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What is Bytecode in Java and how it works?

Last updated on Sep 30,2021 44.9K Views

16 / 72 Blog from Java Core Concepts

There are a lot of processes that go on while a program in Java gets executed. One such concept is Bytecode in Java which is one of the reasons how Java becomes platform-independent. So, this article on ‘What is Bytecode in Java’ will help you in understanding Java Bytecode along with its working and advantages. Following are the topics covered in this blog:

What is Bytecode in Java?

Bytecode in Java is the reason java is platform-independent, as soon as a  Java program is compiled bytecode is generated. To be more precise a Java bytecode is the machine code in the form of a .class file.

A bytecode in Java is the instruction set for Java Virtual Machine and acts similar to an assembler.

How does Bytecode Work

flowchart-what is bytecode in java-edureka

When a Java program is executed, the compiler compiles that piece of code and a Bytecode is generated for each method in that program in the form of a .class file.

We can run this bytecode on any other platform as well. But the bytecode is a non-runnable code that requires or relies on an interpreter. This is where JVM plays an important part.

The bytecode generated after the compilation is run by the Java virtual machine. Resources required for the execution are made available by the Java virtual machine for smooth execution which calls the processor to allocate the resources.

Bytecode vs Machine code

The main difference between the machine code and the bytecode is that the machine code is a set of instructions in machine language or binary which can be directly executed by the CPU.

While the bytecode is a non-runnable code generated by compiling a source code that relies on an interpreter to get executed.

Advantages of Bytecode

Following are a few advantages of  Bytecode:

  • It helps in achieving platform-independence which is one of the reasons why James Gosling started the formation of Java.

  • The set of instructions for a JVM may differ from system to system but can all interpret Bytecode.

  • Bytecodes are non-runnable codes that rely on the availability of an interpreter, this is where JVM comes into play.

  • It is a machine-level language code that runs on the JVM.

  • It adds portability to Java which resonates with the saying, “write once, read anywhere”.

This brings us to the end of this article. We have learned what is bytecode in Java and how it works with various advantages that it comes with. I hope you are clear with all that has been shared with you in this tutorial.

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What is Bytecode in Java and how it works?