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I am doing project in which i need to access serial port and read the data from , write data into it. How can i do this in Java.
Please Help Me ..
Thanks in advance
Updated 8-Dec-20 3:01am
Member 10407986 18-Nov-13 1:56am
Hi I am new to Java Programing.
I use to get an error "Package javax.comm does not exist" when using 'import javax.comm.*;' ( Serial Port
Communication in java windows application).
Do i need to download any library or jar file? if yes where can i download it Pls Help me.

javax.comm has all you need.


Because of Java's platform-independence, serial interfacing is difficult. Serial interfacing requires a standardized API with platform-specific implementations, which is difficult for Java.

Unfortunately, Sun doesn't pay much attention to serial communication in Java. Sun has defined a serial communication API, called JavaComm, but an implementation of the API is not part of the Java standard edition. Sun provides a reference implementation for a few, but not all Java platforms. Particularly, at the end of 2005 Sun silently withdrew JavaComm support for Windows. Third party implementations for some of the omitted platforms are available. JavaComm hasn't seen much in the way of maintenance activities, only the bare minimum maintenance is performed by Sun, except that Sun has apparently responded to pressure from buyers of their own Sun Ray thin clients and has adapted JavaComm to this platform while dropping Windows support.

This situation, and the fact that Sun originally did not provide a JavaComm implementation for Linux (starting in 2006, they now do) led to the development of the free-software RxTx library. RxTx is available for a number of platforms, not only Linux. It can be used in conjunction with JavaComm (RxTx providing the hardware-specific drivers), or it can be used stand-alone. When used as a JavaComm driver the bridging between the JavaComm API and RxTx is done by JCL (JavaComm for Linux). JCL is part of the RxTx distribution.

Sun's negligence of JavaComm and JavaComm's particular programming model gained JavaComm the reputation of being unusable. Fortunately, this is not the case. Unfortunately, the reputation is further spread by people who don't know the basics of serial programming at all and make JavaComm responsible for their lack of understanding.

RxTx - if not used as a JavaComm driver - provides a richer interface, but one which is not standardized. RxTx supports more platforms than the existing JavaComm implementations. Recently, RxTx has been adopted to provide the same interface as JavaComm, only that the package names don't match Sun's package names.

So, which of the libraries should one use in an application? If maximum portability (for some value of "maximum") is desired, then JavaComm is a good choice. If there is no JavaComm implementation for a particular platform available, but an RxTx implementation is, then RxTx could be used as a driver on that platform for JavaComm. So, by using JavaComm one can support all platforms which are either directly supported by Sun's reference implementation or by RxTx with JCL. This way the application doesn't need to be changed, and can work against just one interface, the standardized JavaComm interface.

This module discusses both JavaComm and RxTx. It mainly focuses on demonstrating concepts, not ready-to-run code. Those who want to blindly copy code are referred to the sample code that comes with the packages. Those who want to know what they are doing might find some useful information in this module.
Getting started

Learn the basics of serial communication and programming.
Have the documentation of the device you want to communicate with (e.g. the modem) ready.
Set up all hardware and a test environment
Use, for example, a terminal program to manually communicate with the device. This is to be sure the test environment is set up correctly and you have understood the commands and responses from the device.
Download the API implementation you want to use for your particular operating system

the JavaComm and/or RxTx installation instruction (and follow it)
the API documentation
the example source code shipped

General Issues

Both JavaComm and RxTX show some installation quirks. It is highly recommended to follow the installation instructions word-for-word. If they say that a jar file or a shared library has to go into a particular directory, then this is meant seriously! If the instructions say that a particular file or device needs to have a specific ownership or access rights, this is also meant seriously. Many installation troubles simply come from not following the instructions precisely.

It should especially be noted that some versions of JavaComm come with two installation instructions. One for Java 1.2 and newer, one for Java 1.1. Using the wrong one will result in a non-working installation. On the other hand, some versions/builds/packages of RxTx come with incomplete instructions. In such a case the corresponding source code distribution of RxTx needs to be obtained, which should contain complete instructions.

