Compare JNA vs go and see what are their differences.


Java Native Access (by java-native-access)
Our great sponsors
  • WorkOS - The modern identity platform for B2B SaaS
  • InfluxDB - Power Real-Time Data Analytics at Scale
  • SaaSHub - Software Alternatives and Reviews
JNA go
22 2,067
8,247 119,397
0.7% 1.0%
7.8 10.0
21 days ago 5 days ago
Java Go
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later BSD 3-clause "New" or "Revised" License
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 JNA. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-12-10.
  • FFM (Foreign Function and Memory API) Goes Final
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 10 Dec 2023
    As far as I understand it, with JNA, all calls into C code go through libffi: https://github.com/java-native-access/jna/blob/master/www/Fu...

    This means that every call sets up some libffi data structures and libffi uses this information to perform the native call. Likewise in the other direction for return values. With JNI (and Panama), Hotspot can directly emit the argument/return code a the call, not too dissimilar from what a C or C++ compiler would do. There is still some overhead from maintaining JVM invariants. For example, I think a thread blocked in an FFI call can still participate in a safepoint. But that applies to JNI as well.

  • Projetos em Java -- Por que você ou sua equipe escolheram a linguagem Java?
    1 project | /r/brdev | 8 Jun 2023
  • Are there any Non-Mobile Kotlin Native libraries wrapping C libraries like libhidapi/opengl?
    3 projects | /r/Kotlin | 6 Aug 2022
    If you were prepared to go to the JVM you might try JNA. https://github.com/java-native-access/jna
  • How to create fundamental libraries for my language?
    2 projects | /r/ProgrammingLanguages | 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.
  • Rust vs Java for simple small GUI apps
    1 project | /r/learnrust | 22 May 2022
    In case you haven't used it (assuming that you already know about JNI, for comparison) - https://github.com/java-native-access/jna is about as easy as it gets for native interop. Also, as mentioned in another comment, with the Java FFM (Foreign Function and Memory) API already in preview mode, pretty soon, there will be no external dependencies at all, and Java should be able to interop with any language that can talk to C.
  • Kotlin/Native
    1 project | /r/Kotlin | 28 Apr 2022
  • Does Java 18 finally have a better alternative to JNI?
    5 projects | dev.to | 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 | news.ycombinator.com | 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 (https://github.com/java-native-access/jna), but now it's going to be built into the JRE itself (if the proposal passes through review)

  • How run ToS on MacOSX as a java command?
    1 project | /r/thinkorswim | 6 Dec 2021
  • Choosing Java as your language for a Machine Learning project
    2 projects | /r/java | 4 Nov 2021
    I use JNA https://github.com/java-native-access/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.


Posts with mentions or reviews of go. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-04-19.
  • Building a Playful File Locker with GoFr
    4 projects | dev.to | 19 Apr 2024
    Make sure you have Go installed https://go.dev/.
  • Fastest way to get IPv4 address from string
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 14 Apr 2024
  • We now have crypto/rand back ends that ~never fail
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 14 Apr 2024
  • Why Go is great choice for Software engineering.
    2 projects | dev.to | 7 Apr 2024
    The Go Programming Language
  • OpenBSD 7.5 Released
    5 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 5 Apr 2024
    When Go first shipped, it was already well-documented that the only stable ABI on some platforms was via dynamic libraries (such as libc) provided by said platforms. Go knowingly and deliberately ignored this on the assumption that they can get away with it. And then this happened:


    If that's not "getting burned", I don't know what is. "Trying to provide a nice feature" is an excuse, and it can be argued that it is a valid one, but nevertheless they knew that they were using an unstable ABI that could be pulled out from under them at any moment, and decided that it's worth the risk. I don't see what that has to do with "not being as broadly compatible as they had hoped", since it was all known well in advance.

  • Go's Error Handling Is Perfect
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 5 Apr 2024
    Sadly, I think that is indeed radically different from Go’s design. Go lacks anything like sum types, and proposals to add them to the language have revealed deep issues that have stalled any development. See https://github.com/golang/go/issues/57644
  • Golang: out-of-box backpressure handling with gRPC, proven by a Grafana dashboard
    4 projects | dev.to | 3 Apr 2024
    I've been writing a lot about Go and gRPC lately:
  • Go Enums Still Suck
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 28 Mar 2024
    I have a mountain of respect for Bell Labs and its contributions to the public welfare, and a lot of respect for the current group of alumni, mostly at Google, and mostly affiliated to a greater or lesser degree with golang. I have my differences with one or two of them (Pike telegraphs a wildly overcompensated imposter syndrome, but he’s almost as much of a genius as he acts like he is and who am I to judge on an overcompensated imposter syndrome, moreover when the guy in at the next desk over is Ken Thompson, who wouldn’t be a little intimidated by the legend).

    With that said, golang is too opinionated for its level of adoption, too out-of-touch with emerging consensus (and I’m being generous with “emerging” here, the Either monad is more than an emerging consensus around the right default for error handling), and too insular a leadership to be, in my personal opinion, a key contender outside some narrow niches.

    I’m aware that there are avid advocates for golang on HN, and that I’m liable to upset some of them by saying so, so I’m going to use some examples to illustrate my point and to illustrate that I’ve done my homework before being critical.

