Compare JNA vs JNR and see what are their differences.


Java Native Access (by java-native-access)


Java Abstracted Foreign Function Layer (by jnr)
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22 1
8,247 1,197
0.7% 0.8%
7.8 5.9
21 days ago 2 months 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 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 vocĂȘ 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 JNR. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2022-04-11.
  • Does Java 18 finally have a better alternative to JNI?
    5 projects | dev.to | 11 Apr 2022
    Another popular option is Java Native Runtime (JNR). Though not as widely used or mature as JNA, it's much more modern and has better performance than JNA for most use cases. However, there are some cases where JNA might perform better.

What are some alternatives?

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

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

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

JavaPackager - :package: Gradle/Maven plugin to package Java applications as native Windows, MacOS, or Linux executables and create installers for them.

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

react-native-geolocation-service - React native geolocation service for iOS and android

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

spring-native - Spring Native is now superseded by Spring Boot 3 official native support

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.

Java-FFI-benchmarks - Benchmarks for Java JNI vs Project Panama on Linux with JDK 17

win32metadata - Tooling to generate metadata for Win32 APIs in the Windows SDK.

jmh - https://openjdk.org/projects/code-tools/jmh