GraalVM, Galahad, and a New Release Schedule

Shaun Smith
graalvm
Published in
2 min readDec 21, 2022

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The chest of a golden suit of armour.
Photo by Nik Shuliahin 💛💙 on Unsplash

During the JavaOne 2022 Keynote in Las Vegas, Oracle made some exciting announcements regarding the future of GraalVM. Along with the news that applicable portions of GraalVM’s Java technology would be contributed to OpenJDK, we also announced that GraalVM development methodologies and processes are planned to align with the JDK. Today I’m happy to share some further details.

OpenJDK Project Galahad

To deliver on the announcements from JavaOne to contribute applicable parts of GraalVM technology to OpenJDK, a new project ‘Galahad’ has been proposed. Galahad will initially focus on the continued development and integration of the Graal just-in-time (JIT) compiler as an alternative to the existing HotSpot JIT compiler for possible inclusion in a future OpenJDK release. Later steps will target contributions related to GraalVM ahead-of-time (AOT) technology which will make it possible to compile the Graal JIT compiler so that it is available instantly at JVM start. Once established, future GraalVM Enterprise Edition and Community Edition releases will be based on Galahad sources.

We also intend to contribute portions of GraalVM Native Image AOT compilation technology for applications tracking the OpenJDK Leyden project specification. Galahad’s JIT and AOT compiler technologies are expected to contribute to achieving Leyden’s goal to “improve the startup time, time to peak performance, and footprint of Java programs”.

Release Alignment

Starting with JDK 20 in March 2023, GraalVM will follow the JDK’s six-month release cadence.

Since its first release, new feature releases of GraalVM Enterprise and Community Editions have followed a three-month cadence whereas, since 2017, new JDK feature releases have followed a six-month cadence. Starting with the JDK 20 release in March of 2023, GraalVM Enterprise and GraalVM Community Editions intend to align with the six-month JDK release cadence. This means there will not be a GraalVM 23.0 release in January 2023 as we transition to the new release model. In addition, starting with JDK 20, GraalVM releases will only support the latest JDK version (just as Oracle OpenJDK releases do). This will simplify the choice of versions and ensure that developers have access to the latest Java features with each GraalVM release.

As part of this alignment, GraalVM will adopt the JDK’s release numbering scheme based on the supported Java version. To avoid confusion with older releases, new releases will be named GraalVM for JDK <Java version>, with the next release, in March of 2023, expected to be GraalVM for JDK 20.

About GraalVM Enterprise Edition

GraalVM Enterprise Edition is free to use on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and is included in Oracle Java SE Subscription products. For licensing questions see the Oracle Java SE Licensing FAQ.

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