Java System loadLibrary() Method

The System.loadLibrary() method in Java is used to load a system library with a specified name.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. loadLibrary() Method Syntax
  3. Examples
    • Basic Usage
    • Handling Library Not Found
  4. Real-World Use Case
  5. Conclusion


The System.loadLibrary() method is a static method in the System class that loads the specified system library. The library must be available in the library path of the Java runtime environment. This method is typically used to load native libraries (such as .dll files on Windows or .so files on UNIX-based systems) that are needed for the application.

loadLibrary() Method Syntax

The syntax for the loadLibrary() method is as follows:

public static void loadLibrary(String libname)


  • libname: The name of the library to load.


  • SecurityException if a security manager exists and its checkLink method doesn't allow loading of the specified dynamic library.
  • UnsatisfiedLinkError if the library does not exist.
  • NullPointerException if libname is null.


Basic Usage

To demonstrate the basic usage of loadLibrary(), we will load a hypothetical native library named examplelib.


public class LoadLibraryExample {
    static {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Native library loaded successfully.");


Native library loaded successfully.

(Note: This example assumes that examplelib is a valid library present in the library path.)

Handling Library Not Found

To handle cases where the library might not be found, you can use a try-catch block to catch the UnsatisfiedLinkError.


public class LoadLibraryWithHandlingExample {
    static {
        try {
            System.out.println("Native library loaded successfully.");
        } catch (UnsatisfiedLinkError e) {
            System.err.println("Failed to load native library: " + e.getMessage());

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Your application code here

Output (if library is not found):

Failed to load native library: no examplelib in java.library.path

Real-World Use Case

Integrating Native Code

In real-world scenarios, System.loadLibrary() is often used to integrate native code with Java applications. This is common in applications that require high-performance operations, hardware interfacing, or using legacy code written in languages like C or C++.

Example: Using a Native Math Library

Assume we have a native library named mymathlib that provides optimized mathematical functions.

  1. C/C++ Code for mymathlib (example):

    // mymathlib.c
    #include <jni.h>
    #include "MyMathLib.h"
    JNIEXPORT jdouble JNICALL Java_MyMathLib_square(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jdouble value) {
        return value * value;
  2. Java Code to Load and Use the Library:

    public class MyMathLib {
        static {
        // Declare native method
        public native double square(double value);
        public static void main(String[] args) {
            MyMathLib mathLib = new MyMathLib();
            double result = mathLib.square(5.0);
            System.out.println("Square of 5.0: " + result);


Square of 5.0: 25.0

(Note: The native library mymathlib must be compiled and available in the library path.)


The System.loadLibrary() method in Java provides a way to load native system libraries. By understanding how to use this method, you can integrate native code with your Java applications, leveraging high-performance operations and existing legacy code. Whether you are working with native mathematical libraries, hardware interfacing, or other native functionalities, the loadLibrary() method offers used for extending Java applications.