Yes, you can use JDK 9 with NetBeans!

Using Apache NetBeans (incubating) with JDK 9

Geertjan Wielenga

With the release of JDK 9 and NetBeans in transition to Apache, should you wait or move to a different development environment? Because NetBeans IDE 8.2 does not support JDK 9, those wanting to use JDK 9 do need to make some choices.

Or… maybe you should treat NetBeans like any other piece of code and build it yourself:

Read the README at the above location and you’ll see you need Git, Ant, and JDK 8 to build NetBeans. You’ll find your installation directory in the “nbbuild/netbeans” folder.

Note: NetBeans is supported by Jenkins at Apache and a ZIP file automatically produced via Jenkins build jobs is available too.

You can run NetBeans on JDK 8 and then register JDK 9 as a Java platform, after which you can make use of new JDK 9 features such as Jigsaw. Even better, you can run NetBeans on JDK 9, which means that you’ll be able to use JShell directly inside NetBeans.

NetBeans provides a range of features specifically for the latest JDK 9, as listed here. Some Jigsaw multi-modular sample projects can be found here. An open multi-modular project together with JShell open in NetBeans looks as follows:

Even though Apache NetBeans (incubating) currently focuses narrowly on Java SE tooling, e.g., Java Swing and JavaFX, your favorite plugins can be installed, as always, such as the popular Darcula plugin, as shown below:

Note: When will NetBeans be released from Apache and all similar questions can be read here and how to participate is described in detail here.

With NetBeans at Apache, the future is bright. When combined with Oracle’s ongoing commitment to NetBeans, the new opportunities for community involvement via Apache makes for a new and adventurous path into the future for one of the industry’s top development environments and tooling platforms.


Geertjan Wielenga

Geertjan is a product manager at Oracle, focused on open source tools and technologies.

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