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Jenkins requires Java 17 or newer

Basil Crow
June 11, 2024


Jenkins requires Java 17

Beginning with the Jenkins 2.463 weekly release (scheduled for release on June 18, 2024), Jenkins requires Java 17 or newer. The Jenkins 2.452.x LTS line will continue to require Java 11 or newer, as will the LTS line (possibly 2.462.1) that is scheduled for release on July 24, 2024, whose baseline will be 2.462 (the last weekly release to support Java 11) or earlier. The first LTS release to require Java 17 or newer will ship at the end of October 2024.

The Jenkins core team generally recommends that all users adopt Java 17 or Java 21. In recent months, usage of Java 17 has almost surpassed usage of Java 11, and usage of Java 21 is rapidly increasing:

JVMs by Date

Weekly releases will require Java 17 or newer earlier than a previously announced date. The motivating factor for this change of schedule is the August 31, 2024 EOL of the Spring Framework 5.3.x line. Jenkins relies heavily on Spring Security, and upgrading to the 6.x line necessitates a slew of breaking changes, including migrating to Java 17, Jetty 12, and Jakarta EE 9. In order to mitigate risk, we are beginning the rollout of Java 17 in the June 18, 2024 weekly release. Further details about the migration to Jetty 12 and Jakarta EE 9 are forthcoming.

Upgrading to Java 17 or 21

Beginning with the Jenkins 2.463 weekly release (scheduled for release on June 18, 2024), Jenkins requires Java 17 or newer on both the controller JVM (i.e., the JVM running jenkins.war) and agent JVMs (i.e., JVMs running remoting.jar).

This does not imply that you need to build your application with the same version of Java. You can continue to use any desired JDK to build your application, as long as the JVM used for running Jenkins itself is version 17 or newer. For example, the Global Tool Configuration page can still be used to provide a JDK 8 or 11 installation for building your application. Similarly, you can set up ephemeral or static agents with two installations of Java: Java 17 or newer to run remoting.jar for Jenkins and Java 8 or 11 to build your application.

We have supported running the controller on Java 17 since the Jenkins 2.355 weekly release, and we have supported running the controller on Java 21 since the Jenkins 2.419 weekly release. Prior to the Jenkins 2.463 weekly release, running the controller on Java 17 and agents on Java 11, though not recommended, did not result in errors. Beginning with the Jenkins 2.463 weekly release, running the controller on Java 17 and agents on Java 11 will result in the following error:

java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: hudson/slaves/SlaveComputer$SlaveVersion has been compiled by a more recent version of the Java Runtime (class file version 61.0), this version of the Java Runtime only recognizes class file versions up to 55.0
	at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
	at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(
	at java.base/java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(
	at hudson.remoting.RemoteClassLoader.loadClassFile(
        ... 24 more

Therefore, it is critical to upgrade both the controller and agents to Java 17 or newer prior to upgrading Jenkins to the 2.463 weekly release. Use the Versions Node Monitors plugin to verify that agents are running a compatible version of Java.

Docker images

The official Jenkins Docker images for the controller and agents have been based on Java 17 for many months, with Java 11 available as a fallback. Beginning with the Jenkins 2.462 weekly release, the Java 11 images will be retired. (Java 11 images will remain available for the LTS line until October 2024.) Users of the official Jenkins Docker images need not install or configure Java on their own, as it comes preinstalled in the image.

If you are using a Docker image to run both the agent Java process (i.e., remoting.jar) and your own application build and your application build still requires Java 8 or 11, you will need to provide a Java 17 or newer runtime for the Jenkins agent process and a Java 8 or 11 environment for your application build.

OS packages

Users of the official Jenkins OS packages for Debian, Red Hat, and SUSE Linux distributions should note that these packages are agnostic to the Java vendor. In other words, you must bring your own Java package. One straightforward way to do this is to install Java 17 from your Linux distribution, as described on the package download site:


apt-get install fontconfig openjdk-17-jre

Red Hat

yum install fontconfig java-17-openjdk


zypper install dejavu-fonts fontconfig java-17-openjdk

By virtue of not requiring any custom repositories, this is certainly the simplest method (and the one used by the Jenkins project’s packaging tests), but it does not give the user a high degree of control over the Java runtime environment. As mentioned previously, the official Jenkins Docker images use Adoptium/Eclipse Temurin (as does the Jenkins infrastructure project). Enthusiastic users may wish to install Java from Adoptium or another vendor. Since 2021, Adoptium has provided Linux installation packages, as described in a piece by George Adams. Ultimately, the choice of which Java vendor to use is your own, as long as that vendor provides Java 17 or Java 21. Refer to your chosen Java vendor for installation instructions.

Once you have installed a suitable version of Java, configure Jenkins to use that Java runtime. The most straightforward way is to configure that version of Java as the default version of Java at the operating system (OS) level:


update-alternatives --config java

Red Hat

alternatives --config java


update-alternatives --config java

Alternatively, users who do not wish to change the default version of Java can customize the JAVA_HOME or JENKINS_JAVA_CMD environment variable as part of the Jenkins systemd(1) service unit. Refer to the Managing systemd services section of the Jenkins documentation for more information.

Reporting issues

If you find a regression in a plugin, please file a bug report in Jira:

When reporting an issue, include the following information:

  1. Use the JENKINS-67907 epic.

  2. Provide the output of java -version (e.g., OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM Temurin-21.0.3+9 build 21.0.3+9-LTS)

  3. Provide the name, version, and architecture of the operating system you are using (e.g., Ubuntu 24.04.1 LTS x86_64).

  4. Provide the complete list of installed plugins as suggested in the bug reporting guidelines.

  5. Provide the complete stack trace, if relevant.

  6. Provide steps to reproduce the issue from scratch on a minimal Jenkins installation; the scenario should fail on Jenkins 2.462 or earlier when the steps are followed on Java 17 or Java 21 and pass when the steps are followed on Java 11.


We expect to see a bit of disruption from the migration to Java 17, Jetty 12, and Jakarta EE 9, but we hope that in the long term these changes will be in the best interests of the Jenkins community. Please reach out on the developers' list with any questions or suggestions.

About the author

Basil Crow

Basil is a long-time Jenkins user and contributor, a Jenkins core maintainer, and the maintainer of the Email Extension, Timestamper, and Swarm plugins (among others). Basil enjoys working on open source software in his free time.