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Java bindings for various native APIs
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Native-platform: Java bindings for native APIs

A collection of cross-platform Java APIs for various native APIs. Currently supports OS X, Linux, Windows and FreeBSD on Intel architectures.

These APIs support Java 5 and later. Some of these APIs overlap with APIs available in later Java versions.

Available bindings

Terminal and console

These bindings work for the UNIX terminal, the Windows console and Mintty from Cygwin and MSys on Windows.

  • Determine whether stdin/stdout/stderr are attached to a terminal.
  • Query the terminal size. Not supported for Mintty
  • Change foreground color on the terminal.
  • Switch between bold and normal text mode on the terminal.
  • Switch between dim, bright and normal text intensity on the terminal.
  • Move terminal cursor up, down, left, right, start of line.
  • Clear to end of line.
  • Show and hide the cursor.
  • Read raw input from the terminal. Not support for Mintty.
  • Read arrow keys and other function keys from the terminal. Not support for Mintty.

See Terminals

  • Utility class to display various kinds of prompts to the user on the terminal.

See Prompter

System information

  • Query kernel name and version.
  • Query machine architecture.
  • Query total and available memory (OS X only).

See SystemInfo


  • Query the PID of the current process.
  • Query and set the process working directory.
  • Query and set the process environment variables.
  • Detach process from its controlling console

See Process

File systems

  • Query and set UNIX file mode.
  • Create and read symbolic links on UNIX and Windows.
  • Query UNIX file uid and gid.
  • Query file type, size and timestamps.
  • Query directory contents.

See Files

  • List the available file systems on the machine and details of each file system.
  • Query file system mount point.
  • Query file system type.
  • Query file system device name.
  • Query whether a file system is local or remote.
  • Query whether a file system is case sensitive and case preserving.

See FileSystems

  • Watch for changes to a directory. Implementation is currently limited to watching on a single directory.

See FileEvents

Windows registry

  • Query registry value.
  • Query the subkeys and values of a registry key.

See WindowsRegistry

Supported platforms

Currently ported to OS X, Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. Support for Solaris is a work in progress. Supported on:

  • OS X, version 10.9 and later (x86_64)
  • Fedora 23 and later (amd64, i386).
  • Ubuntu 8.04 and later (amd64, i386).
  • Ubuntu 18.04 and later (aarch64).
  • FreeBSD 8.4 and later (amd64, i386).
  • Windows XP and later (amd64, i386). Console integration works with cmd.exe, powershell, ConEmu, Mintty from Cygwin, Mintty from Msys (includes Git for Windows).


Include native-platform.jar and native-platform-${os}-${arch}.jar in your classpath. From Gradle, you can do this:

repositories {

dependencies {
    compile "net.rubygrapefruit:native-platform:0.18"

You can also download here

Some sample code to use the terminal:

import net.rubygrapefruit.platform.Native;
import net.rubygrapefruit.platform.terminal.Terminals;
import net.rubygrapefruit.platform.terminal.TerminalOutput;
import static net.rubygrapefruit.platform.terminal.Terminals.Output.*;

Terminals terminals = Native.get(Terminals.class);

// check if terminal

// use terminal
TerminalOutput stdout = terminals.getTerminal(Stdout);
System.out.println("bold text");


Next version


  • Support for symlinks on Windows. Thanks to Renaud Paquay.
  • Fixed handling of long paths on Windows. Thanks to Renaud Paquay.
  • Support for Linux on aarch64. Thanks to Amey.


  • Fixed handling of supplementary characters in environment variable values. Thanks to Gary Hale.
  • Added TerminalInput.supportsRawMode() to determine whether terminal supports raw mode.
  • Improve Prompter to show an alternate UI when the terminal input does not support raw mode.


  • Change Terminals to support running under Mintty from Cygwin and MSYS on Windows. Supported for Windows 2008 and later. TerminalOutput is supported, however TerminalInput is not.


