What's new in the latest release

GraalVM version 19.1 speeds up compilation & lowers execution time

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock /MarekPiotrowski

GraalVM recently matured and has been suggested for production-usage. Now, the latest version, GraalVM19.1 fixes some bugs in the previous release and also lowers the compilation time. Along with this release comes news of future versioning plans for GraalVM. Look out for v20 in 2020!

On July 2, 2019, the latest version of GraalVM arrived. Version 19.0 arrived back in May of this year, bringing with it full maturity, ready for use in production. Now, this new release fixes some bugs, adds compatibility improvements, and brings new features.

What’s included in GraalVM19.1? For one, a faster compilation time.

Take a peek at what else this version improves upon and its newest features.

Latest improvements

  • Java updates
    • Improvements made to just-in-time compilation
    • Applied profile-guided-optimization for building the AOT image of the compiler
  • JavaScript updates
    • Added an experimental option js.locale to set the default locale for locale-sensitive operations.
    • Allow making evaluated sources internal using the sourceURL directive by prefixing the URL with internal:, e.g. //# sourceURL=internal:myname.js.
    • Enabled code sharing across threads using ContextPolicy.SHARED.
  • Python updates
    • Updated standard library files from v 3.7.0 to  v3.7.3
    • Add java.add_to_classpath API
    • Improved performance
    • Allow write access to main module bindings for embedder
  • R updates
    • is.function returns true for foreign executables
    • better error message when FastR cannot find its home directory
    • Bug fixes
  • Ruby updates
    • Various bug fixes
    • Compatibility and performance issues
  • Native image issues: This release fixes a host of issues users were having. Browse the full list of fixed issues on GitHub.

SEE ALSO: Hyperledger Transact simplifies distributed ledger development

Changes to the just-in-time compilation system help ramp up the speed for compilation.


Improvements made to compilation time. Source.

Grabbing the latest version

Version 19.1.0 is available as both an open source Community Edition release and an Enterprise Edition. The Community Edition is free to use for developers while the Enterprise Edition provides additional commercial support from Oracle.

SEE ALSO: “Serverless provides you with a lot of opportunities to experiment”

View the release notes here for a full overview of everything included in the new release.

As always, leave any feedback regarding potential issues on the GitHub repo so that it can improve even further.

Regarding future versions, according to the announcement post by Senior Research Developer at Oracle Labs Thomas Wuerthinger, v20 will release next year in 2020. With this schedule, a new major version arrives yearly, with updates in between handling bug issues and security enhancements.

He writes:

These releases are going to be built from master and include the latest bits. We intend to make the update process smooth and only gradually introduce new features. This means first having major changes behind an experimental flag and only later enabling that flag by default. This allows us to keep a high velocity for the project while allowing users to adjust well in advance.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments