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Jikes Research Virtual Machine

Jikes RVM (Research Virtual Machine) provides a flexible open testbed to prototype virtual machine technologies and experiment with a large variety of design alternatives. The system is licensed under the EPL, an OSI approved license. Jikes RVM runs on IA32 32 bit (64 bit support is work in progress) and PowerPC (big endian only).

A distinguishing characteristic of Jikes RVM is that it is implemented in the Java™ programming language and is self-hosted i.e., its Java code runs on itself without requiring a second virtual machine. Most other virtual machines for the Java platform are written in native code (typically, C or C++). A Java implementation provides ease of portability, and a seamless integration of virtual machine and application resources such as objects, threads, and operating-system interfaces.

More information is available at our website.


You'll need

  • a JDK (>= 6 and < 9). Building with JDK 9 or later is currently not supported.
  • Ant (>= 1.7 and < 1.10) with optional tasks (e.g. for JUnit and JavaDoc). Running unit tests with Ant 1.10 is not supported because Ant 1.10 uses class file version 52 (Java 8) and Jikes RVM currently only supports class file version 50 (Java 6).
  • GCC with multilibs
  • Bison
  • an internet connection during the first build to download GNU Classpath and other components
  • (tests only) the Perl library for Proc::ProcessTable (e.g. the package libproc-processtable-perl on Debian-based distributions or perl-Proc-ProcessTable on CentOS)

Please see the user guide for more details.

Need support?

Please ask on the researchers mailing list.

Bug reports

If you want to report a bug, please see this page on our website.


See the contributions page for details.

The short version:

  • Contributions are licensed under EPL and require a Contributor License Agreement. You keep your copyright.
  • You can send us patches or use pull requests. Send patches to the core mailing list.
  • It is ok to test on one platform only (e.g. only on IA32).

Work based on Jikes RVM

For work based on Jikes RVM, see our publications page. Bear in mind that this page is almost always incomplete. You can help rectify this by submitting pull requests or patches against the website repository. Additionally, some authors have decided to publish the code for their papers in the research archive at Sourceforge.

Other GitHub repositories that are based on Jikes RVM

There are a lot of projects on GitHub that are based on Jikes RVM but aren't forks of this repository. If you want your project listed (or not listed) here, please send us a patch or pull request.

The list is divided into repositories with code changes and additional information (description, README, paper, thesis, ...), repositories that have code changes but no (known) support material and repositories where it's unclear if there are actually any code changes against the base Jikes RVM.

Projects with code changes and additional information

Projects with code changes but without any additional information

Projects that may or may not have any changes compared to a released version of Jikes RVM


The project migrated from Subversion to Mercurial and from Mercurial to Git. Certain older changes are not contained in this repository. If you need access to these changes, you can browse the old repositories at SourceForge. The relevant parts of the old repositories are also mirrored on GitHub (see below).

The last commit in the Mercurial repository is commit #11358 (hg commit id d4ced37a7a0d) from Tue, 08 Sep 2015 13:55:48 +0200. The matching commit in this Git repository has the commit id 871ee0e826c161c8cb99bba7280dced6da850779.

The last interesting commit in the Subversion repository is commit #16061 (Move assertion on heavy lock state to within lock mutex to avoid possible race with inflation code). The matching commit in this Git repository has the commit id 164e4f465640364da0b135b78307e8cf1de8a070. The very last commit in the Subversion repository is commit #16068 (disable runs on piccolo until we get hg working on AIX.).

Mirrors of the old repositories on GitHub: