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Is the main() method compulsory in Java?

Java main() method that serves as both the program's entry point and the Java Virtual Machine's (JVM) launchpad, is an essential part of Java programs. However, there are situations where a Java program may not contain a main() method.

Method Signature

Components of the main() Method

  1. public: The main() method is designated as such because it must be reachable from any location.
  2. static: The main() method is designated as static because it is linked to the class rather than specific instances of the class.
  3. void: No value is returned by the main() method.
  4. string[] args: The program can receive command-line arguments by using the args parameter that is an array of strings.

Is there a mandatory for the main() method?

It is required for a Java program to have a main() method. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) finds the main() method in the designated class and begins running the code when we launch a Java program. The program will not execute if the main() method is absent since the JVM would not be able to locate the entry point.

Let's examine what occurs in a Java program when the main() method is absent:

1. Runtime Error and Compilation Error

You won't be able to start the program, even if it compiles without a main() method. It is necessary for the JVM to start the program's execution. A runtime error will appear when the program tries to execute without it.

2. No Entry Point

A Java program's main() method is where it all begins to run. This function is triggered each time a Java application is run. In the absence of it, the program will not have a recognized entry point, and the Java Virtual Machine will not know how to launch it.

3. No Programme Logic Execution

If the main() method is absent, none of the code or logic we have written inside it will be carried out. It indicates that whatever your program's primary functionality is, it would not be used.

Is it possible to run without the main() method?

It was possible to construct a Java program without a main() function in versions of Java before JDK 7. The static block, a section of code designated with the static keyword, would be the first code block to be executed. When the class loads into memory, this block is executed. If a class have both a main() method and a static block, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) will execute the static block first, after that main() method will execute.

The static block in the example only prints "Hello User" to the console. It is crucial to note that if we tried to run this code with JDK 7 or later, byte code verification would signal the absence of a main() function, resulting in an exception.

With JDK 7, using the primary method was required. If the main() method cannot be located, the Java compiler would produce the error message "main() method not found in the class." This check, which is done during compilation, makes sure that the program execution entry point is defined explicitly.

In versions before JDK 7, one might use System.exit(0) to gracefully end the program after the static block and prevent the exception from being thrown.

Beside this the following Java application do not use the main() method.

1. Java Applet Programmes

The main() method is not necessary for Java applets that are tiny Java programs made to be integrated into web pages. Rather, applets depend on particular lifecycle functions such as paint(), start(), and init().

2. Servlets

There is no primary method for Java servlets that are used to construct web applications. They use doGet() and doPost(), among other methods, to handle HTTP requests.

3. JavaFX Applications

Rather than using the main() function, JavaFX applications may use the start() method. In JavaFX, the start() method is a component of the Application class.

Note: In Java, the main() method is not compulsory, in case if the program has only static block. Along with the above Java programs like, Java applet, JavaFX, and Servlet applications.


To sum up, the main() method is an essential part of every Java application that runs independently. Its absence results in runtime problems, compiler issues, and program execution failures. Java programs cannot be successfully compiled or run unless there is a properly formatted main() method present.

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