New features and fixes

GraalVM 19.0 release: “GraalVM is finally mature and ready for production use”

Sarah Schlothauer
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According to the announcement post for the latest release of GraalVM, it is “finally mature and ready for production use”. GraalVM version 19.0 is the current stable release. See what it includes and what is on the radar for future releases and what the team is currently testing for early adopters.

On May 9, 2019, developer at Oracle Labs Oleg Šelajev announced GraalVM 19.0. His announcement states: “While we previously only published “release candidates”, we believe that GraalVM finally is mature and ready for production use.”

This version will be the current stable release.; the GraalVM team heavily recommends using v19.0 in production.

For more details, see the full release notes for GraalVM 19 here.

New updates and improvements

Let’s have a look at some of the highlights of the latest version:

  • Java update: Updated the base JDK to 8u212. View the JDK 8u212 update release notes from Oracle.
  • Native Image: Extracted from the base GraalVM distribution, now available as an early adopter plugin.
  • JavaScript: Various bug fixes for improved performance.
  • R: Fatal error and an issue regarding installation fixed.
  • Ruby: Bug fixes and renamed methods in the TruffleRuby object.
  • Ideal Graph Visualizer (IGV): Fixed previous issue with call trees

According to the update announcement blog, Native Image has “incredibly fast startup time, which is a very welcomed quality in cloud deployment scenarios”. Notable projects including Quarkus, Micronaut, and Helidon also support native images.

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Experimental features & early adoptions

This update brings a new GraalVM CE early adopter build for Windows. This includes the JDK with the GraalVM Compiler enabled, Native Image, the JavaScript Engine, and the Developer Tools. However, as it says on the GitHub release notes: “Currently there is no gu utility or support for other GraalVM languages.”

Currently in an experimental phase, v19.0 adds Python, Ruby, and R language components.

These languages can be installed with the gu utility. The team requests any feedback for this experimental feature for future updates.

Getting GraalVM

The core download, available here, comes in either the free community edition for development and production or the enterprise edition. The Enterprise Edition, made available by Oracle, offers commercial support and additional features.

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Included in the core download:

  • Java 8 SE compliant JVM
  • Node.js with polyglot capabilities (based on Node.js v10.15.2)
  • EMACScript 2019 standard compliant JavaScript engine
  • Runtime for running LLVM 6.0.0 bitcode in a managed environment. This also allows for integrating native languages into Java programs.

Future updates (19.1, 19.2, etc.) will address potential bugs and performance issues, but bring no new major features. The team aims to release these updates once per quarter.

Find the repo on GitHub.

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.

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