Java and Bazel
This page contains resources that help you use Bazel with Java projects. It links to a tutorial, build rules, and other information specific to building Java projects with Bazel.
Working with Bazel
The following resources will help you work with Bazel on Java projects:
Migrating to Bazel
If you currently build your Java projects with Maven, follow the steps in the migration guide to start building your Maven projects with Bazel:
In addition to general Bazel best practices, below are best practices specific to Java projects.
Prefer Maven’s standard directory layout (sources under
Follow these guidelines when creating your BUILD files:
Use one BUILD file per package containing Java sources.
Every BUILD file should contain one
java_libraryrule that looks like this:
java_library( name = "directory-name", srcs = glob(["*.java"]), deps = [...], )
The name of the library should be the name of the directory containing the BUILD file.
The sources should be a non-recursive
globof all Java files in the directory.
Tests should be in a matching directory under
src/testand depend on this library.
Java and new rules
Note: Creating new rules is for advanced build and test scenarios. You do not need it when getting started with Bazel.
The following modules, configuration fragments, and providers will help you extend Bazel’s capabilities when building your Java projects:
Configuring the JDK
Bazel is configured to use a default OpenJDK 11 for building and testing
JVM-based projects. However, you can switch to another JDK using the
java_toolchaintarget that defines the set of Java tools for building target binaries.
java_runtimetarget defining the Java runtime for running target JVM binaries.
variants are meant for building and running host binaries that Bazel
uses for building target binaries. These host binaries belong to
--java_toolchain, which includes
Bazel’s default flags essentially look like this:
$ bazel build \ --host_javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:remote_jdk11 \ --javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:remote_jdk11 \ --host_java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_java11 \ --java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_java11 \ //my/java:target
@bazel_tools comes with a number of
java_toolchain targets. Run the
following command to list them:
$ bazel query 'kind(java_toolchain, @bazel_tools//tools/jdk:all)'
$ bazel query 'kind(java_runtime, @bazel_tools//tools/jdk:all)'
For example, if you’d like to use a locally installed JDK installed at
/usr/lib/jvm/java-13-openjdk, use the
target and the
java_toolchain target, and define
ABSOLUTE_JAVABASE as the absolute path to the JDK.
bazel build \ --define=ABSOLUTE_JAVABASE=/usr/lib/jvm/java-13-openjdk \ --javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:absolute_javabase \ --host_javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:absolute_javabase \ --java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_vanilla \ --host_java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_vanilla \ //my/java_13:target
Optionally, you can add the flags into your project’s
.bazelrc file to
avoid having to specify them every time:
build --define=ABSOLUTE_JAVABASE=/usr/lib/jvm/java-13-openjdk build --javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:absolute_javabase build --host_javabase=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:absolute_javabase build --java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_vanilla build --host_java_toolchain=@bazel_tools//tools/jdk:toolchain_vanilla
You can also write your own
java_toolchain targets. As a
bazel query --output=build @bazel_tools//tools/jdk:all to see how
the built-in runtime and toolchain targets are defined.