6 Best Lightweight Java IDEs

When it comes to write code in any language, all of us choose an IDE to write the code because of the syntax highlighting, auto-complete, editing and running in the same environment (without using any extra command prompt to run the code), in-built debugger, reduced setup time etc.

If we want to write code in Java, the names of IDEs that comes into our minds are – NetBeans, Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA. Which are really good IDEs to work in Java. But Some of us don’t have the computers to run these IDEs very smoothly because of low memory or CPU capability.

Also Read: 3 Best Java IDEs of All Time

So in this article we’ll let you know about the IDEs that are light weighted and suitable for most of the computer system.

6 Best Lightweight Java IDEs



DrJava is lightweight IDE to write code in Java and it is primarily designed for beginners and students. It has the ability to evaluate the written code interactively and present output in the same window where it was evaluated. It also have other features for advanced users like Junit testing of files

It is developed by JavaPLT group at Rice University.

Website: www.drjava.org

Supported Operating Systems: Solaris,  Linux, Windows, Mac OS



Jcreator is again a lightweight Java IDE written in C++ (except first version, that was written in Java). Creators of Jcreator asserted that it is faster than any competing Java-based Java IDEs. It is suitable for each level programmer from beginner to advanced. It have features like Project management, code completion, project templates, debugger, syntax highlighting and wizards.

It has  three different editions:

  1. Lite Edition (30-days trial, after that it will cost $35)
  2. Pro Edition (30-days trial, after that it will cost $89)
  3. Lite-Pro Edition

It is developed by Xinox Software.

Website: www.jcreator.org

Supported Operating Systems: Windows

Note: You can also run Jcreator on Linux using wine. Both the LE and PRO versions run adequately on Linux.



JSource is one of the smallest but really impressive IDE which allows to creating, compiling, editing, running java files in one environment. It is written in Java using Swing components. It also supports syntax highlighting not only for java  but also for other couple of programming languages. For a beginner JSource is good but for experienced programmers, we don’t recommend it.

It is developed by a student of University of Texas, Panagiotis Plevrakis.

Website: jsource.sourceforge.net

Supported Operating Systems: OS independent (interpreted code is available)

Note: It was last updated on 2003-08-05.



jGrasp  is another lightweight Java IDE. It automatically generates software visualizations to enhance the understandability of any software. It provide us visualization (static) of data structures and source code structure at run-time. It also produces Control Structure Diagrams, Complexity Profile Graphs, UML diagrams  for Java.

It is written in Java.

It is developed and  maintained by Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University.

Website: www.jgrasp.org

Supported Operating Systems: Cross platform (needed Java Virtual Machine)



One of my favourite IDEs out there is BlueJ” – James Gosling (Creator of Java)

BlueJ is one of the best IDEs suitable for small-scale software development written in Java. It was developed by two universities (University of Kent and Deakin University) to teach the students concept of object oriented programming using Java. It is simple, especially designed for teaching, interactive, portable. It has features that were not seen in any other IDEs like object bench, scope coloring and code pad.

Website: www.bluej.org

Supported Operating Systems: Cross Platform

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio code is source code editor rather than an IDE. But with the right extensions installed, it can be your favorite environment to create, edit, compile and run your code. Visual Studio Code provides code-completion, syntax highlighting, code folding, brace matching, snippets, linting, formatting, refactoring, debugging and unit test support. Even if you want to work in other programming languages you won’t need an another IDE as Visual Studio Code support almost all the languages.

It is developed by Microsoft and continuously updated.

Website:  code.visualstudio.com

To setup Java in Visual Studio Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/languages/java

Supported Operating System: Windows, Mac OS, Linux

I hope this article have helped you to choose IDE according to your requirements. Comment down below if you know about any other lightweight java ide.

6 thoughts on “6 Best Lightweight Java IDEs”

  1. Omid Mansourbakht

    Hello, I have some Java codes from PDFLib and I want a simple and lightweight IDE for compiling and running them, which of the IDEs is most suitable and useful for me to compile/run codes? which of the above IDEs is the most lightweight of all? How are their sizes?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *