Compare JavaCPP vs JNA and see what are their differences.


The missing bridge between Java and native C++ (by bytedeco)


Java Native Access (by java-native-access)
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8 20
4,114 7,823
0.9% 1.0%
8.5 8.7
10 days ago about 1 month ago
Java Java
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of JavaCPP. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-05-27.


Posts with mentions or reviews of JNA. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-08-06.
  • Are there any Non-Mobile Kotlin Native libraries wrapping C libraries like libhidapi/opengl?
    3 projects | | 6 Aug 2022
    If you were prepared to go to the JVM you might try JNA.
  • How to create fundamental libraries for my language?
    2 projects | | 22 Jul 2022
    Other good example, but for Java platform is JNA library. Do not mix it with Java's JNI, which is a bad example of how it could be done.
  • Does Java 18 finally have a better alternative to JNI?
    5 projects | | 11 Apr 2022
    The complexity of JNI has given rise to some community-driven libraries that make it simpler to do FFI in Java. Java Native Access (JNA) is one of them. It's built on top of JNI and at least makes FFI easier to use, especially as it removes the need to write any C binding code manually and reduces the chances of memory safety issues. Still, it has some of the disadvantages of being JNI-based and is slightly slower than JNI in many cases. However, JNA is widely used and battle-tested, so definitely a better option than using JNI directly.
  • JEP 419: Foreign Function and Memory API
    4 projects | | 29 Mar 2022
    This is about calling into any native operating system APIs, as long as they are callable via C or C++ (which these days means "all" operating system APIs).

    JNI is somewhat harder to use, because you need custom glue on both sides of the border: Some custom classes in Java and some custom code on the C (and C++) side.

    This proposal would remove the need for the glue on the C side and would allow a pure java solution.

    Something like this has existed in third-party form for a while as JNA (, but now it's going to be built into the JRE itself (if the proposal passes through review)

  • Choosing Java as your language for a Machine Learning project
    2 projects | | 4 Nov 2021
    I use JNA , as you can write the entire interface in Java faster as well as easier without the need of messing with the complexities of JNI.
  • Creating GUI without framework or library
    2 projects | | 14 Oct 2021
    This (still someone else's code) will give you access to low level operating system APIs. For example, this will let you interact directly with the Windows COM, which lets you define interfaces and implement them:
  • Obvious and possible software innovations nobody does
    8 projects | | 19 Jun 2021
    JNA looks reasonable for accessing native code from Java:
  • Making Win32 APIs More Accessible to More Languages
    6 projects | | 23 Jan 2021
    I was the de facto maintainer of JNA ( win32 bindings for years. The API metadata is welcome - we have always based all work on header files in the visual studio / windows SDK. Now there’s a change to generate that code - someone might want to try to replace hand crafted mappings in JNA with generated ones - there’s a huge test suite to work with.
  • Advanced AI
    3 projects | | 18 Jan 2021
    In case you have existing low level code in C/C++ and you want to integrate it with Java, there's But it's fairly unwieldy to work with, and calls Java=>C carry an overhead, so you want as few of them as possible. Which in ROTP means you want to transport all the relevant data into your AI code, then do the processing on a handful of calls, then return the result. Alternatively, an option would be to export say savegame (or other data) as JSON, run your AI module as a separate process, and then write the results to another file. While ROTP at the moment cannot do JSON save games, I have begun looking into it.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing JavaCPP and JNA you can also consider the following projects:

JNR - Java Abstracted Foreign Function Layer

SWIG - SWIG is a software development tool that connects programs written in C and C++ with a variety of high-level programming languages.

panama-foreign -

Cython - The most widely used Python to C compiler

cppimport - Import C++ files directly from Python!

Lua - Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. It supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, data-driven programming, and data description.


Deep Java Library (DJL) - An Engine-Agnostic Deep Learning Framework in Java

rust-bindgen - Automatically generates Rust FFI bindings to C (and some C++) libraries.

nelson - Nelson numerical interpreter