Java – I/O Tutorial

Java I/O (Input and Output) is used to process the input and produce the output.

Java uses the concept of stream to make I/O operation fast. The java.io package contains all the classes required for input and output operations.

We can perform file handling in java by Java I/O API.

Stream

A stream is a sequence of data.In Java a stream is composed of bytes. It’s called a stream because it is like a stream of water that continues to flow.

In java, 3 streams are created for us automatically. All these streams are attached with console.

1) System.out: standard output stream

2) System.in: standard input stream

3) System.err: standard error stream

Let’s see the code to print output and error message to the console.

  1. System.out.println(“simple message”);
  2. System.err.println(“error message”);

Let’s see the code to get input from console.

  1. int i=System.in.read();//returns ASCII code of 1st character
  2. System.out.println((char)i);//will print the character
Do You Know ?
  • How to write a common data to multiple files using single stream only ?
  • How can we access multiple files by single stream ?
  • How can we improve the performance of Input and Output operation ?
  • How many ways can we read data from the keyboard?
  • What is console class ?
  • How to compress and uncompress the data of a file?

OutputStream vs InputStream

The explanation of OutputStream and InputStream classes are given below:

OutputStream

Java application uses an output stream to write data to a destination, it may be a file, an array, peripheral device or socket.

InputStream

Java application uses an input stream to read data from a source, it may be a file, an array, peripheral device or socket.

Let’s understand working of Java OutputStream and InputStream by the figure given below.

Java IO


OutputStream class

OutputStream class is an abstract class. It is the super class of all classes representing an output stream of bytes. An output stream accepts output bytes and sends them to some sink.

Useful methods of OutputStream

Method Description
1) public void write(int)throws IOException is used to write a byte to the current output stream.
2) public void write(byte[])throws IOException is used to write an array of byte to the current output stream.
3) public void flush()throws IOException flushes the current output stream.
4) public void close()throws IOException is used to close the current output stream.

OutputStream Hierarchy

Java output stream hierarchy


InputStream class

InputStream class is an abstract class. It is the super class of all classes representing an input stream of bytes.

Useful methods of InputStream

Method Description
1) public abstract int read()throws IOException reads the next byte of data from the input stream. It returns -1 at the end of file.
2) public int available()throws IOException returns an estimate of the number of bytes that can be read from the current input stream.
3) public void close()throws IOException is used to close the current input stream.

InputStream Hierarchy

Java input stream hierarchy

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