It should be further noticed that it is also typical for Windows JDK installations to come with up to three VMs, and thus three extension directories.

One as part of the JDK,
one as part of the private JRE which comes with the JDK to run JDK tools, and
one as part of the public JRE which comes with the JDK to run applications

Some even claim to have a fourth JRE somewhere in the \Windows directory hierarchy.

JavaComm should at least be installed as extension in the JDK and in all public JREs.

A general problem, both for JavaComm and RxTx is, that they resist installation via Java WebStart:

JavaComm is notorious, because it requires a file called to be placed in the JDK lib directory, something which can't be done with Java WebStart. This is particularly sad, because the need for that file is the result of some unnecessary design/decision in JavaComm and could have easily been avoided by the JavaComm designers. Sun constantly refuses to correct this error, citing the mechanism is essential. Which is, they are lying through their teeth when it comes to JavaComm, particular, because Java for a long time has a service provider architecture exactly intended for such purposes.

The contents of the properties file is typically just one line, the name of the java class with the native driver, e.g.:


The following is a hack which allows to deploy JavaComm via Web Start ignoring that brain-dead properties file. It has serious drawbacks, and might fail with newer JavaComm releases - should Sun ever come around and make a new version.

First, turn off the security manager. Some doofus programmer at Sun decided that it would be cool to again and again check for the existence of the dreaded file, even after it has been loaded initially, for no other apparent reason than checking for the file.


Then, when initializing the JavaComm API, initialize the driver manually:

String driverName = "com.sun.comm.Win32Driver"; // or get as a JNLP property
CommDriver commDriver = (CommDriver)Class.forName(driverName).newInstance();


RxTx on some platforms requires changing ownership and access rights of serial devices. This is also something which can't be done via WebStart.

At startup of your program you could ask the user to perform the necessary setup as super user.

Further, RxTx has a pattern matching algorithm for identifying "valid" serial device names. This often breaks things when one wants to use non-standard devices, like USB-to-serial converters. This mechanism can be overridden by system properties. See the RxTx installation instruction for details.
JavaComm API

The official API for serial communication in Java is the JavaComm API. This API is not part of the standard Java 2 version. Instead, an implementation of the API has to be downloaded separately. Unfortunately, JavaComm has not received much attention from Sun, and hasn't been really maintained for a long time. From time to time Sun does trivial bug-fixes, but doesn't do the long overdue main overhaul.

This section explains the basic operation of the JavaComm API. The provided source code is kept simple to demonstrate important point. It needs to be enhanced when used in a real application.

The source code in this chapter is not the only available example code. The JavaComm download comes with several examples. These examples almost contain more information about using the API than the API documentation. Unfortunately, Sun does not provide any real tutorial or some introductory text. Therefore, it is worth studying the example code to understand the mechanisms of the API. Still, the API documentation should be studied, too. But the best way is to study the examples and play with them. Due to the lack of easy-to-use application and people's difficulty in understanding the APIs programming model, the API is often bad-mouthed. The API is better than its reputation, and functional. But no more.

The API uses a callback mechanism to inform the programmer about newly arriving data. It is also a good idea to study this mechanism instead of relying on polling the port. Unlike other callback interfaces in Java (e.g. in the GUI), this one only allows one listener listening to events. If multiple listeners require to listen to serial events, the one primary listener has to be implemented in a way that it dispatches the information to other secondary listeners.
Download & Installation

Sun's JavaComm web page points to a download location. Under this location Sun currently (2007) provides JavaComm 3.0 implementations for Solaris/SPARC, Solaris/x86, and Linux x86. Downloading requires to have registered for a Sun Online Account. The download page provides a link to the registration page. The purpose of this registration is unclear. One can download JDKs and JREs without registration, but for the almost trivial JavaComm Sun cites legal and governmental restrictions on the distribution and exportation of software.

