JDK 18: What to expect in Java 18


Due in March 2022, Java 18 continues to add features, with nine feature proposals being considered for it so far, including deprecation of finalization, a capability that was intended to help avoid resource leaks but has brought with it risks of unconstrained behavior and unpredictable latency.

The OpenJDK page for Java Development Kit (JDK) 18 lists the following features as officially targeting JDK 18 as of November 24: a service provider interface, a simple web server, a vector API, code snippets, a reimplementation of core reflection, a UTF-8 charset, a second incubator of a foreign function and memory API, and a second preview of pattern matching for switch statements. Deprecation of finalization is proposed to target JDK 18 in the JDK Enhancement Proposal (JEP) index.

General availability is due on March 22, 2022, following rampdown phases occurring December 9, 2021, and January 20, 2022. Release candidates are due February 10 and February 24 of next year.

While JDK 17, published September 14, was a long-term support (LTS) release that will receive at least eight years of support from Oracle, JDK 18 will be a short-term feature release that is supported for six months. Early-access builds of JDK 18 can be found for Linux, Windows, and MacOS at java.net.