The end of Java 6 support is coming!
Oracle has announced Extended Support for Java 6 will end December 2018. What does this mean for your WebSphere installation?
On April 30, 2018, WAS 8.5.x will no longer support Java 6 as its runtime. WAS 188.8.131.52 will be the last fix pack to support Java 6 and, starting with WAS 184.108.40.206, the embedded Java 6 will be removed and replaced with Java 8.
Details of Java 6 end of support
WAS v8.5 supports pluggable JDK which means you can use WAS v8.5 with Java 6, 7, or 8. With the Java 6 end of support (EoS) coming, IBM strongly encourages customers to move to Java 7 or 8. Migration to a newer version of Java will help customers move away from aging crypto technologies and avoid the risks of non-addressed future security exposures. Also, with the pluggable JDK support of WAS v8.5, switching JDKs is fairly easy.
For customers on WAS 8.5.x, IBM announced that Java 6 will no longer be a supported WebSphere runtime after April 30, 2018. WAS 220.127.116.11, currently scheduled for February 2018, will be the last fix pack to support Java 6. Starting in WAS 18.104.22.168, the embedded installation of Java 6 will be removed and replaced with Java 8. If you wish to remove Java 6 before 22.214.171.124, you will need to perform a new installation of WebSphere. Otherwise, Java 6 will be removed with an in-place upgrade with fix pack 126.96.36.199.
After April 30, 2018, fixes to the Java 6 runtime will be limited. Customers will be able to get security fixes from IBM, which include the Oracle Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) for Java 6, until December 2018. Only CPU fixes will be available after April 30, 2018.
For Liberty users: Liberty ceased support of Java 6 in version 188.8.131.52. To use the latest version of Liberty you must upgrade to Java 7 or Java 8.
Updated 2018-03-14: After April 30, 2018, security fixes for the IBM SDKs will be available from IBM, not Oracle as previously implied.