The Windows version of JavaComm is no longer officially available, and Sun has - against their own product end-of-live policy - not made it available in the Java products archive. However, the 2.0 Windows version (javacom 2.0) is still downloadable from here.

Follow the installation instructions that come with the download. Some versions of JavaComm 2.0 come with two installation instructions. The most obvious of the two instructions is unfortunately the wrong one, intended for ancient Java 1.1 environments. The information referring to the also ancient Java 1.2 (jdk1.2.html) is the right one.

Particularly Windows users are typically not aware that they have copies of the same VM installed in several locations (typically three to four). Some IDEs also like to come with own, private JRE/JDK installations, as do some Java applications. The installation needs to be repeated for every VM installation (JDKs and JREs) which should be used in conjunction with the development and execution of a serial application.

IDEs typically have IDE-specific ways of how a new library (classes and documentation) is made known to the IDE. Often a library like JavaComm not only needs to be made known to the IDE as such, but also to each project that is supposed to use the library. Read the IDE's documentation. It should be noted that the old JavaComm 2.0 version comes with JavaDoc API documentation that is structured in the historic Java 1.0 JavaDoc layout. Some modern IDEs are no longer aware of this structure and can't integrate the JavaComm 2.0 documentation into their help system. In such a case an external browser is needed to read the documentation (a recommended activity ...).

Once the software is installed it is recommended to examine the samples and JavaDoc directories. It makes sense to build and run one of the sample applications to verify that the installation is correct. The sample applications typically need some minor adaptations in order to run on a particular platform (e.g. changes to the hard-coded com port identifiers). It is a good idea to have some serial hardware, like cabling, a null modem, a breakout box, a real modem, PABX and others available when trying out a sample application. Serial_Programming:RS-232 Connections and Serial_Programming:Modems and AT Commands provide some information on how to set up the hardware part of a serial application development environment.
Finding the desired serial Port

The first three things to do when programming serial lines with JavaComm are typically

to enumerate all serial ports (port identifiers) available to JavaComm,
to select the desired port identifier from the available ones, and
to acquire the port via the port identifier.

Enumerating and selecting the desired port identifier is typically done in one loop:

import javax.comm.*;
import java.util.*;
// Platform specific port name, here a Unix name
// NOTE: On at least one Unix JavaComm implementation JavaComm 
//       enumerates the ports as "COM1" ... "COMx", too, and not
//       by their Unix device names "/dev/tty...". 
//       Yet another good reason to not hard-code the wanted
//       port, but instead make it user configurable.
String wantedPortName = "/dev/ttya";
// Get an enumeration of all ports known to JavaComm
Enumeration portIdentifiers = CommPortIdentifier.getPortIdentifiers();
// Check each port identifier if 
//   (a) it indicates a serial (not a parallel) port, and
//   (b) matches the desired name.
CommPortIdentifier portId = null;  // will be set if port found
while (portIdentifiers.hasMoreElements())
    CommPortIdentifier pid = (CommPortIdentifier) portIdentifiers.nextElement();
    if(pid.getPortType() == CommPortIdentifier.PORT_SERIAL &&
        portId = pid;
if(portId == null)
    System.err.println("Could not find serial port " + wantedPortName);
// Use port identifier for acquiring the port


JavaComm itself obtains the default list of available serial port identifiers from its platform-specific driver. The list is not really configurable via JavaComm. The method CommPortIdentifier.addPortName() is misleading, since driver classes are platform specific and their implementations are not part of the public API. Depending on the driver, the list of ports might be configurable / expendable in the driver. So if a particular port is not found in JavaComm, sometimes some fiddling with the driver can help.

Once a port identifier has been found, it can be used to acquire the desired port:

// Use port identifier for acquiring the port
SerialPort port = null;
try {
    port = (SerialPort)
        "name", // Name of the application asking for the port 
        10000   // Wait max. 10 sec. to acquire port
} catch(PortInUseException e) {
    System.err.println("Port already in use: " + e);
// Now we are granted exclusive access to the particular serial
// port. We can configure it and obtain input and output streams.


Initialize a Serial Port

The initialization of a serial port is straight forward. Either individually set the communication preferences (baud rate, data bits, stop bits, parity) or set them all at once using the setSerialPortParams(...) convenience method.

As part of the initialization process the Input and Output streams for communication will be configured in the example.


// Set all the params.  
// This may need to go in a try/catch block which throws UnsupportedCommOperationException

// Open the input Reader and output stream. The choice of a
// Reader and Stream are arbitrary and need to be adapted to
// the actual application. Typically one would use Streams in
// both directions, since they allow for binary data transfer,
// not only character data transfer.
BufferedReader is = null;  // for demo purposes only. A stream would be more typical.
PrintStream    os = null;

try {
  is = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(port.getInputStream()));
} catch (IOException e) {
  System.err.println("Can't open input stream: write-only");
  is = null;

// New Linux systems rely on Unicode, so it might be necessary to
// specify the encoding scheme to be used. Typically this should
// be US-ASCII (7 bit communication), or ISO Latin 1 (8 bit
// communication), as there is likely no modem out there accepting
// Unicode for its commands. An example to specify the encoding
// would look like:
//     os = new PrintStream(port.getOutputStream(), true, "ISO-8859-1");
os = new PrintStream(port.getOutputStream(), true);

// Actual data communication would happen here
// performReadWriteCode();

// It is very important to close input and output streams as well
// as the port. Otherwise Java, driver and OS resources are not released.
if (is != null) is.close();
if (os != null) os.close();
if (port != null) port.close();

Simple Data Transfer
Simple Writing of Data

Writing to a serial port is as simple as basic Java IO. However there are a couple of caveats to look out for if you are using the AT Hayes protocol:

Don't use println (or other methods that automatically append "\n") on the OutputStream. The AT Hayes protocol for modems expects a "\r\n" as the delimiter (regardless of underlying operating system).
After writing to the OutputStream, the InputStream buffer will contain a repeat of the command that was sent to it (with line feed), if the modem is set to echoing the command line, and another line feed (the answer to the "AT" command). So as part of the write operation make sure to clean the InputStream of this information (which can actually be used for error detection).
When using a Reader/Writer (not a really good idea), at least set the character encoding to US-ASCII instead of using the platform's default encoding, which might or might not work.
Since the main operation when using a modem is to transfer data unaltered, the communication with the modem should be handled via InputStream/OutputStream, and not a Reader/Writer.


To do:

    Explain how to mix binary and character I/O over the same stream
    Fix the example to use streams

// Write to the output 
os.print("\r\n"); // Append a carriage return with a line feed

is.readLine(); // First read will contain the echoed command you sent to it. In this case: "AT"
is.readLine(); // Second read will remove the extra line feed that AT generates as output

Simple Reading of Data (Polling)

If you correctly carried out the write operation (see above) then the read operation is as simple as one command:

// Read the response
String response = is.readLine(); // if you sent "AT" then response == "OK"

Problems with the simple Reading / Writing

The simple way of reading and/or writing from/to a serial port as demonstrated in the previous sections has serious drawbacks. Both activities are done with blocking I/O. That means, when there is

no data available for reading, or
the output buffer for writing is full (the device does not accept (any more) data),

the read or write method (os.print() or is.readLine() in the previous example) do not return, and the application comes to a halt. More precisely, the thread from which the read or write is done gets blocked. If that thread is the main application thread, the application freezes until the blocking condition is resolved (data becomes available for reading or device accepts data again).

