Double checked: you can simply install the java8 from the Stretch repo. It works pretty fine in productive settings months ago. There is no reason to delay the upgrade for that. (@peterh)

Recent stable version of Debian, Debian Buster, does not have Java 8 any more.

However, Java 8 is still widely used in productive settings, and doing this is a huge fallback before any upgrade.

Anybody knowing better the internals of the Debian mailing lists, and their communication, what could be their reason to do that?

Is there any hope, that Java 8 will once re-appear in the form of some upgrade?

Of course, installing Java 8 from a different source (Oracle, Ubuntu), or even from the Stretch package repository, is a viable alternative. But doing that, we lose exactly the advantages of the official repos.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 16:27
  • Have a look at the Debian OpenJDK Team Package overview site and the openjdk-8 package tracker. Package openjdk-8-jdk is available in sid (unstable), but didn't make it into buster, because there were (and still are) bugs.
    – Freddy
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 17:15
  • @Freddy Could you make it an answer?
    – peterh
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 18:22
  • @Freddy in particular bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=929650 — that's a bug to make sure it does not enter testing (and thus eventually stable). In a sense, that's not a real bug — it's not going to be fixed, can't be fixed, it will only be closed by eventually removing openjdk-8 from unstable. It's just how Debian implements "never release this package" (without fully removing it).
    – derobert
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 20:02
  • Ah, okay. Thanks for the clarification @derobert. But I still don't get what they mean by saying "It is used to prepare updates for stable-security".
    – Freddy
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Debian's general policy is to only have one version of a software package in a release. So, absent exceptional circumstances, there would only be one version of OpenJDK; buster has OpenJDK 11.

Details can be found in an email to debian-java and on various Java web sites but in short:

  • OpenJDK 8 security support (already from third parties, e.g., Red Hat) ends before Buster's EOL. So sticking with it would risk that the Debian maintainers and/or security team would have to maintain Java (which is well beyond the manpower they have) or alternatively drop security support before buster EOL. (And well before Buster LTS EOL).
  • If you need to stick with OpenJDK 8, you can stick with Stretch, which will be supported until 2020 and until 2022 via LTS. OpenJDK 8 will be supported for the lifetime of Stretch, including LTS.
  • OpenJDK 11 is the current, upstream-supported LTS release.

You might also consider moving your Java app into a container of some sort, to make it easier to deploy a non-packaged version of Java. That's what I've done for a proprietary app I have to keep running.

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