What is the difference between JDK, JRE, and JVM in Java?


JVM is an acronym for Java Virtual Machine; it is an abstract machine which provides the runtime environment in which Java bytecode can be executed. It is a specification which specifies the working of Java Virtual Machine. Its implementation has been provided by Oracle and other companies. Its implementation is known as JRE.

JVMs are available for many hardware and software platforms (so JVM is platform dependent). It is a runtime instance which is created when we run the Java class. There are three notions of the JVM: specification, implementation, and instance.


JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment. It is the implementation of JVM. The Java Runtime Environment is a set of software tools which are used for developing Java applications. It is used to provide the runtime environment. It is the implementation of JVM. It physically exists. It contains a set of libraries + other files that JVM uses at runtime.


JDK is an acronym for Java Development Kit. It is a software development environment which is used to develop Java applications and applets. It physically exists. It contains JRE + development tools. JDK is an implementation of any one of the below given Java Platforms released by Oracle Corporation:

  • Standard Edition Java Platform
  • Enterprise Edition Java Platform
  • Micro Edition Java Platform