I saw java bytecode that need to compare to var, if they equal return true, else .....

   return true;
{ ...}

on bytecode

aload 1
aload 2
if_acmpne 6
iconst 1

I understand iconst1 and ireturn to return true. and understand aload1 and aload2 to load 2 var to stack.

But how if_acmpne 6 works? what is 6? thank


1 Answer 1


The if_acmpne instruction pops two objects off the stack and compares them. If they are not equal, then it jumps to the provided offset, which in this case is 6 bytes from the start of the method code.

In general, you can learn about all of the bytecode instructions by reading the JVM specification here: https://docs.oracle.com/javase/specs/

  • in this case 6 is that mean instruction no..6 from the beginning of my function? is that depend on my os or on somthing else? or 6 is always instruction no. 6?
    – cdcsccd
    Feb 15, 2018 at 3:37
  • Instruction sizes are defined by the bytecode format and are OS independent. Most instructions are one byte long (hence the term bytecode), but some are longer. if_acmpne itself is 3 bytes for instance. Again, you really need to read the JVM spec.
    – Antimony
    Feb 15, 2018 at 14:53
  • I read the JVM spec, but when i open this class with Krakatau that show that the number that come after if_acmpne define lable name
    – cdcsccd
    Feb 15, 2018 at 17:59
  • @cdcsccd That's the assembler being helpful. Working with the raw bytes directly is a huge pain, so assemblers define a human readable format which can be mapped to and from the underlying binary classfile. If you want to see the raw classfile, use a hex editor.
    – Antimony
    Feb 15, 2018 at 19:07

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