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Jikes RVM

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Jikes RVM Jikes Research Virtual Machine is a mature open source virtual machine that runs Java programs Unlike most other JVMs, it is written in Java, a style of implementation termed meta-circular


  • 1 History
  • 2 Bootstrap
  • 3 VM Magic
  • 4 Memory Management Toolkit
  • 5 Class Libraries
  • 6 Compilers
  • 7 Runtime
  • 8 Processors
  • 9 Research
  • 10 See also
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


  • 1997 November, the Jalapeño project starts as an internal research project at IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Center
  • 1999, 2000, research papers describing novel aspects of Jikes RVM are published by IBM researchers and several universities are given access to the source code
  • 2001 October, Jikes RVM version 2 is released as an open source project under the Common Public License The release supports PowerPC and Intel architectures and a range of different garbage collection algorithms
  • 2002, Jikes RVM 22 is released with the precise garbage collectors now refactored into the popular Memory Management Toolkit precise garbage collectors
  • 2004, Jikes RVM 24 is released with increased stability and performance partly, particular focus was made of running eclipse
  • 2007, Jikes RVM 29 development starts with the code base extensively refactored to use features of Java 50 and to use an ant build system
  • 2008, Jikes RVM 30 released marking the end of 29 development and new stability in the code base
  • 2009, Jikes RVM 31 released under the Eclipse Public License EPL with significant improvements over the performance of version 301 and a switch to native threading
  • 2012, Jikes RVM wins the ACM SIGPLAN Software award, cited for its "high quality and modular design" 1


Being meta-circular Jikes RVM requires a bootstrap JVM to run upon to create a boot image The boot image is a view of the objects Jikes RVM requires to boot created using reflection in the bootstrap JVM A small C loader is responsible for loading the boot image at runtime

VM Magicedit

VM Magic is where the compiler generates different code for a class than the bytecodes within that class should perform VM Magic classes allow direct access to memory and are key to the Memory Management Toolkits performance The VM Magic classes reside in the orgvmmagic package and have been reused in other Java projects

Memory Management Toolkitedit

The Memory Management Toolkit MMTk is a collection of precise garbage collectors that have been used within Jikes RVM and other projects such as the Singularity operating system and the Rotor software project2 As with the rest of the Jikes RVM the implementation is in Java, but the main dependence is on VM Magic

Class Librariesedit

Either Apache Harmony or GNU Classpath class libraries can be used with Jikes RVM, with experimental support for OpenJDK's class library


Jikes RVM uses a fast baseline compiler to quickly generate code for a particular architecture Adaptive compilation then recompiles code with an optimizing compiler with features such as on-stack replacement OSR The adaptive compilation system uses a cost-benefit analysis model


Jikes RVM's runtime has many innovative features including mechanisms for fast locking, a collaborative scheduling mechanism and support for fast exception gathering and dispatch


The PowerPC or ppc and IA-32 or Intel x86, 32-bit instruction set architectures are supported by Jikes RVM


Since it is a research project, the emphasis of Jikes RVM is on researching new technologies, as is apparent from the scientific publications it has spawned -- over 220 papers as of 20153

Jikes RVM has also participated in the Google Summer of Code 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • Java portal
  • Jikes
  • List of Java virtual machines
  • Free Java implementations
  • Bootstrapping compilers
  • Self-hosting
  • Self-interpreter
  • PyPy Python implementation in Python
  • Rubinius Ruby implementation in Ruby


  1. ^ http://wwwsigplanorg/awards/software/2012
  2. ^ Jikes RVM Project Proposals 2009
  3. ^ "Jikes RVM research papers"

The Jikes Research Virtual Machine project: Building an open-source research community, IBM Systems Journal, Vol 44, No 2, 2005 http://wwwresearchibmcom/journal/sj/442/alpernpdf

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • JikesRVM Github
  • Jikes RVM User Guide
  • Jikes RVM project page on SourceForge
  • DaCapo Benchmarks
  • WALA
  • PearColator

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Jikes RVM

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