from, but related to, the version number. This version string is usually only seen by programs which query the runtime environment, or by users who invoke command line tools. Version strings have the form 1.x, or 1.x.0, where x is the product version number.

In JDK 8 and JRE 8, the version strings are 1.8 and 1.8.0. Here are some examples where the version string is used:

  • java -version (among other information, returns java version "1.8.0")

  • java -fullversion (returns java full version "1.8.0-bxx")

  • javac -source 1.8 (is an alias for javac -source 8)

  • java.version system property

  • java.vm.version system property

  • @since 1.8 tag values

  • jdk1.8.0 installation directory

  • jre8 installation directory

Oracle periodically makes updates available and, when an update occurs, the version string will also include the update version number. So, JDK 8 update 5, or JDK 8u5, will have the version string "1.8.0_5". When invoking the java -fullversion command, the result also includes the build number, a level of detail not needed by most users.


When the version string for the product is reported as "java version 1.8.0_5", the product will be called JDK 8u5, JDK 8 update 5 or, when the update version is not important, JDK 8.