EOFException in Java

In this post, we'll learn what is EOFException, common causes, practical examples, how to handle it, and best practices.

What is EOFException? 

EOFException signals that the end of a file or stream has been unexpectedly reached, usually during a read operation. It's an indication that no more data can be read from the input source. 

Common Causes

Premature End: Trying to read more data than is available in the file or stream. 

Corrupt Data: If a data source has been corrupted or improperly formatted, reading it might lead to unexpected ends. 

Network Issues: For network streams, a broken connection could lead to an unexpected end. 

Practical Example 

Imagine we have a file containing integers, written using DataOutputStream, and we're trying to read them using DataInputStream

Let's first write the logic to write a file:

import java.io.*;

public class EOFWriteExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try (DataOutputStream dos = new DataOutputStream(new FileOutputStream("numbers.dat"))) {
            for (int i = 1; i <= 5; i++) {
        } catch (IOException e) {

Here, we've written integers from 1 to 5 to the file "numbers.dat". 

Next, let's write a logic to read from the file:

import java.io.*;

public class EOFReadExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try (DataInputStream dis = new DataInputStream(new FileInputStream("numbers.dat"))) {
            while (true) {
                int number = dis.readInt();
        } catch (EOFException e) {
            System.out.println("End of file reached.");
        } catch (IOException e) {

In this reading example, we're not explicitly checking if we've reached the end of the file, so an EOFException will be thrown after reading the last integer.

End of file reached.
	at java.base/java.io.DataInputStream.readInt(DataInputStream.java:386)
	at com.javaguides.net.EOFReadExample.main(EOFReadExample.java:9)

Once all integers are read, the next readInt() will throw an EOFException since there's no data left to read. 

Handling EOFException

Explicit Check: Some I/O classes provide ways to check if there's more data to read. Use them when available. 

Graceful Handling: As in our example, you can use the EOFException to gracefully signal the end of data and close resources. 

Verify Data: If you control the data format, consider adding markers or metadata that help identify the data's end. 

Best Practices

Always close I/O resources in a finally block or use try-with-resources to ensure they're closed. 

If you expect a certain data length or structure, validate the data before processing to avoid unexpected EOF scenarios. 

For network operations, always handle connection issues, which might cause unexpected stream terminations. 


In this post, we have learned what is EOFException, its common causes, practical examples, how to handle it, and best practices. Happy coding!

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