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what is the native keyword in java for

what is the native keyword in java for  using -'java,native,keyword'

asked Oct 6, 2015 by vibhorsingh
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5 Answers

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It marks a method, that it will be implemented in other languages, not in Java. It works together with JNI (Java Native Interface).

Native methods were used in the past to write performance critical sections but with Java getting faster this is now less common. Native methods are currently needed when

  • You need to call a library from Java that is written in other language.

  • You need to access system or hardware resources that are only reachable from the other language (typically C). Actually, many system functions that interact with real computer (disk and network IO, for instance) can only do this because they call native code.

See Also Java Native Interface Specification

answered Oct 6, 2015 by balvant maurya
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Straight from the Java Language Specification:

A method that is native is implemented in platform-dependent code, typically written in another programming language such as C, C++, FORTRAN,or assembly language. The body of a native method is given as a semicolon only, indicating that the implementation is omitted, instead of a block.

answered Oct 6, 2015 by deepak gupta
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Minimal example to make things clearer:

public class Main {
    public native int intMethod(int i);
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println(new Main().intMethod(2));


#include "Main.h"

JNIEXPORT jint JNICALL Java_Main_intMethod(
    JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jint i) {
  return i * i;

Compile and run:

javah -jni Main
gcc -shared -fpic -o -I${JAVA_HOME}/include \
  -I${JAVA_HOME}/include/linux Main.c
java -Djava.library.path=. Main



Tested on Ubuntu 14.04 with Oracle JDK 1.8.0_45.

So it is clear that it allows you to:

  • call a compiled dynamically loaded library (here written in C) with arbitrary assembly code from Java
  • and get results back into Java

This could be used to:

  • write faster code on a critical section with better CPU assembly instructions (not CPU portable)
  • make direct system calls (not OS portable)

with the tradeoff of lower portability.

It is also possible for you to call Java from C, but you must first create a JVM in C: how to call java function from c++?

Example on GitHub for you to play with.

answered Oct 6, 2015 by param.oncemore
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functions that implement native code are declared native.

The Java Native Interface (JNI) is a programming framework that enables Java code running in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to call, and to be called by, native applications (programs specific to a hardware and operating system platform) and libraries written in other languages such as C, C++ and assembly.

answered Oct 6, 2015 by rajnipancholi
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native is a keyword in java , which is used to make unimplemented structure(method) like as abstract but it would be a platform dependent such as native code and execute from native stack not java stack.

answered Oct 6, 2015 by rajesh