Java EditLine provides a Java (JNI) interface to the Editline library, which is available on BSD systems and Mac OS X, and can be installed on most Linux systems. Editline is a replacement for the GNU Readline library, with a more liberal BSD-style license. Linking Editline into your code (and, similarly, using this Java interface to it) will not change the license you have assigned to your software. You can use Editline and Java EditLine in open source software (even GNU-licensed software), as well as commercial software.
Getting Java Editline
Java EditLine relies on the presence of the Editline library, which isn’t automatically present on all operating systems. In addition, Java EditLine uses the Java Native Interface (JNI) to bridge Java to the C-language Editline library; portions of the Java EditLine are written in C.
It is impractical to provide binaries of Java EditLine for every combination of Unix-like operating system and operating system release. So, currently, you must build Java EditLine from source code, as described below.
There are two ways to get the source code. In the commands below, substitute the current release tag for the string “RELEASE”.
The current release is: release-0.3
Download and unpack a tarball or zipball
Using wget and tar:
$ wget -O javaeditline.tar.gz https://api.github.com/repos/bmc/javaeditline/tarball/RELEASE $ tar xf javaeditline.tar.gz $ cd bmc-javaeditline-*
Using curl and tar:
$ curl -L -o javaeditline.tar.gz https://api.github.com/repos/bmc/javaeditline/tarball/RELEASE $ tar xf javaeditline.tar.gz $ cd bmc-javaeditline-*
If you prefer, you can download a zip file, instead. Just substitute “zipball” for “tarball” in the above commands.
Clone the Git repository
$ git clone git://github.com/bmc/javaeditline.git $ cd javaeditline $ git co RELEASE
This package is only known to work on Unix-like operating systems. I have tested it on:
- Ubuntu Linux 9 and 10, with the OpenJDK 6 and the Oracle (Sun) Java 6 JDKs.
- FreeBSD 8.0-RELEASE, with the Diablo 1.6.0 JDK
- Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with the SoyLatte Java 6, OpenJDK 6, and Apple Java 6 JDKs.
This Java wrapper does not expose all the functionality of the underlying Editline library.
This wrapper does not support the use of alternate file descriptors. All Editline instances use standard input, output and error. While this library theoretically permits multiple Editline instances to be constructed, all such instances use the same file descriptors (which limits the utility of having multiple instances). In practice, this is generally not a problem.
This class does not currently expose the Editline library’s tokenizer functionality (e.g., the
Signal handling is currently omitted, as it doesn’t play well with the JVM.
Certain Editline functions are not currently exposed, among them:
Building Java EditLine
The code uses GNU Make to build. On Linux systems and Mac OS X, GNU Make is the standard version of make(1). On BSD systems, such as FreeBSD, you’ll have to install it separately. (On most BSD systems, GNU Make is available as the gmake port or package.)
The make logic is split into two pieces:
- A platform-independent
- Architecture-specific build definitions. These definitions are in the
Makedefs.*files. The suffix for those files is determined by the
uname -scommand. There are existing definitions files for Darwin (Mac OS X), FreeBSD, and Linux.
- After unpacking the source, change your working directory to
uname -sat the command line. If there’s an existing
Makedefsfile for your platform, you’re probably fine. (You may have to edit it, if there are errors.)
- Install the Editline library, if necessary. This is not necessary on FreeBSD or Mac OS X. For Linux distributions, you can usually find an appropriate version of Editline in your distro’s repository. For example, for Ubuntu, you can install it with:
apt-get install libedit-dev.
- On FreeBSD, make sure GNU Make is installed.
gmakeon FreeBSD). If it’s successful, you’ll get a
libjavaeditline.soshared library (
libjavaeditline.jnilibon the Mac) and a
Deploying Java EditLine
Once you have succcessfully built Java EditLine:
- Ensure that the directory containing the shared library is in your
- Ensure that
javaeditline.jaris in your CLASSPATH.
That should be all you need to do.
MAC OS X only
On Mac OS X, using
LD_LIBRARY_PATH may not suffice. You may need to set
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH, instead. For instance, suppose you copied
$HOME/lib. You may need to add this environment variable, to get Java to see it:
This wrinkle is also noted in the FAQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the FAQ.
License and Copyright
This software is released under a BSD license. See the accompanying license file for complete details.
I gladly accept patches from their original authors. Feel free to email patches to me or to fork the GitHub repository and send me a pull request. Along with any patch you send:
- Please state that the patch is your original work.
- Please indicate that you license the work to the Java EditLine project under a BSD License.