  • Fixed Files.stat() when the path points to a descendent of a file. Thanks to Gary Hale.
  • Renamed Terminal to TerminalOutput.
  • Moved some types to subpackages.
  • Added TerminalInput to read text from the terminal. Supports raw mode and arrow keys.
  • Added method to Terminals to determine whether stdin is attached to a terminal.
  • Added method to Terminals to force the use of ANSI escape sequences to write the terminal output.
  • Added methods to TerminalOutput to show and hide the cursor.
  • Added methods to TerminalOutput to set foreground text color to its default value.
  • Added methods to TerminalOutput to set bright and dim foreground text intensity.
  • Added methods to TerminalOutput to write text to the terminal. Anything written to System.out or System.err is no longer automatically flushed before cursor or text attributes are changed.
  • Added Prompter utility class to display prompts on the terminal to ask the user various questions.
  • Moved releases to JCenter.


  • Added Memory, for OS X only. Thanks to Paul Merlin
  • NativeIntegrationLinkageException is thrown by Native.get() when a particular native library cannot be loaded due to a linkage error.


  • Added overloads of Files.stat() and Files.listDir() that follow links.
  • Improvements to error handling for Files.stat() and listDir().
  • Fixes for build time detection of ncurses 6. Thanks to Marcin Zajączkowski


  • Added Files.listDir().
  • Fixes for terminal integration for Linux distributions that use ncurses 6, such as Fedora 24 and later.
  • Fixes for running on FreeBSD 10 and later without requiring GCC to be installed on the machine.


  • Added support to detach the current process from its controlling console. Thanks to Gary Hale.
  • Fixes for handling Windows shares from Linux. Thanks to Thierry Guérin.
  • Added initial implementation of FileEvents, which allows an application to listen for changes to a file system directory.
  • Added more properties to PosixFile.
  • Added Files and WindowsFiles.
  • Added FileSystem.isCaseSensitive() and FileSystem.isCasePreserving().
  • Fixes running under GCJ.


  • Fixes for broken 0.9 release.


  • Fixes for non-ascii file names on OS X when running under the Apple JVM.

You should avoid using this release, and use 0.10 or later instead.



  • Some fixes for a broken 0.6 release.


  • Some fixes for Windows 7 and OS X 10.6.

You should avoid using this release, and use 0.7 or later instead.


  • Query the available values of a Windows registry key. Thanks to Michael Putters.


  • Get file type.
  • Query Windows registry value and subkeys.
  • Fixes to work on 64-bit Windows XP.


  • Get and set process working directory.
  • Get and set process environment variables.
  • Launch processes.
  • Fixed character set issue on Linux and Mac OS X.
  • Fixes to work with 64-bit OpenJDK 7 on Mac OS X. Thanks to Rene Groeschke.


  • Fixes to make native library extraction multi-process safe.
  • Fixes to windows terminal detection and reset.


  • Initial release.



This project uses (Gradle)[] to build. Just run gradlew in the root of the source repo. You will need Java 8 or later to run the tests.


The g++ compiler is required to build the native library. You will need to install the g++ package for this. Alternatively, you can use the Clang C++ compiler.

You need to install the libncurses5-dev package to pick up the ncurses header files. Also worth installing the ncurses-doc package too.

64-bit machines with multi-arch support

Where multi-arch support is available (e.g. recent Ubuntu releases), you can build the i386 and amd64 versions of the library on the same machine.

You need to install the gcc-multilib and g++-multilib packages to pick up i386 support.

You need to install the lib32ncurses5-dev package to pick up the ncurses i386 version.


You need to install Visual studio 2012 or later, plus the Windows SDK to allow you to build both x86 and x64 binaries.


The clang compiler is required to build the native library. You will need to install the XCode command-line tools for this.


For Solaris 11, you need to install the development/gcc-45 and system/header packages.


Run gradlew installDist to install the test application into test-app/build/install/native-platform-test. Or gradle distZip to create an application distribution in test-app/build/distributions/native-platform-test-$

You can run $INSTALL_DIR/bin/native-platform-test to run the test application.


