JVM, JDK, JRE: What’s the difference?

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Developers new to Java often wonder what differentiates the Java Virtual Machine, the Java Development Kit, and the Java Runtime Environment. They’re also curious how these three Java platform components work together in Java applications. Finally, developers need to know how they will interact with each component.

Briefly:

  • The JVM is the Java platform component that executes your programs.
  • The JRE creates the JVM and ensures dependencies are available to your programs.
  • The JDK allows you to create Java programs that can be executed and run by the JVM and JRE.

As a developer, you’ll work with the JDK to write your applications and with the JVM to debug and optimize them, especially for performance. The JRE mostly runs in the background, but you may use it for application monitoring and memory configuration.

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