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This page is the FAQ for the I/O and Streams and Sockets and Internet Protocols forums. It's editable by everyone, so add content as you see fit.


Other FAQ pages that deal with I/O

  • AccessingFileFormats - How to read and write various file formats
  • ByteArrayBuffer - a class to read and write primitives from a byte array
  • ReadDoesntDoWhatYouThinkItDoes
  • AvailableDoesntDoWhatYouThinkItDoes
  • How do I EditAnExistingFile
  • The FileUpload page has hints on how to upload files to a server via FTP, SMB and HTTP.
  • I'm getting a TooManyOpenFiles exception
  • WhoisLookup - how to perform a whois lookup programmatically



  • Links to I/O-related software useful for Java developers

  • How to implement SSH, SFTP and SCP in Java: Ganymed SSH-2 for Java - JSch - sshxcute
  • Using ICMP packets (for ping and traceroute) in Java: Jpcap library
  • JNetPcap - library for network packet capture and analysis
  • The Apache Mina project includes an embeddable, automatable FTP Server written in Java.
  • DNSJava is a library for programmatic access to DNS functionality, especially lookups.
  • jCIFS is a library for accessing SMB servers like Samba or Windows shared directories.



  • Links to I/O-related articles

  • A good introduction to Unicode: The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) by Joel Spolsky
  • Character Conversions from Browser to Database
  • Changes in Java 5.0 for handling Unicode characters above 65535: Surrogates
  • Overview of the java.nio package - nonblocking I/O
  • Don't println to a Socket - some good hints on how not to do socket communication
  • How to read the Windows Registry
  • USB: Java wrapper for the libusb and libusb-win32 USB library - code examples - jUSB library - libusb4j library - javax.usb - Java USB library
  • Connect through a Proxy




  • Where can I get an implementation of the javax.comm API for Windows?

    Sun does not provide an implementation of javax.comm version 3 for Windows, but version 2 can be used in conjunction with RXTX; see the javax.comm download page for further information. Other options (which do not implement the javax.comm API) are

  • RXTX (open source)
  • icaste JCommSerial (commercial)
  • SerialPort (commercial, X/Y/ZModem and Kermit implementations are also available)



  • How can I set the client timeout when making an URL connection?

    Starting with Java 5, this functionality is available in the JavaDoc:java.net.URLConnection class and its subclasses (like HttpURLConnection) via the getConnectTimeout/setConnectTimeout methods.

    Jakarta Commons HttpClient also supports setting a timeout.


    How can I check the type of an image file?

    The freely available ImageInfo class can identify certain image types: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PCX, IFF, RAS, PBM, PGM, PPM and PSD. It also determines certain image properties like height, width and color depth. The Apache Commons Imaging library serves a similar purpose.


    How can I send SMS from a Java application?

    You'll need an SMS library like smsj, SMSLib or smstools and a provider. You can find the latter by googling for "bulk sms http". This article may also be of interest.

    Many cellular providers make an email-to-SMS gateway available. Here are the email addresses for several US providers:

  • T-Mobile: phonenumber@tmomail.net
  • Virgin Mobile: phonenumber@vmobl.com
  • Cingular: phonenumber@cingularme.com
  • Sprint: phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • Verizon: phonenumber@vtext.com
  • Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com


  • where phonenumber = your 10 digit phone number

    I would probably not use this gateway for bulk message as the providers no doubt have measures in place to prevent abuse.


    How can I use a modem from within Java? (or, to put it in another way, is there an implementation of JTAPI?)

    The http://xtapi.sourceforge.net/ project "has providers for MicrosoftÂ’s TAPI, Serial Voice Modems, and Voice Over IP utilizing the OpenH323 Projects H.323 stack implementation".


    How can I determine the encoding of a given file, or its MIME type?

    The jchardet and juniversalchardet libraries try to determine the encoding. This article talks about various approaches to figure out the MIME type; you may have to try out a few of them to determine which one works best in your situation.


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