Alternate JRE on Apple silicon Mac

I need Java in order to run a program on my Mac Studio, but as far as I know, Oracle does not offer a version of Java for Apple silicon (outside of the JDK). Through my googling, I found that there are alternate version of Java available, some, such as Azul (Java Download | Java 7, Java 8, Java 11, Java 13, Java 15, Java 17, Java 19 - Linux, Windows & macOS) which do offer support for Apple silicon. Does anyone have experience with running any of these alternate JREs and particularly with Azul JRE?

OpenJDK is available on Apple Silicon as of JDK 16, Azul has taken older versions of OpenJDK and made them available for Apple Silicon.
You can install a version of OpenJDK through homebrew.
Whilst I’ve not user Azul, they seem fine - I either use OpenJDK or the licensed Oracle binaries.

I’ll second OpenJDK. It’s what I use for my personal Java dev projects on my MBP. I typically stick with the LTS versions as well (17 as of right now). Anything after Version 17 should have Apple Silicon support. If you have homebrew installed, it’s fairly straightforward to install and you don’t need to worry about properly setting up the binaries after you’ve downloaded them.

Thanks, but I’m really only interested in the Java run tine environment. I’m not a developer so don;t need the JDK and don’t need the overhead of running an instance of home brew just to optimize my java experience.

I’m not sure what you mean by “overhead”? Brew is just a package manager, a way to install software. Once installed there is no “overhead” so to speak.

If on the other hand you mean complexity, then that’s fine. Command line tools are not for everyone.


The state of Java on Mac is ridiculous. There was time when you could just search out the JRE and install it, even when Apple were providing one. It took me far too long recently to achieve exactly the same as discussed here.

As for Homebrew being an overhead… it absolutely is. If you ever need to upgrade or remove Java, you need to remember how to deal with Homebrew, and Homebrew will do its own updating, which all just adds noise. And the JDK is an overhead, too. There is no need for the bloat of all the developer tooling when all that’s actually needed is the runtime environment.

It really shouldn’t be as hard as it is.

@zharj, what is the solution you settled on?

I was going to suggest using sdkman or asdf to install a specific version, but that’s also quite a bit of overhead.

Perhaps the best approach is to install the Azul version directly from their package installers, follow their instructions and see if the particular application you want to run is happy with that.

TL;DR Azul should probably be safe to run.

While I haven’t played with Azul’s JRE on my personal machine, I have used it in a corporate environment and it worked fine, though it was installed on a custom appliance which they no longer support. It was also only executing server side code. It is supposed to be 100% compliant with the Java specification. It’s fairly widely used in corporate environments as well, but mostly server side.

On the bloat of having the JDK on your machine, when running an application, none of the developer components will be running. Yes, it takes up extra storage on your drive, but no RAM or CPU will be used for developer components. It’s entirely identical to just having the JRE. If your concern was on that front, rest assured it’s not an issue. If it’s on storage, it’s a valid point and is bloated. Same with homebrew, if you don’t have a regular use case for it, no need to install it :slight_smile:.

Final FYI point. Most commercial software that I’ve seen that runs on client machines (laptops/desktops) that still require Java will often bundle Java with the package. It’s typically why most Java based apps have huge storage requirements (similar to Electron based apps). I’m sure you’ve got a very valid use case, but I’m wondering if it’s possible to ask the software’s vendor for a copy with the embedded JRE.

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Thanks, @motopascyyy, that’s very helpful. I just removed Oracle JRE and installed the Azul JRE (19.0.1+10). Installation from the DMG was quick and simple and my app runs as expected. Interestingly, there is no control panel installed as with the Oracle version, just a new java VM folder that is placed in the Library folder and easily deleted if uninstallation is desired (per Azul’s instructions).

Thanks for everyone’s input on this topic.

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AWS also distributes OpenJDK Amazon Corretto 11 Installation Instructions for macOS 10.13 or later - Amazon Corretto

The Homebrew approach described above. And then I didn’t end up using the software I tested out.