alibaba dragonwell

What is Alibaba Dragonwell ?

alibaba dragonwell

What is Alibaba Dragonwell ?

Over the years, more than a billion lines of Java code have been written in Alibaba. While adopting OpenJDK to run these applications, We have found a need to customize it specifically for large-scale Java application deployments. Our customization has been well tested in our environment. We are now contributing some of our work into the Java community.

About Open JDK

OpenJDK is an open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition1. It is a collaborative project that involves many developers and organizations from the Java community1. OpenJDK provides free, GPL-licensed, production-ready binaries for Linux, macOS, and Windows1. OpenJDK also includes many active projects that aim to enhance the Java platform with new features and improvements1. OpenJDK is the reference implementation of Java SE since version 7.

Alibaba Dragonwell, as a downstream version of OpenJDK, is the in-house OpenJDK implementation at Alibaba. It is optimized for online e-commerce, financial and logistics applications running on 100,000+ servers. Alibaba Dragonwell is the engine that runs these distributed Java applications in extreme scaling.

Alibaba Dragonwell is free and open source, and it provides long-term support for Java 8 and Java 11. It also includes some performance enhancements and customized features that are widely used in Alibaba’s production environment. Alibaba Dragonwell currently supports X86-64/Linux platform. It can greatly improve stability, efficiency and performance under the condition of large-scale Java application deployments in the data center. Alibaba Dragonwell is compatible with the Java SE Standard. Users can use Alibaba Dragonwell to develop and run Java applications.

This version of the Alibaba Dragonwell 8 Preview released by Alibaba corresponds to OpenJDK 8. Alibaba Dragonwell moving to open-source provides a new choice for Java developers around the world. At the same time, for Alibaba Cloud, Alibaba Dragonwell is released along with the Alibaba Cloud VM image for the two versions of LTS, Java 8 and Java 11, for free use by Alibaba Cloud customers.

How does Alibaba Dragonwell compare to other JDK distributions?

Some Features of Alibaba Open JDK:

1.Java Flight Recorder (JFR): a tool for collecting diagnostic and profiling data about a running Java application2.
2.JWarmup: a mechanism to reduce the warm-up time of Java applications by recording and replaying the compilation profile2.
3.Wisp: a coroutine implementation that can improve the scalability and performance of blocking IO applications3.
4.ElasticHeap: a feature that allows the Java heap to shrink or expand dynamically according to the application’s memory demand3.

Alibaba Dragonwell is available in two editions:

1.Standard Edition: OpenJDK upstream based and have more enhancements, including bug-fixing, security patches, tooling support, etc.
2.Extended Edition: everything in the standard edition, plus: extra customized/significant features optimized for the cloud and widely used in Alibaba’s production environment.

Can i use alibaba dragonwell for my personal projects ?

You can use Alibaba Dragonwell for your personal projects as long as you comply with the **GNU General Public License version 2 with the Classpath Exception (GPLv2+CE)**³, which is the same license as OpenJDK. You can download Alibaba Dragonwell from its official website or GitHub repository.


Release Date

Active Support


JDK 8 ( LTS )

June 24, 2019

30 June, 2026


JDK 11 (LTS)

July 20, 2020

30 September, 2026

JDK 17 (LTS)

October 18, 2019

30 September, 2029

References :

1. Official Website of Alibaba Dragonwell – Alibaba Dragonwell
2. Source code of Alibaba Dragonwell – Github
3. Alibaba Makes Dragonwell OpenJDK Open Source – Blog Post
4. Know About Alibaba Dragonwell – Open JDK Dragonwell