Java Tutorial



Java Tutorial

What is ByteCode in Java?


Bytecode is a bite-sized code compiled using the source code.

Different systems then use this code, and it is accessible for programming with no need for recoding. Bytecode is one of the most effective ways to look at data and preserve it to secure an efficient system.

Let’s start our journey and understand what is bytecode in Java. In this tutorial, we will learn how a bytecode works and try to implement it using some examples. We will also examine how Java bytecode is highly efficient in offering an independent and secure interface for programs to thrive.


One of the advantages of working with bytecode is that it can be easily defined with the help of different operating systems. This feature makes it platform-independent and accessible to all systems without intervention or reworking. This code can be run on multiple platforms like Linux, macOS, and Windows. Java uses bytecodes to make it a platform-independent and portable asset.

What is Java Bytecode? 

Java bytecode is a platform-independent code developed by the compiler from source code. As it is an intermediate code, it is easier for platforms to use the bytecode without recoding. 

Java bytecode is interpreted through a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which provides a runtime environment for Java bytecode to be executed. The JVM aids this process by calling upon all the Java resources and creating the bytecode. 

Here is an example of a Java program with its corresponding bytecode representation:

Here is the code for the original Java program( file):

public class HelloWorld {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello, world!");
Now, here is the above program’s bytecode representation:
Compiled from ""
public class HelloWorld {
  public HelloWorld();


       0: aload_0
       1: invokespecial #1                  // Method java/lang/Object."<init>":()V
       4: return
  public static void main(java.lang.String[]);


       0: getstatic     #7                  // Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
       3: ldc           #13                 // String Hello, world!
       5: invokevirtual #15                 // Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/String;)V
       8: return

In the example above, you can see the compiled version of the HelloWorld class. The bytecode includes two methods: the default constructor and the main() method.

The HelloWorld() constructor is responsible for initializing the object. It invokes the constructor of the java/lang/Object class using the invokespecial instruction.

The main() method is the entry point of the program. It retrieves the out field from the java/lang/System class using the getstatic instruction. It loads the string constant "Hello, world!" using the ldc instruction. Finally, it calls the println() method on the retrieved PrintStream object, passing the string as an argument using the invokevirtual instruction.

The bytecode example shows the low-level instructions that the JVM interprets and executes when running the Java program.

How Does It Work? 

You must follow these pointers to understand how Java bytecode works:

  • Program: The program referred to here is a .java file. It consists of the source code written by the programmer.

  • Compiler: The compiler translates the program or the source code to the lower-level language, i.e., machine code.

  • Bytecode: The bytecode is found in the .class file. Once generated, it can be run on other platforms using the .class file.

  • Java Virtual Machine: The JVM or Java Virtual Machine is necessary for running bytecode in other systems. With this, the programmer can run Java bytecodes without a processor.

  • Machine Code: Using the source code, the system can generate its machine code in Java, which displays the bytecode. At this point, the system has developed a machine-dependent code for running a .java file.

Note: Bytecode cannot run without installing Java Virtual Machine.

How is ByteCode Generated? 

Bytecode in Java is generated by using the compiler. The Java compiler compiles the source code, which is then converted into a set of commands in a low-level language. 

After the source code is compiled into machine code, the system translates it into bytecode.

Other systems can easily understand this bytecode without recoding. A JVM or Java interpreter needs to be in place for this to happen.

Let’s discuss this with an example.

