In August, 2001, the Foundation initiated negotiations with Sun Microsystems to license a FreeBSD version of Sun’s Java Development Kit (JDK)TM and Java Runtime Environment (JRE)TM. Discussions with Sun continued into December. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the two parties, the license agreement was finalized in early December, 2001. The FreeBSD versions of the JDK and JRE are now undergoing the arduous technology compliance testing required by Sun. They will be made publicly available as soon as they have been certified 100% Java compliant.

The licensing of the Java Development Kit is a good example of one kind of project for which the support of the Foundation is ideal. The license agreement is a contract, and it can only be executed by a legally recognized entity such as an individual or a corporation. As an informal confederation of individuals, the FreeBSD Project itself has no legal standing. To execute contracts it needs a legal entity, and the FreeBSD Foundation fills that role.

The availability of a FreeBSD JDK license will benefit both the users and the developers of FreeBSD. As Java continues to grow in popularity, more and more software packages require it. With an officially licensed Java Development Kit, FreeBSD will gain better acceptance as the right choice of operating system for Java-based projects.