Integrated Clojure-to-Java decompiler
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


You can read the motivation behind clj-java-decompiler and the usage example in the blog post.

This library is an integrated Clojure-to-Java decompiler usable from the REPL. It is a wrapper around Procyon which is a suite of Java metaprogramming tools focused on code generation and analysis.

Quick demo:

user> (clj-java-decompiler.core/decompile
        (loop [i 100, sum 0]
          (if (< i 0)
            (recur (unchecked-dec i) (unchecked-add sum i)))))

// Decompiling class: user$fn__13332
import clojure.lang.*;

public final class user$fn__13332 extends AFunction
    public static Object invokeStatic() {
        long i = 100L;
        long sum = 0L;
        while (i >= 0L) {
            final long n = i - 1L;
            sum += i;
            i = n;
        return Numbers.num(sum);

    public Object invoke() {
        return invokeStatic();


There are several usecases when you may want to use a Java decompiler:

  • To get a general understanding how Clojure compiler works: how functions are compiled into classes, how functions are invoked, etc.
  • To optimize performance bottlenecks when using low-level constructs like loops, primitive math, and type hints.
  • To investigate how Java interop facilities are implemented (reify, proxy, gen-class).


Add com.clojure-goes-fast/clj-java-decompiler to your dependencies:

Then, at the REPL:

user> (require '[clj-java-decompiler.core :refer [decompile]])
user> (decompile (fn [] (println "Hello, decompiler!")))
// Decompiling class: clj_java_decompiler/core$fn__13257
import clojure.lang.*;

public final class core$fn__13257 extends AFunction
    public static final Var const__0;

    public static Object invokeStatic() {
        return ((IFn)const__0.getRawRoot()).invoke((Object)"Hello, decompiler!");

    public Object invoke() {
        return invokeStatic();

    static {
        const__0 = RT.var("clojure.core", "println");

You can also disassemble to bytecode, with the output being similar to the one of javap.

user> (disassemble (fn [] (println "Hello, decompiler!")))

;;; Redacted

    public static java.lang.Object invokeStatic();
        Flags: PUBLIC, STATIC
                  linenumber      1
               0: getstatic       clj_java_decompiler/core$fn__17004.const__0:Lclojure/lang/Var;
               3: invokevirtual   clojure/lang/Var.getRawRoot:()Ljava/lang/Object;
                  linenumber      1
               6: checkcast       Lclojure/lang/IFn;
               9: getstatic       clj_java_decompiler/core$fn__17004.const__1:
              12: invokevirtual   clojure/lang/Var.getRawRoot:()Ljava/lang/Object;
                  linenumber      1
              15: checkcast       Lclojure/lang/IFn;
              18: ldc             "Hello, decompiler!"
                  linenumber      1
              20: invokeinterface clojure/lang/IFn.invoke:(Ljava/lang/Object;)Ljava/lang/Object;
                  linenumber      1
              25: invokeinterface clojure/lang/IFn.invoke:(Ljava/lang/Object;)Ljava/lang/Object;
              30: areturn

Comparison with no.disassemble

no.disassemble (ND) is another tool that lets you inspect what the Clojure code compiles to. However, it substantially differs from clj-java-decompiler (CJD).

  • ND can only disassemble the compiled code to bytecode representation. CJD decompiles the code into Java which is much easier to comprehend.
  • ND requires the program to be loaded with its Java agent present. You either have to add the agent to JVM options manually or start the REPL with its Leiningen plugin. CJD can be loaded into any REPL dynamically.
  • ND tracks every class that was loaded since the beginning of the program, so it has memory overhead. CJD bears no overhead.
  • ND can disassemble any already defined Clojure function. CJD needs the Clojure form to be passed directly to it.


clj-java-decompiler is distributed under the Eclipse Public License. See LICENSE.

Copyright 2018 Alexander Yakushev