Experimental feature in GraalVM

Go here to get started with GraalPy as CPython replacement.

Getting Started with GraalPy on the JVM

You can use GraalPy with GraalVM JDK, Oracle JDK, or OpenJDK. You can easily add GraalPy to your Java application using Maven or Gradle build tools as shown below. Other build systems (Ant, Make, CMake, …) can also be used with a bit more manual work.

Maven #

GraalPy can generate a Maven project that embeds Python packages into a Java application using Maven artefacts.

  1. Since version 24.0, the GraalPy project publishes a Maven archetype to generate a starter project:
    mvn archetype:generate \
      -DarchetypeGroupId=org.graalvm.python \
      -DarchetypeArtifactId=graalpy-archetype-polyglot-app \
  2. Build a native executable using the GraalVM Native Image plugin that was added for you automatically:
     mvn -Pnative package
  3. Once completed, run the executable:

    The application prints “hello java” to the console.

The project uses the GraalVM SDK Polyglot API with additional features to manage Python virtual environments and integrate Python package dependencies with a Maven workflow. The Java code and the pom.xml file are heavily documented and the generated code describes available features. (If you do not wish to use Maven, the archetype Java code also provides guidance to create a custom embedding.)

Creating Cross-platform JARs with Native Python Packages #

The generated project uses the GraalPy Maven plugin, which makes it easy to add Python dependencies. However, Python packages may have native components that are specific to the build system. In order to distribute the resulting application for other systems, follow these steps:

  1. Build the project on each deployment platform. Rename JAR files so they each have a platform-specific name and move them to a temporary directory on the same machine.

  2. Unzip each of the JAR files (substituting the correct names for the JAR files). A special file, vfs/fileslist.txt needs to be concatenated from each JAR file. Finally, create a new combined.jar from the combination of all files and with the concatenated fileslist.txt.

     unzip linux.jar -d combined
     mv combined/vfs/fileslist.txt fileslist-linux.txt
     unzip windows.jar -d combined
     mv combined/vfs/fileslist.txt fileslist-windows.txt
     cat fileslist-linux.txt fileslist-windows.txt > combined/vfs/fileslist.txt
     cd combined
     zip -r ../combined.jar *

Gradle #

  1. Create a Java application with Gradle using the command below and follow the prompts (select a build script language, select a test framework, and so on):
     gradle init --type java-application \
                 --project-name interop  \
                 --package interop \

    The project is generated in the current working directory with the following structure:

     └── app
         ├── build.gradle
         └── src
             └── main
                 ├── java
                 │   └── interop
                 │       └── App.java
                 └── resources
  2. Open your project configuration file, app/build.gradle, and modify it as follows.
    • Include the GraalPy support and the GraalVM SDK Polyglot API in the dependencies section:

    • We recommend you use the Java modules build. Add the appropriate plugin to the plugins section:
        id("org.javamodularity.moduleplugin") version "1.8.12"
    • To run the application as a module rather than from the classpath, edit the application section to look like this:
        application {
  3. Create a new file named app/src/main/java/module-info.java with the following contents:
     module interop {
         requires org.graalvm.polyglot;
  4. Finally, replace the code in the file named App.java as follows for a small Python embedding:
     package interop;
     import org.graalvm.polyglot.*;
     class App {
         public static void main(String[] args) {
             try (var context = Context.create()) {
                 System.out.println(context.eval("python", "'Hello Python!'").asString());
  5. Run the application with Gradle:
     ./gradlew run

    The application prints “Hello Python!” to the console.

Note: The performance of the GraalPy runtime depends on the JDK in which you embed it. For more information, see Runtime Optimization Support.

Ant, CMake, Makefile or Other Build Systems Without Direct Support for Maven Dependencies #

Some (often older) projects may be using Ant, Makefiles, CMake, or other build systems that do not directly support Maven dependencies. Projects such as Apache Ivy™ enable such build systems to resolve Maven dependencies, but developers may have reasons not to use them. GraalPy comes with a tool to obtain the required JAR files from Maven.

  1. Assuming there is some directory where third-party dependencies are stored for the project and that the build system is set up to put any JAR files there on the classpath, the project directory tree might look similar to this:

     │   └─── ... *.jar dependencies are here
         └─── ... *.java files and resources are here
  2. Install GraalPy for your system and ensure you have graalpy on your PATH. Open a command-line interface and enter your project directory. Then, as appropriate for your system, run one of the following commands:

    In a POSIX shell:

     export GRAALPY_HOME=$(graalpy -c 'print(__graalpython__.home)')
     "${GRAALPY_HOME}/libexec/graalpy-polyglot-get" -a python -o lib -v "24.0.0"

    In PowerShell:

     $GRAALPY_HOME = graalpy -c "print(__graalpython__.home)"
     & "$GRAALPY_HOME/libexec/graalpy-polyglot-get" -a python -o lib -v "24.0.0"

    These commands download all GraalPy dependencies into the lib directory.

  3. Provided that your build system is set up to pick up the JAR files from lib, the GraalPy embedding code below should work if put in an appropriate place in the project to run as the main class.

     import org.graalvm.polyglot.*;
     public class Hello {
         public static void main(String[] args) {
             try (var context = Context.newBuilder().option("engine.WarnInterpreterOnly", "false").build()) {
                 System.out.println(context.eval("python", "'Hello Python!'").asString());

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