Java QuickStart Guide

This is a quick start guide to using JPype with Java. This guide will show a series of snippets with the corresponding commands in both Java and Python for using JPype. The JPype User Guide and API Reference have additional details on the use of the JPype module.

JPype uses two factory classes (JArray and JClass) to produce class wrappers which can be used to create all Java objects. These serve as both the base class for the corresponding hierarchy and as the factory to produce new wrappers. Casting operators are used to construct specify types of Java types (JObject, JString, JBoolean, JByte, JChar, JShort, JInt, JLong, JFloat, JDouble). Two special classes serve as the base classes for exceptions (JException) and interfaces (JInterface). There are a small number of support methods to help in controlling the JVM. Lastly, there are a few annotations used to create customized wrappers.

For the purpose of this guide, we will assume that the following classes were defined in Java. We will also assume the reader knows enough Java and Python to be dangerous.

package org.pkg;

public class BaseClass
   public void callMember(int i)

public class MyClass extends BaseClass
   final public static int CONST_FIELD = 1;
   public static int staticField = 1;
   public int memberField = 2;
   int internalField =3;

   public MyClass() {}
   public MyClass(int i) {}

   public static void callStatic(int i) {}
   public void callMember(int i) {}

   // Python name conflict
   public void pass() {}

   public void throwsException() throws java.lang.Exception {}

   // Overloaded methods
   public void call(int i) {}
   public void call(double d) {}

Starting JPype

The hardest thing about using JPype is getting the jars loaded into the JVM. Java is curiously unfriendly about reporting problems when it is unable to find a jar. Instead, it will be reported as an ImportError in Python. These patterns will help debug problems with jar loading.

Once the JVM is started Java packages that are within a top level domain (TLD) are exposed as Python modules allowing Java to be treated as part of Python.




Start Java Virtual Machine (JVM)

# Import module
import jpype

# Enable Java imports
import jpype.imports

# Pull in types
from jpype.types import *

# Launch the JVM

Start Java Virtual Machine (JVM) with a classpath

# Launch the JVM
jpype.startJVM(classpath = ['jars/*'])

Import default Java namespace [1]

import java.lang

Add a set of jars from a directory [2]


Add a specific jar to the classpath [2]



from java.lang import System


Java classes are presented wherever possible similar to Python classes. The only major difference is that Java classes and objects are closed and cannot be modified. As Java is strongly typed, casting operators are used to select specific overloads when calling methods. Classes are either imported using a module, loaded using JPackage or loaded with the JClass factory.




Import a class [4]

import org.pkg.MyClass
from org.pkg import MyClass

Import a class and rename [4]

from org.pkg import MyClass as OurClass

Import multiple classes from a package [5]

from org.pkg import MyClass, AnotherClass

Import a java package for long name access [6]

import org.pkg

Import a class static [7]

import org.pkg.MyClass.CONST_FIELD
from org.pkg.MyClass import CONST_FIELD

Import a class without tld [8]

import zippy.NonStandard
NonStandard = JClass('zippy.NonStandard')

Construct an object

MyClass myObject = new MyClass(1);
myObject = MyClass(1)

Constructing a class with full class name

import org.pkg
myObject = org.pkg.MyClass(args)

Get a static field

int var = MyClass.staticField;
var = MyClass.staticField

Get a member field

int var = myObject.memberField;
var = myObject.memberField

Set a static field [9]

MyClass.staticField = 2;
MyClass.staticField = 2

Set a member field [9]

myObject.memberField = 2;
myObject.memberField = 2

Call a static method


Call a member method


Access member with Python naming conflict [10]


Checking inheritance

if (obj instanceof MyClass) {...}
if (isinstance(obj, MyClass): ...

Checking if Java class wrapper

if (isinstance(obj, JClass): ...

Checking if Java object wrapper

if (isinstance(obj, JObject): ...

Casting to a specific type [11]

BaseClass b = (BaseClass)myObject;
b = (BaseClass) @ myObject


Java exceptions extend from Python exceptions and can be dealt with in the same way as Python native exceptions. JException serves as the base class for all Java exceptions.




Catch an exception

try {
} catch (java.lang.Exception ex)
{ ... }
except java.lang.Exception as ex:

Throw an exception to Java

throw new java.lang.Exception(
raise java.lang.Exception(

Checking if Java exception wrapper

if (isinstance(obj, JException): ...

Closeable items

try (InputStream is
  = Files.newInputStream(file))
{ ... }
with Files.newInputStream(file) as is:


Most Python primitives directly map into Java primitives. However, Python does not have the same primitive types, and it is necessary to cast to a specific Java primitive type whenever there are Java overloads that would otherwise be in conflict. Each of the Java types are exposed in JPype (JBoolean, JByte, JChar, JShort, JInt, JLong, JFloat, JDouble).




