- Java Virtual Machine
- Internal Architecture of JVM
JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is an abstract machine. It is a specification that provides runtime environment in which java bytecode can be executed.
JVMs are available for many hardware and software platforms (i.e. JVM is platform dependent).
What is JVM
- A specification where working of Java Virtual Machine is specified. But implementation provider is independent to choose the algorithm. Its implementation has been provided by Oracle and other companies.
- An implementation Its implementation is known as JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
- Runtime Instance Whenever you write java command on the command prompt to run the java class, an instance of JVM is created.
What it does
The JVM performs following operation:
- Loads code
- Verifies code
- Executes code
- Provides runtime environment
JVM provides definitions for the:
- Memory area
- Class file format
- Register set
- Garbage-collected heap
- Fatal error reporting etc.
Let’s understand the internal architecture of JVM. It contains classloader, memory area, execution engine etc.
Classloader is a subsystem of JVM which is used to load class files. Whenever we run the java program, it is loaded first by the classloader. There are three built-in classloaders in Java.
- Bootstrap ClassLoader: This is the first classloader which is the super class of Extension classloader. It loads the rt.jar file which contains all class files of Java Standard Edition like java.lang package classes, java.net package classes, java.util package classes, java.io package classes, java.sql package classes etc.
- Extension ClassLoader: This is the child classloader of Bootstrap and parent classloader of System classloader. It loades the jar files located inside $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/ext directory.
- System/Application ClassLoader: This is the child classloader of Extension classloader. It loads the classfiles from classpath. By default, classpath is set to current directory. You can change the classpath using “-cp” or “-classpath” switch. It is also known as Application classloader.
- //Let’s see an example to print the classloader name
- public class JavaHelloExample
- public static void main(String args)
- // Let’s print the name of current class.
- //Application/System JavaHello will load this class
- Class c=JavaHelloExample.class;
- //If we print the javahello name of String, it will print null because it is an
- //in-built class which is found in rt.jar, so it is loaded by Bootstrap javahello
These are the internal JavaHello provided by Java. If you want to create your own JavaHello, you need to extend the JavaHello class.
2) Class(Method) Area
Class(Method) Area stores per-class structures such as the runtime constant pool, field and method data, the code for methods.
It is the runtime data area in which objects are allocated.
Java Stack stores frames. It holds local variables and partial results, and plays a part in method invocation and return.
Each thread has a private JVM stack, created at the same time as thread.
A new frame is created each time a method is invoked. A frame is destroyed when its method invocation completes.
5) Program Counter Register
PC (program counter) register contains the address of the Java virtual machine instruction currently being executed.
6) Native Method Stack
It contains all the native methods used in the application.
7) Execution Engine
- A virtual processor
- Interpreter: Read bytecode stream then execute the instructions.
- Just-In-Time(JIT) compiler: It is used to improve the performance. JIT compiles parts of the byte code that have similar functionality at the same time, and hence reduces the amount of time needed for compilation. Here, the term “compiler” refers to a translator from the instruction set of a Java virtual machine (JVM) to the instruction set of a specific CPU.
8) Java Native Interface
Java Native Interface (JNI) is a framework which provides an interface to communicate with another application written in another language like C, C++, Assembly etc. Java uses JNI framework to send output to the Console or interact with OS libraries.