App Engine Standard Environment Runtimes

The App Engine standard environment has two generations of runtime environments. The second generation runtimes significantly improve the capabilities of App Engine and remove some of the limitations of the first generation runtimes. This page describes the similarities and differences between the first and second generation runtimes.

First generation Second generation
Supported languages Python 2.7
Java 8
PHP 5.5
Go 1.9 and Go 1.11
Python 3.7
Java 11 (beta)
PHP 7.2
Ruby (beta)
Go 1.12
Language extension and
system library support
Python 2.7, PHP 5.5, Go 1.9: Whitelisted
extensions and libraries
Java 8, Go 1.11: Any extension or library
Any extension or library
Supported APIs Proprietary App Engine API Open Source Cloud Client Libraries
External network access Python 2.7, PHP 5.5, Go 1.9: Via URL Fetch API
Java 8, Go 1.11: Full access
Full access
File system access Python 2.7, PHP 5.5, Go 1.9: None
Java 8, Go 1.11: Read/write access to /tmp
Read/write access to /tmp
Language runtime Modified for App Engine Unmodified, open source runtime
Isolation mechanism Proprietary gVisor-based container sandbox

App Engine first generation runtime support

There are no plans to deprecate the App Engine first generation runtimes at this time. The second generation runtimes represent the future direction of App Engine; however, developers and customers using the first generation runtimes will continue to receive support and feature updates.

Similarities between first and second generation runtimes

  • Nearly instantaneous scale-up time to respond to traffic spikes.
  • Applications are built using the same build process.
  • Same SLA for GA services.
  • Identical gcloud command support and the same GCP console interface.
  • Free tier.
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App Engine Documentation