Casting to hit an overload [12];

Create a primitive array

int[] array = new int[5]
array = JInt[5]

Create a rectangular primitive array

int[][] array = new int[5][10]
array = JInt[5, 10]

Create an array of arrays

int[][] array = new int[5][]
array = JInt[5, :]

Create an initialized primitive array [13]

int[] array = new int[]{1,2,3}
array = JInt[:]([1,2,3])

Create an initialized boxed array [13]

Integer[] array = new Integer[]{1,2,3}
array = java.lang.Integer[:]([1,2,3])

Put a specific primitive type on a list

List<Integer> myList
  = new ArrayList<>();
from java.util import ArrayList
myList = ArrayList()

Boxing a primitive [14]

Integer boxed = 1;
boxed = JObject(JInt(1))


Java strings are similar to Python strings. They are both immutable and produce a new string when altered. Most operations can use Java strings in place of Python strings, with minor exceptions as Python strings are not completely duck typed. When comparing or using as dictionary keys, all JString objects should be converted to Python.




Create a Java string [15]

String javaStr = new String("foo");
myStr = JString("foo")

Create a Java string from bytes [16]

byte[] b;
String javaStr = new String(b, "UTF-8");
b= b'foo'
myStr = JString(b, "UTF-8")

Converting Java string


Comparing Python and Java strings [17]

str(javaStr) == pyString

Comparing Java strings

javaStr == "foo"

Checking if Java string

if (isinstance(obj, JString): ...


Arrays are create using the JArray class factory. They operate like Python lists, but they are fixed in size.




Create a single dimension array

MyClass[] array = new MyClass[5];
array = MyClass[5]

Create a multi dimension array (old)

MyClass[][] array2 = new MyClass[5][];
array2 = JArray(MyClass, 2)(5)

Create a multi dimension array (new)

MyClass[][] array2 = new MyClass[5][];
array2 = MyClass[5,:]

Access an element

array[0] = new MyClass()
array[0] = MyClass()

Size of an array


Get last element

MyClass a = array[array.length];
a = array[-1]

Slice an array [18]

a = array[2:5]

Clone an array

MyClass[] a = array.clone();
a = array.clone()

Convert to Python list

pylist = list(array)

Iterate elements

for (MyClass element: array)
for element in array:

Checking if java array wrapper

if (isinstance(obj, JArray): ...


Java standard containers are available and are overloaded with Python syntax where possible to operate in a similar fashion to Python objects.




Import list type

import java.util.ArrayList;
from java.util import ArrayList

Construct a list

List<Integer> myList=new ArrayList<>();

Get length of list

int sz = myList.size();
sz = len(myList)

Get list item

Integer i = myList.get(0)
i = myList[0]

Set list item [19]

myList.set(0, 1)

Iterate list elements

for (Integer element: myList)
for element in myList:

Import map type

import java.util.HashMap;
from java.util import HashMap

Construct a map

Map<String,Integer> myMap = new HashMap<>();
myMap = HashMap()

Get length of map

int sz = myMap.size();
sz = len(myMap)

Get map item

Integer i = myMap.get("foo")
i = myMap["foo"]

Set map item [19]

myMap.set("foo", 1)
myMap["foo"] = Jint(1)

Iterate map entries

for (Map.Entry<String,Integer> e
  : myMap.entrySet())
for e in myMap.entrySet():


Java reflection can be used to access operations that are outside the scope of the JPype syntax. This includes calling a specific overload or even accessing private methods and fields.




Access Java reflection class


Access a private field by name [20]

cls = myObject.class_
field = cls.getDeclaredField(

Accessing a specific overload [21]

cls = MyClass.class_
cls.getDeclaredMethod("call", JInt)
cls.invoke(myObject, JInt(1))

Convert a java.lang.Class into Python wrapper [22]

# Something returned a java.lang.Class
MyClassJava = getClassMethod()

# Convert to it to Python
MyClass = JClass(myClassJava)

Load a class with a external class loader

ClassLoader cl
  = new ExternalClassLoader();
Class cls
  = Class.forName("External",
                  True, cl)
cl = ExternalClassLoader()
cls = JClass("External", loader=cl)

Accessing base method implementation

from org.pkg import \
        BaseClass, MyClass
myObject = MyClass(1)
BaseClass.callMember(myObject, 2)

Implements and Extension

JPype can implement a Java interface by annotating a Python class. Each method that is required must be implemented.

JPype does not support extending a class directly in Python. Where it is necessary to exend a Java class, it is required to create a Java extension with an interface for each methods that are to be accessed from Python.




Implement an interface

public class PyImpl
  implements MyInterface
  public void call()
class PyImpl(object):
    def call(self):

Extending classes [23]


Lambdas [24]

DoubleUnaryOperator u = (p->p*2);
u=DoubleUnaryOperator@(lambda x: x*2)

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