  1. Check the version number in build.gradle.
  2. Check that the native interface version has been incremented since last release, when changes have been made to native code.
  3. Build each variant.
    1. Checkout tag.
    2. ./gradlew clean :test :uploadJni -Prelease -PbintrayUserName=<> -PbintrayApiKey=<>.
  4. Build Java library:
    1. Checkout tag.
    2. ./gradlew clean :test :uploadMain -Prelease -PbintrayUserName=<> -PbintrayApiKey=<>
  5. Build the test app:
    1. Checkout tag.
    2. ./gradlew clean :testApp:uploadMain -Prelease -PbintrayUserName=<> -PbintrayApiKey=<>
  6. Create a tag
  7. Checkout master
  8. Increment version number in build.gradle and this readme.
  9. Increment version number in generic.h and NativeLibraryFunctions.
  10. Publish on bintray
  11. Push changes.

Use -Pmilestone instead of -Prelease to publish a milestone version.


  • Test on IBM JVM.
  • Test on Java 5, 6, 7.
  • Test on Windows 7, Windows XP



  • OS X: Watch for changes to files in directory.
  • FreeBSD: Watch for changes to files in directory.
  • Linux: Fix spurious change event on close.
  • All: Handle deletion and recreation of watched file/directory.
  • All: Watch for creation and changes to missing file/directory.
  • Windows: Watch for changes to a file (directory works, file does not).
  • All: FileWatch tests: file truncated, last modified changed, content changed, recreated as file/dir, file renamed
  • All: Thread safety for FileWatch.
  • All: Bulk read of multiple file change events, coalesce events, use background thread to drain queue.
  • Linux: Fix detection of multiarch support
  • FreeBSD: Fix detection of multiarch support
  • All: Process.getPid() should return a long
  • All: fail subsequent calls to Native.get() when Native.initialize() fails.
  • Posix: allow terminal to be detected when ncurses cannot be loaded
  • Windows: fix detection of shared drive under VMWare fusion and Windows XP
  • Windows: restore std handles after launching child process
  • Linux: detect remote filesystems.
  • All: cache reflective lookup in native functions.
  • Solaris: fix unicode file name handling.
  • Solaris: fail for unsupported architecture.
  • Solaris: build 32 bit and 64 bit libraries.


  • All: fall back to WrapperProcessLauncher + DefaultProcessLauncher for all platforms, regardless of whether a native integration is available or not.
  • All: change the terminal API to handle the fact that stdout/stderr/stdin can all be attached to the same or to different terminals.
  • All: have Terminal extend Appendable and Flushable
  • All: add a method to Terminal that returns a PrintStream that can be used to write to the terminal, regardless of what System.out or System.err point to.
  • Windows: use wchar_to_java() for system and file system info.
  • All: test network file systems
  • Windows: test mount points
  • All: cache class, method and field lookups
  • Unix: change readLink() implementation so that it does not need to NULL terminate the encoded content
  • All: don't use NewStringUTF() anywhere
  • Mac: change java_to_char() to convert java string directly to utf-8 char string.
  • Mac: change char_to_java() to assume utf-8 encoding and convert directly to java string.
  • Linux: change char_to_java() to use iconv() to convert from C char string to UTF-16 then to java string.
  • Windows: support for cygwin terminal input
  • Solaris: use TERM=xtermc instead of TERM=xterm.
  • All: add diagnostics for terminal.
  • All: version each native interface separately.
  • Windows: string names for errno values.
  • All: split into multiple projects.
  • Mac: use fully decomposed form for unicode file names on hfs+ filesystems.
  • All: extend FileSystem to deal with removable media.
  • Unix: add a Terminal implementation that uses ANSI control codes. Use this when TERM != 'dumb' and libncurses cannot be loaded.
  • All: add a method to Terminal that indicates whether the cursor wraps to the next line when a character is written to the rightmost character position.
  • All: check for null parameters.


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