What Java version should I use?

The choice of Java version generally depends on the requirements of your specific project and the environments where your application will run. Here are a few factors to consider: 

Long-Term Support (LTS) Version: 

If stability and long-term support are crucial, you should stick with an LTS version, such as Java 11 or Java 17, or Java 21. These versions are supported by Oracle (and many others in the community) for many years and are best for production applications. 

Latest Version:

If you want to leverage the latest features, improvements, and bug fixes, then the newest version, such as Java 21, would be the choice. However, note that each version has a six-month lifespan before it's superseded by the next release, and they might not have commercial support.

Requirements of your project: 

Certain libraries or frameworks that your project depends on might require a specific minimum Java version. 


You also need to consider backward compatibility. Some new versions of Java deprecate features or make changes that are not backward compatible. 


Newer versions often have performance improvements over older versions, but it's always a good idea to test this in your own environment. 

In a nutshell, for commercial or production use, LTS versions are commonly chosen due to their extended support and stability, whereas for personal projects or learning, the latest version might be a good choice to stay up-to-date with Java's latest features and improvements. Always be sure to test the chosen Java version thoroughly in your environment before rolling it out.