Here is the source code/original Java program( file):

public class MathUtils {
    public static int add(int a, int b) {
        return a + b;
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        int result = add(5, 3);
        System.out.println("Result: " + result);
Now, here is the above program’s bytecode representation:
Compiled from ""
public class MathUtils {
  public MathUtils();


       0: aload_0
       1: invokespecial #1                  // Method java/lang/Object."<init>":()V
       4: return
  public static int add(int, int);


       0: iload_0
       1: iload_1
       2: iadd
       3: ireturn
  public static void main(java.lang.String[]);


       0: iconst_5
       1: iconst_3
       2: invokestatic  #2                  // Method add:(II)I
       5: istore_1
       6: getstatic     #3                  // Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
       9: new           #4                  // class java/lang/StringBuilder
      12: dup
      13: invokespecial #5                  // Method java/lang/StringBuilder."<init>":()V
      16: ldc           #6                  // String Result: 
      18: invokevirtual #7                  // Method java/lang/StringBuilder.append:(Ljava/lang/String;)Ljava/lang/StringBuilder;
      21: iload_1
      22: invokevirtual #8                  // Method java/lang/StringBuilder.append:(I)Ljava/lang/StringBuilder;
      25: invokevirtual #9                  // Method java/lang/StringBuilder.toString:()Ljava/lang/String;
      28: invokevirtual #10                 // Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/String;)V
      31: return

In the bytecode example above, we have a MathUtils class with two methods: add() and main().

The MathUtils() constructor initializes the object, similar to the previous example.

The add() method takes two integers as parameters, performs addition using the iadd instruction, and returns the result using the ireturn instruction.

The main() method is the entry point of the program. It invokes the add() method using the invokestatic instruction, passing arguments 5 and 3. It stores the result in a local variable using the istore_1 instruction. It then retrieves the out field from the java/lang/System class using the getstatic instruction. It creates a StringBuilder object, appends the string "Result: " and the stored result using ldc, invokevirtual, and append instructions. Finally, it calls the println() method on the retrieved PrintStream object using the invokevirtual instruction.

Advantages of Java Bytecode

Java bytecodes rely on the interpreter to function on other operating systems making them portable. The other benefits of Java bytecode are discussed here:

  • Platform independence: Bytecode’s platform independency is easily one of the best reasons Java can be run on several systems supporting Java interpreters.

  • Easy Maintenance: Java bytecode is easier to write and execute than native code. Due to its enclosed security feature, it is also incredibly easier to maintain. Its byte-sized feature also makes it easier to much faster bug fixing.

  • High performance: The bytecode is much easier to process than the source code, making it an excellent example of high performance. Although the source code must be compiled into bytecode before sending it to the client machine, the following process only takes a fraction of a second. The code, once readily compiled, can be quickly executed. It makes it easier to manage the responsiveness of the application.

  • Portability: As it runs on an interpreter, it can be easily distributed across multiple platforms without much hassle. It can also be deployed using applets, which are programs of small size. This feature enables efficiency by increasing the usage of the system.

  • High security: Java bytecode provides increased protection compared to other programming languages. Since it is compiled into a secure format using a hidden code, it is harder to reverse engineer it, making it harder for malicious attacks from viruses and malware. As a result, confidential information is more secure within the bytecode.

  • Minimal sizing: As discussed in the portability pointer, applications can be broken down and deploybutalbeit with more complexity. The name ‘bytecode’ supports the complex sizing of instructions, which also enhances the loading of smaller files much faster than traditional systems.


Java provides a platform-independent interface for users, running on any device or OS with a JVM installed. So far, we have seen how bytecode is essential for providing quick compilation. Java bytecode is the way to go when creating and managing versatile applications. Its portable features allow Java bytecode to be accessed on different systems without recompiling the code. Furthermore, Java bytecodes can handle complex designs and reduce memory usage in virtual machines.


1. Why is bytecode considered secure code?

Bytecode is a compiled, platform-independent language that is completely legitimate. Due to its nature, it leaves significantly less scope for indulging any malicious threats. 

2. Is Java bytecode dependent?

Bytecode is an independent asset in Java wherein the compiling codes can be run via any platform. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) contributes to the platform’s independence by separating Java from other bytecodes.

3. Can Java bytecode support every system?

The universality of the JVM makes Java highly accessible across other systems. Java bytecode can be run on any device or operating system using a JVM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *