List of Java class file format major version numbers? – Dev

The best answers to the question “List of Java class file format major version numbers?” in the category Dev.


I saw this list of major version numbers for Java in another post:

  • Java 1.2 uses major version 46
  • Java 1.3 uses major version 47
  • Java 1.4 uses major version 48
  • Java 5 uses major version 49
  • Java 6 uses major version 50
  • Java 7 uses major version 51
  • Java 8 uses major version 52
  • Java 9 uses major version 53
  • Java 10 uses major version 54
  • Java 11 uses major version 55
  • Java 12 uses major version 56
  • Java 13 uses major version 57
  • Java 14 uses major version 58
  • Java 15 uses major version 59
  • Java 16 uses major version 60
  • Java 17 uses major version 61

Where does this list come from? Is there a specific reference for this? Preferably something that shows minor versions too?


I found a list of Java class file versions on the Wikipedia page that describes the class file format:

Under byte offset 6 & 7, the versions are listed with which Java VM they correspond to.


These come from the class version. If you try to load something compiled for java 6 in a java 5 runtime you’ll get the error, incompatible class version, got 50, expected 49. Or something like that.

See here in byte offset 7 for more info.

Additional info can also be found here.


If you’re having some problem about “error compiler of class file”, it’s possible to resolve this by changing the project’s JRE to its correspondent through Eclipse.

  1. Build path
  2. Configure build path
  3. Change library to correspondent of table that friend shows last.
  4. Create “jar file” and compile and execute.

I did that and it worked.


Official source for major version number:

Java Virtual Machine Specification, Chapter 4. The class File Format

The latest published version of the JVM spec can be found here.