Java Duke Mascot


I realized that many Java developers do not recognize a Java mascot: Duke. Yes! It has its own name. Let’s take a look at some interesting information about the mascot of one of the most popular programming language on the world.

What or Who is Duke?

Duke is the mascot of Java technology.

On the Oracle page, we can find some initial information about Duke.

Duke was designed to represent a “software agent” that performed tasks for the user. Duke was the interactive host that enabled a new type of user interface that went beyond the buttons, mice, and pop-up menus of the desktop computing world.

Duke was instantly embraced. In fact, at about the same time Java was first introduced and the first Java cup logo was commissioned, 
Duke became the official mascot of Java technology. In 2006, Duke was officially “open sourced” under a BSD license. 
Developers and designers were encouraged to play around with Duke and for the first time had access to Duke’s graphical specifications
through a project. Efforts around Duke are now hosted as “Project Duke” at OpenJDK.

When the good old coffee cup logo was commissioned for Java, Duke became the language’s official mascot.

Duke uses 5 colors which are Black (#000000), White (#FFFFFF), Pigment Red (#ED1D25), Tart Orange (#F14C4D) and Melon (#FAB9A8) source.


Java Duke, at the top of its popularity, got its own comic. The Amazing Adventures of Duke was released in 1996 and made Duke the Net’s Smoothest Code Man. Yes, we can confirm the Duke is a male. The comic can be found on GitHub

Java Duke the Amazing Adventures of Duke comic


Duke was created in the earliest days of Java by Joe Palrang, an artist who helped animate films including Shrek and Over the Hedge. At the time, Duke was the property of Sun Microsystems and was as proprietary as Java itself. But Duke was poised to lead Java’s charge into a brave new world.


Duke Variants

Over many years, many new variants of Duke have been created.

Future Tech Duke

In July 2011, Future Tech Duke included a bigger nose, a jetpack, and blue wings. Source

Future Java Duke

Samurai Duke

Heroku company decided to create its own mascot for Java. Their lawyers said that the classic cup of coffee violates Oracle’s license, especially after one of the most fiercest copyright battles in the history of software.

We thought of Duke, but a plain-old naked Duke just wasn’t exciting enough for Heroku’s standards. We decided to dress him up and in classic Heroku style, so we gave him a Samurai outfit. Initially, Samurai Duke had a samurai sword in his belt, but our corporate team informed us that it was too violent and had to be removed. The end result is a cute, non-violent Samurai Duke, whom we love.


Heroku Samurai Duke

You can download Samurai Duke as wallpaper

Right now, there is a whole gallery of the Duke on OpenJDK website.


Other Variations

Over the years, fans have created thousands of variations, including my wife’s birthday cake for me.

Duke cake animation


I hope that Duke will play a bigger role in the future materials of the Java platform.