    Many, including myself, became aware of what is now called golang via this presentation at Google in 2007 (https://youtu.be/hB05UFqOtFA) introducing Newsqueak, a language Pike was pushing back in the mid-90s with what seems to be limited enthusiasm no greater than the enthusiasm for its predecessor Squeak. Any golang hacker will immediately recognize the language taking shape on the slides.

    I’ve been dabbling with golang for something like a decade now, because I really want to like it. But like a lot of the late labs stuff it seems to have suffered from the dangerous combination of the implications of Richard Gabriel’s Worse is Better observation: it was simpler, faster, cheaper, and ultimately more successful to incrementally adapt innovations from Plan9 into Linux (and other Unices), to adapt innovations from sam and acme into nvim/emacs (and now VSCode), and to adapt channel-based and other principled concurrency from Newsqueak/golang (not to mention Erlang and other more full-throated endorsements of that region of the design space) into now countless other languages ranging from things like TypeScript and Rust at the high end of adoption all the way to things like Haskell at more moderate levels of adoption. Ironically enough, the success of UTF-8 (a compromise for the non-ASCII world but the compromise that made it happen at all) is this same principle in action via the same folks!

    And golang would be fine as yet another interesting language serving as a testbed for more pragmatic applications of radical ideas: but it’s got corporate sponsorship that puts Sun Microsystems and Java to shame in scale and scope, but done quietly enough to not set off the same alarm bells.

    The best example of this is probably this GitHub issue: https://github.com/golang/go/issues/19991 (though there are countless like it). I’ve worked with Tony Arcieri, he’s brilliant and humble and hard-working and while we haven’t kept in touch, I keep an eye out, and he’s clearly passionate about the success of golang. But proposal after proposal for some variation of the Either monad has died on procedural grounds for nearly a decade, all while being about the only thing that everyone else agrees on in modern industrial PLT: TypeScript supports it, Rust supports it, C++ de-facto supports it via things like abseil and folly, and of course the hard-core functional community never even bothered with something worse in the modern era. You can even kind of do it, but there are intentional limitations in the way generics get handled across compilation units to ensure it never gets adopted as a community-driven initiative. Try if you don’t believe me (my golang code has a Result type via emacs lisp I wrote).

    Another example is the really weird compilation chain: countless serious people have weighed in here, I’ll elide all the classics because most people making these arguments have their own favorite language and they’ve all been on HN dozens of times, but a custom assembly language is a weird thing to have done, almost no one outside the hardcore golang community thinks it’s sane, the problems is creates for build systems and FFI and just everything about actually running the stuff are completely unnecessary: there are other IRs, not all of them are LLVM IR if you’ve got some beef with LLVM IR, and given that go doesn’t seriously target FFI as more than a weird black sheep (cgo) there’s, ya know, assembly language. It’s a parting shot from the Plan9 diehards with the industrial clout to make it stick.

    The garbage collection story is getting better but it’s an acknowledged handicap in a MxN threading model context, it’s not a secret or controversial even among the maintainers. See the famous “Two Knobs” talk.

    Raw pointers, sum types, dependency management, build, generics that never get there, FFI: solved problem after solved problem killed by pocket veto, explained away, minimized, all with mega-bucks, quiet as a gopher corporate sponsorship fighting a Cold War against Sun and the JVM that doesn’t exist anymore marketed by appealing to the worst instincts of otherwise unimpeachable luminaries of computing.

    There is great software written in golang by engineers I aspire to as role models (TailScale and Brad respectively as maybe the best example). I had to get serious about learning golang and how to work around its ideologically-motivated own-goals because I got serious about WebRTC and Pion (another great piece of software). But it sucks. I dread working on that part of the stack.

    Go enums do suck, but that’s because we pay a very heavy price for golang being mainstream at all: we’ve thrown away ZooKeeper and engineer-millennia of garbage-collector work and countless other treasures, it sucks oxygen out of the room on more plausible C successors like D and Jai and Nim and Zig and V and (it pains me to admit but it’s true) Rust.

    Yes there is great software in golang, tons of it. Yes there are iconic legends who are passionate about it, yes it brought new stuff to the party and the mainstream.

    But the cost was too high.

  • GoFetch: New side-channel attack using data memory-dependent prefetchers
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 22 Mar 2024
    It seems to be userspace accessible: https://github.com/golang/go/issues/66450
  • Memory leaks in Go
    1 project | dev.to | 18 Mar 2024
    Something you should keep in mind regarding maps in Go. They don't shrink after elements are deleted runtime: shrink map as elements are deleted #20135

What are some alternatives?

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

JNR - Java Abstracted Foreign Function Layer

v - Simple, fast, safe, compiled language for developing maintainable software. Compiles itself in <1s with zero library dependencies. Supports automatic C => V translation. https://vlang.io

JavaCPP - The missing bridge between Java and native C++

TinyGo - Go compiler for small places. Microcontrollers, WebAssembly (WASM/WASI), and command-line tools. Based on LLVM.

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

zig - General-purpose programming language and toolchain for maintaining robust, optimal, and reusable software.

panama-foreign - https://openjdk.org/projects/panama

Nim - Nim is a statically typed compiled systems programming language. It combines successful concepts from mature languages like Python, Ada and Modula. Its design focuses on efficiency, expressiveness, and elegance (in that order of priority).

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

Angular - Deliver web apps with confidence 🚀

Introducing .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) - .NET MAUI is the .NET Multi-platform App UI, a framework for building native device applications spanning mobile, tablet, and desktop.

golang-developer-roadmap - Roadmap to becoming a Go developer in 2020