Native Code Compiler for Java


A Native Code Compiler for Java is a software tool that translates Java bytecode into platform-specific machine code. This process results in faster execution of the compiled code compared to running it on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The compiled native code can directly run on the target hardware, providing improved performance and avoiding the need for just-in-time (JIT) compilation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Native Code Compiler for Java is a tool that compiles Java bytecode into native machine code, resulting in a performance boost and lower memory consumption compared to the standard Java Virtual Machine (JVM) execution.
  2. It eliminates the need for Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, which would otherwise be done at runtime. This significantly reduces program startup time and can also improve overall execution performance.
  3. Some popular Native Code Compilers for Java include GraalVM’s Native Image and Excelsior JET. However, using these tools may have some trade-offs, such as limitations on dynamic features, longer build times, and larger binary sizes.


The Native Code Compiler for Java is important because it significantly improves the performance and efficiency of Java applications by converting Java bytecode into native machine code.

This allows the application to run directly on the hardware without the need for Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation or the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), leading to faster start-up times and better resource utilization.

Moreover, the compiled native code is optimized for the specific target platform, further ensuring optimal application performance.

Thus, native code compilers for Java play a critical role in enhancing the execution speed and overall responsiveness of Java-based software, making them highly valuable and sought-after components in the world of technology.


The primary purpose of a Native Code Compiler for Java lies in its ability to convert Java source code into native machine code, which is specific to a particular operating system or hardware platform. This empowers developers to create applications that can execute directly on the targeted platform, without the requirement of an intermediary Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Offering a more efficient system adaptability, native code compilers ensure faster execution time, improved performance, and superior native access, enabling developers to tackle the common pitfalls that stem from JVM’s pause-times or garbage collection issues.

Moreover, the utilization of native code compilers for Java is vital when seeking to minimize memory overheads, reduce startup latency, or protect the intellectual property of a software. One such example is the GraalVM native image, which benefits from Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compilation to transform Java applications into native executables.

Consequently, these compiled applications can be light-weight and efficient, simultaneously saving resources and delivering better end-user experience. Overall, native code compilers for Java are essential tools for developers who aim to optimize their Java applications and address the challenges posed by platform-specific deployments.

Examples of Native Code Compiler for Java

GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ): The GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ) is a software compiler for the Java programming language that is part of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). GCJ compiles Java source code or bytecode into native machine code, enhancing the performance of the resulting executable. This allows software developers to benefit from Java’s platform independence while utilizing the advantages of native compiled code, such as faster startup times and optimized performance.

Excelsior JET: Excelsior JET is a Java Native Compiler and Runtime that allows developers to compile their Java applications into native executables for Windows, macOS, and Linux. By converting the Java bytecode into native machine code, Excelsior JET optimizes application performance and offers protection against reverse engineering, a significant concern for commercial software vendors. It also provides a smaller memory footprint, making it an appealing choice for desktop and embedded systems that require efficient resource usage.

GraalVM Native Image: GraalVM is a high-performance runtime that includes a native image generator, a native code compiler for Java that can ahead-of-time (AOT) compile Java applications into native executables. Compatible with multiple languages like Java, JavaScript, Ruby, and more, GraalVM Native Image offers improved startup times, lower memory consumption, and reduced management overhead. This makes it suitable for microservices, serverless (AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions), and command-line applications where quick startup times and efficient resource utilization are crucial.

FAQ: Native Code Compiler for Java

What is a Native Code Compiler for Java?

A Native Code Compiler for Java is a tool that converts Java bytecode into native machine code, enabling Java applications to run directly on the target platform without the need for a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This can result in improved performance and smaller memory footprint.

What are the benefits of using a Native Code Compiler for Java?

Some benefits of using a Native Code Compiler for Java include faster startup times, lower memory usage, better integration with native libraries, and increased performance in certain scenarios. However, these benefits can come at the cost of reduced cross-platform compatibility and increased compilation time.

How does a Native Code Compiler work?

A Native Code Compiler for Java works by translating Java bytecode, which is platform-independent, into native machine code specific to the target platform. This eliminates the need for the Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation process typically used by the JVM, resulting in faster application startup times and potentially increased performance.

What are some examples of Native Code Compilers for Java?

Some examples of Native Code Compilers for Java include GraalVM Native Image, Excelsior JET, and GCJ (GNU Compiler for Java). Each compiler has its unique features, and the choice of a suitable compiler depends on the specific requirements of the project.

Are there any limitations to using a Native Code Compiler for Java?

There are some limitations when using a Native Code Compiler for Java. For example, the compiled native code may not be as portable as Java bytecode since it is platform-specific. Additionally, the native code might not receive updates and performance optimizations provided by the JVM in the future, and the compilation process may be slower than with a regular Java Compiler.

Related Technology Terms

  • Just-In-Time Compilation (JIT)
  • Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
  • Bytecode
  • Ahead-Of-Time Compilation (AOT)
  • GraalVM

Sources for More Information

  • Oracle Java – Oracle is the company responsible for the development and maintenance of the Java programming language, and their website provides a wealth of information about Java, including native code compilers.
  • Oracle JDK Tools Documentation – The official JDK tools documentation by Oracle provides detailed information on native code compilers and the available tools in the JDK toolset.
  • JavaWorld – JavaWorld is an online magazine dedicated to Java, offering tutorials, news, and resources for Java developers, including information on native code compilers.
  • Wikipedia Java Performance – This Wikipedia article provides a comprehensive overview of Java performance, including native code compiler usage and its impact on Java performance.

About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents