Zulu Community

First impressions of Zulu on OSX “El Capitan”

Updated on June 23, 2017 in Zulu on Mac OS X
3 on February 12, 2016

I’ve been a Zulu user on my Windows+Java deployments, basically because Zulu offers a zero-issues deployment of OpenJDK, being at this time the only Open Source and production ready JVM available for Windows (in Linux you also have OpenJDK distro builds or IcedTea).

As my previous experiences in Windows and considering that Zulu is at some point a supported compilation of OpenJDK (basis for HotSpot aka OracleJDK), using Zulu in OSX has been so far a painless solution.

Compared to HotSpot you have an additional security “feature” only available at Server JRE, the lack of the infamous web plugin, however you will lose Java Mission Control because is a closed source tool.

If you are interested in formal benchmarks this guide (by Azul) could be helpful: http://www.azulsystems.com/sites/default/files/images/Azul_Zulu_Hotspot_Infographic_d2_v2.pdf

In a more “day by day” test, for me Zulu works properly with Eclipse, Wildfly and some other desktop apps like Vuze or JDownloader.

Why Zulu?

  • Is based on OpenJDK Open Source project (with all Open Source benefits)
  • You obtain nearly the same performance of HotSpot

Why not Zulu?

  • If you need Java Mission Control
  • If you need the Java Browser Plugin, pretty dead BTW

Zulu installation in OSX is pretty easy since it’s available as .dmg and also as a homebrew cask, it plays well with many of the Java dependant caks.
Some images of software running with Zulu:


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0 on February 12, 2016

Thank you, Victor, for sharing your insights with your review of Zulu on OSX. We hope to see more from you in the future! Your input to the Zulu Community Forum is welcome.

  • Liked by
0 on February 20, 2016

Victor, this review is excellent. Thanks for doing validation on El Capitan, even ahead of Zulu declaring formal support for it. We appreciate the great details and insight.

You correctly note that Zulu doesn’t have applets. We have had requests to add support for a browser plugin to run applets, and we have intentionally not delivered them for many technical and market reasons. Your “pretty dead” description matches our own feeling on them.

If you see any other differences on Mac compared to Windows/Linux, or just Mac-centric use cases, feel free to provide feedback on them.


  • Liked by
0 on June 23, 2017

One more detail to share on this topic. Victor mentioned that Zulu exists as a Homebrew Cask. It does, and here is the link location:


Props to delitescere, neutric, dpoggi, and others before them for keeping it fresh.


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