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.CLASS File Extension

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File TypeJava Class File

DeveloperOracle
Popularity
4.4 (224 Votes) Thanks for voting!
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CategoryDeveloper Files
FormatBinary

Binary

This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.

Definition

Compiled .JAVA file created by the Java compiler; contains bytecode, which is binary program code that is executable when run by a Java Virtual Machine (JVM); commonly bundled in to .JAR files, which are included in the $CLASSPATH environment variable for execution.

More Information

CLASS files can be compiled from JAVA files using the javac command, which is included with a JVM installation. Many Java IDEs, such as Eclipse, can compile CLASS files on the fly as developers write program code.

Since there are multiple versions of the JVM (e.g., 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6), some CLASS files may not be compatible with certain JVM versions. The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) can execute CLASS files, but it cannot compile them since it does not include the javac binary.

NOTE: Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, the original developers of Java. The JRE and JVM are often used synonymously to refer to the platform that runs Java applications.

Program(s) that open .CLASS files
Microsoft Windows LogoWindows
Oracle Java Runtime Environment
Eclipse IDE for Java Developers with JD-Eclipse plug-in
dirtyJOE
JD-GUI
DJ Java Decompiler
Mac OS X LogoMac OS
Oracle Java Runtime Environment
Eclipse IDE for Java Developers with JD-Eclipse plug-in
Apple Jar Launcher
JD-GUI
Linux LogoLinux
Oracle Java Runtime Environment
Eclipse IDE for Java Developers with JD-Eclipse plug-in
JD-GUI
Updated 7/31/2014