Java virtual machine definition
A Java virtual machine (JVM) is a software engine that runs Java programs on any computer, regardless of your operating system. Specialists across many fields use Java virtual machines — from software developers to academic researchers.
See also: host virtual machine
How the Java virtual machine works
- First, you write your computer program using the Java programming language that humans can understand (called source code).
- Then, you use a tool called a Java compiler to translate your source code into a format that the JVM can understand (called bytecode).
- When you want to use your Java program, you give the bytecode to the JVM. The JVM reads and follows the instructions in the bytecode and allows your application to run on your computer.
- JVM makes your Java program work on different types of computers and operating systems. You don’t need to make separate versions of your program for Windows, Mac, or Linux — the JVM takes care of that for you.
Java virtual machine use cases
- Java virtual machines are used to build and run applications and web services.
- Many businesses use Java-based applications for customer management, data processing, and financial operations.
- JVM is used for developing Android applications using languages like Kotlin and Java.
- Academic and research institutions use JVM for simulations, research tools, and educational software.