GraalVM is a Java VM and JDK based on HotSpot/OpenJDK, implemented in Java. It supports additional programming languages and execution modes, like ahead-of-time compilation of Java applications for fast startup and low memory footprint. The first production-ready version, GraalVM 19.0, was released in May 2019.
|Operating system||Linux, Windows and macOS|
|Platform||Java Virtual Machine|
|Type||Java dynamic compiler and runtime|
|License||Community Edition: GPLv2 Enterprise Edition: Trialware|
Major differentiators of GraalVM compared to the base JDK are:
- To improve the performance of Java virtual machine-based languages to match the performance of native languages.
- To reduce the startup time of JVM-based applications by compiling them ahead-of-time with GraalVM Native Image technology.
- To enable GraalVM integration into the Oracle Database, OpenJDK, Node.js, Android/iOS, and to support similar custom embeddings.
- To allow freeform mixing of code from any programming language in a single program, billed as "polyglot applications".
- To include an easily extended set of "polyglot programming tools".
GraalVM is a production-ready software and is available as Community Edition for an open-source license and as Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition accessible by accepting OTN License Agreement Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition Including License for Early Adopter Versions. Oracle Corporation announced the release of Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition on 8 May 2019. GraalVM can substitute a default JDK on Linux and macOS platforms on x86 64-bit systems. The support on Windows is currently under development and released as an early adopter functionality in GraalVM 19.0.
GraalVM 19.0 is based on top of JDK version 8u212.
The GraalVM Compiler is a modern Java just-in-time compiler. It complements or replaces the existing compilers (C1/C2 in HotSpot). In contrast to those existing compilers, the GraalVM compiler is written in modular, maintainable and extendable fashion in Java itself.
GraalVM Native Image
GraalVM Native Image is an ahead-of-time compilation technology that produces executable binaries of class files. It is released as an early adopter plugin, which means it is production-ready but may include backport incompatible updates in the future releases.
This functionality supports JVM-based languages, but can optionally execute dynamic languages, developed on top of GraalVM with Truffle framework. The executable file does not run on a JVM and uses necessary runtime components as thread scheduling or GC from “Substrate VM” - a trivial version of a virtual machine. Since the resulting native binary includes application classes, JDK dependencies and libraries already, the startup and execution time reduces significantly.
GraalVM Native Image is officially supported by the Fn, Gluon, Helidon, Micronaut, Picocli, Quarkus and Vert.x Java frameworks. Support for Spring Boot applications is under development. In September 2016, Oracle detailed plans to add ahead-of-time compilation to the OpenJDK using the GraalVM compiler for Java 9. This proposal, tracked by the JEP 295: Ahead-of-Time Compilation, was included in Java 9. The experimental use of GraalVM as a just-in-time compiler was added for the Linux x86-64 platform for Java 10.
Truffle Language Implementation Framework
In association with GraalVM, Oracle Labs developed a language abstract syntax tree interpreter called "Truffle" which would allow it to implement languages on top of the GraalVM.
The Truffle framework and its dependent part, GraalVM SDK, are released under Universal Permissive License version 1.0 to encourage use of the framework for projects which do not want to be bound by the copyright or other parent rights.
Instrumentation-based Tool Support
A major advantage of the GraalVM ecosystem is language-agnostic, fully dynamic instrumentation support built-in directly into the VM runtime. Execution events can be captured by API clients with overhead that is extremely low in fully optimized code.
Language and Runtime Support
Based on Truffle Language Implementation framework additional languages can be supported in GraalVM.
- TruffleRuby: Ruby language implementation with preliminary support for Ruby on Rails
- FastR: R language implementation
- GraalVM Python: Python 3 language implementation
- GraalVM LLVM Runtime (SuLong): LLVM bitcode interpreter implementation
Support for additional languages can be implemented by users of GraalVM.
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- "GraalVM FAQ". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "graal/README.md". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "For Building Programs That Run Faster Anywhere: Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
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- "Graal : Un compilateur dynamique pour Java". lemondeinformatique.fr. 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Reference Manual for Polyglot Applications". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "GraalVM Debugging and Monitoring Tools". www.graalvm.org. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
GraalVM provides a set of tools for developers, integrators, and IT administrators to debug and monitor GraalVM and deployed applications.
- "GraalVM Open Source Ecosystem". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
- "Ahead-of-Time (AOT) Compilation May Come to OpenJDK HotSpot in Java 9". InfoQ.com. 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
AOT brings about a new tool called ‘jaotc' which uses Graal as the backend (to generate code)
- Vladimir Kozlov (2016-09-14). "JDK-8166089: Ahead-of-Time Compilation". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
Compile an application's Java classes to native code prior to launching the virtual machine.
- Vladimir Kozlov (2016-10-13). "JEP 295: Ahead-of-Time Compilation". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
Compile Java classes to native code prior to launching the virtual machine.
- Vladimir Kozlov (2017-10-20). "JEP 317: Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
JEP 317: Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler
- "Truffle: A Self-Optimizing Runtime System" (PDF). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
- "Truffle served in a Holy Graal: Graal and Truffle for polyglot language interpretation on the JVM". 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- Van De Vanter, Michael; Seaton, Chris; Haupt, Michael; Humer, Christian; Würthinger, Thomas (March 9, 2018). "Fast, Flexible, Polyglot Instrumentation Support for Debuggers and other Tools" (PDF). The Art, Science, and Engineering of Programming. 2 (3, Article 14): 30. doi:10.22152/programming-journal.org/2018/2/14.
- "Getting started with Instruments in GraalVM". www.graalvm.org. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
Truffle instruments can track very fine-grained VM-level runtime events to profile, inspect, and analyze the runtime behavior of applications running on GraalVM.
- "Chrome DevTools". developers.google.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
Chrome DevTools is a set of web developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser. DevTools can help you edit pages on-the-fly and diagnose problems quickly, which ultimately helps you build better websites, faster.
- TruffleRuby github repository
- GraalVM FastR github repository
- GraalPython github repository
- GraalVM LLVM Runtime github repository