Unless the application is a very primitive one, freezing of the application is not acceptable. For example, as a minimum some user interaction to cancel the communication should still be possible. What is needed is non-blocking I/O or asynchronous I/O. However, JavaComm is based on Java's standard blocking I/O system (InputStream, OutputStream), but with a twist, as shown later.

The mentioned "twist" is that JavaComm provides some limited support for asynchronous I/O via an event notification mechanism. But the general solution in Java to achieve non-blocking I/O on top of the blocking I/O system is to use threads. Indeed, this is a viable solution for serial writing, and it is strongly recommended to use a separate thread to write to the serial port - even if the event notification mechanism is used, as explained later.

Reading could also be handled in a separate thread. However, this is not strictly necessary if the JavaComm event notification mechanism is used. So summarize:
Activity Architecture
reading use event notification and/or separate thread
writing always use separate thread, optionally use event notification

The following sections provide some details.
Event Driven Serial Communication

The JavaComm API provides an event notification mechanism to overcome the problems with blocking I/O. However, in the typical Sun manner this mechanism is not without problems.

In principle an application can register event listeners with a particular SerialPort to be kept informed about important events happening on that port. The two most interesting event types for reading and writing data are

javax.comm.SerialPortEvent.DATA_AVAILABLE and

But there are also two problems:

Only one single event listener per SerialPort can be registered. This forces the programmer to write "monster" listeners, discriminating according to the event type.
OUTPUT_BUFFER_EMPTY is an optional event type. Well hidden in the documentation Sun states that not all JavaComm implementations support generating events of this type.

Before going into details, the next section will present the principal way of implementing and registering a serial event handler. Remember, there can only be one handler at all, and it will have to handle all possible events.
Setting up a serial Event Handler

import javax.comm.*;

 * Listener to handle all serial port events.
 * NOTE: It is typical that the SerialPortEventListener is implemented
 *       in the main class that is supposed to communicate with the
 *       device. That way the listener has easy access to state information
 *       about the communication, e.g. when a particular communication
 *       protocol needs to be followed.
 *       However, for demonstration purposes this example implements a
 *       separate class.
class SerialListener implements SerialPortEventListener {

     * Handle serial events. Dispatches the event to event-specific
     * methods.
     * @param event The serial event
    public void serialEvent(SerialPortEvent event){

        // Dispatch event to individual methods. This keeps this ugly
        // switch/case statement as short as possible.
        switch(event.getEventType()) {
            case SerialPortEvent.OUTPUT_BUFFER_EMPTY:

            case SerialPortEvent.DATA_AVAILABLE:

/* Other events, not implemented here ->
            case SerialPortEvent.BI:

            case SerialPortEvent.CD:

            case SerialPortEvent.CTS:

            case SerialPortEvent.DSR:

            case SerialPortEvent.FE:

            case SerialPortEvent.OE:

            case SerialPortEvent.PE:
            case SerialPortEvent.RI:


     * Handle output buffer empty events.
     * NOTE: The reception of this event is optional and not
     *       guaranteed by the API specification.
     * @param event The output buffer empty event
    protected void outputBufferEmpty(SerialPortEvent event) {
        // Implement writing more data here

     * Handle data available events.
     * @param event The data available event
    protected void dataAvailable(SerialPortEvent event) {
        // implement reading from the serial port here

Once the listener is implemented, it can be used to listen to particular serial port events. To do so, an instance of the listener needs to be added to the serial port. Further, the reception of each event type needs to be requested individually.

SerialPort port = ...;
// Configure port parameters here. Only after the port is configured it
// makes sense to enable events. The event handler might be called immediately
// after an event is enabled.

// Typically, if the current class implements the SerialEventListener interface
// one would call
//        port.addEventListener(this);
// but for our example a new instance of SerialListener is created:
port.addEventListener(new SerialListener());

// Enable the events we are interested in

/* other events not used in this example ->
The best thing to do is for you to look into the RxTx for java.
The link:[^]

I used it and it worked for me.

Best regards.

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