Call Java Programs from Julia

Call Java programs from Julia

The JavaCall package allows calling Java programs from within Julia code. It uses the Java Native Interface (JNI) to call into an in-process Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The primary entry point to Java is the jcall function. This is modeled on the Julia ccall function, and takes as input the receiver object (or class, for static methods), the method name, the output type, a tuple of the method parameter types, and the parameters themselves.

This package has been tested using Oracle JDK 7, 8 and 9 on MacOSX and Ubuntu on 64 bit environments. It has also been shown to work with OpenJDK flavour of java. It has also been tested on Windows 64 bit environments. However, it does not work on 32 bit environments. It will not work with the Apple 1.6 JDK since that is a 32 bit JVM, and Julia is typically built as a 64 bit executable on OSX.



This package has a dependency on the WinReg package which, on Windows, is used to derive the location of the JDK automatically.


Static and instance methods with primitive or object arguments and return values are callable. Array arguments and return values are also supported. Primitive, string, object or array arguments are converted as required.

julia> using JavaCall

julia> JavaCall.init(["-Xmx128M"])

julia> jlm = @jimport java.lang.Math
JavaObject{:java.lang.Math} (constructor with 2 methods))

julia> jcall(jlm, "sin", jdouble, (jdouble,), pi/2)

julia> jnu = @jimport
JavaObject{} (constructor with 2 methods)

julia> gurl = jnu((JString,), "")
JavaObject{}(Ptr{Void} @0x0000000108ae2aa8)

julia> jcall(gurl, "getHost", JString,())

julia> j_u_arrays = @jimport java.util.Arrays
JavaObject{:java.util.Arrays} (constructor with 2 methods)

julia> jcall(j_u_arrays, "binarySearch", jint, (Array{jint,1}, jint), [10,20,30,40,50,60], 40)

Usage from a running JVM

Use JNI or JNA to initialize a Julia VM, then call JavaCall.init_current_vm(). Here’s an example using JNA:

package zot.julia;

import com.sun.jna.Native;

public class Julia {
    static {

    public static double bubba = Math.random();

    public static native void jl_init__threading();
    public static native void jl_eval_string(String code);
    public static native void jl_atexit_hook(int status);

    public static void main(String args[]) {
        jl_eval_string("println(\"test from Julia\")");
        jl_eval_string("using JavaCall");
        jl_eval_string("println(\"initialized VM\")");
        jl_eval_string("jlm = @jimport java.lang.Math");
        jl_eval_string("println(jcall(jlm, \"sin\", jdouble, (jdouble,), pi/2))");
        jl_eval_string("jl = @jimport zot.julia.Julia");
        System.out.println("Bubba should be " + bubba);
        jl_eval_string("println(\"bubba: \", jfield(jl, \"bubba\", jdouble))");
        jl_eval_string("println(\"Done with tests\")");

Major TODOs and Caveats

Non-Windows Operating Systems (Linux, MacOS, FreeBSD)

Windows Operating System