Need Advice to see if we can ship OpenJDK/JRE with Commercial App

Ben Evans benjamin.john.evans at
Fri Oct 7 07:50:46 UTC 2011

First of all, IANAL.

Having said that, if you aren't modifying the OpenJDK then all you are
doing is bundling a piece of unmodified GPL software into the same
delivery mechanism as your proprietary application. Which should be
fine - just include the GPL, a README which explains where to get the
source for OpenJDK from, and don't claim that OpenJDK is your work, or
anything to do with you.

So you *can* do this. The question really is - *should* you do this.
And there are very good reasons for not bundling a platform along with
an application. I'm sure other people will chime in with other very
good reasons why not to do this, but:

Field Support Overhead. This is a huge one. You can't possibly test
your app+JRE bundle on every conceivable machine configuration that
your customers will have. Yet, by shipping a combined app+JRE, you
have made your company responsible for support of that combined bundle
in the eyes of your customers. The costs of servicing support requests
from your customers will increase enormously if you are shipping a
private JRE along with the app. If Windows is one of the platforms you
need to support, then this problem becomes an absolute nightmare,
especially if your customers are remote (and even worse if your
customers are essentially corporate desktop users).

If you're absolutely set on going this route, take a look at the
profit model for your app, and the support cost model. Work out how
many additional support cases it would take before your profit margin
is eaten up. If that number isn't very, very large, then don't do



On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM, Dan Tran <dantran at> wrote:
> Sorry about the confusion I've made.
> Basically, I would like to ship OpenJDK's JRE with my App, instead of
> Oracle's JRE which requires a license/support fee.
> Shipping OpenJDK with our app is purely for the convenient to our
> customer.  There is no reason for us to modify OpenJDK
> However, according to OpenJDK license which is GPLv2 with "Classpath"
> Exception.  So my guess is we can ship OpenJDK with our app without
> the obligation of open up our source code.
> However, to be very sure, I  would like to ping this forum to see if
> I miss any thing, and also to find out if any one are on the same
> route
> Thanks
> -Dan
> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:26 PM, Ben Evans
> <benjamin.john.evans at> wrote:
>> Hi Dan,
>> Your mails are quite hard to understand (and I'm guessing English
>> isn't your first language).
>> Could you try explaining again exactly what you want to do and why you
>> want to bundle a JRE or JDK with your app?
>> Are you making modifications to OpenJDK? Or is your application just a
>> Java-based app and you want to ship a JRE for convenience?
>> Thanks,
>> Ben
>> On Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 7:11 AM, Dan Tran <dantran at> wrote:
>>> ie, little interests on commercial company willing to ship openjdk
>>> with their app and but ship with Oracle JRE and pay for license fee.
>>> -D
>>> On Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 10:58 PM, Henri Gomez <henri.gomez at> wrote:
>>>>> Since I found so little discussion about ability to ship OpenJDK with
>>>>> a commercial app ( instead of Oracle JRE, and not paying for license
>>>>> fee ), it sounds like OpenJDK 7 is NOT ready for prime time yet?
>>>> What do you means by 'not ready for prime time yet' ?

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