java of - How to quickly and conveniently create a one element arraylist

with set (8)

You can use the utility method Arrays.asList and feed that result into a new ArrayList.

List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>(Arrays.asList(s));

Other options:

List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>(Collections.nCopies(1, s));


List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>(Collections.singletonList(s));

With Java 7+, you may use the "diamond operator", replacing new ArrayList<String>(...) with new ArrayList<>(...).

Java 9

If you're using Java 9+, you can use the List.of method:

List<String> list = new ArrayList<>(List.of(s));

Regardless of the use of each option above, you may choose not to use the new ArrayList<>() wrapper if you don't need your list to be mutable.

This question already has an answer here:

Is there a Utility method somewhere that can do this in 1 line? I can't find it anywhere in Collections, or List.

public List<String> stringToOneElementList(String s) {
    List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();
    return list;

I don't want to re-invent the wheel unless I plan on putting fancy rims on it.

Well... the type can be T, and not String. but you get the point. (with all the null checking, safety checks...etc)

Very simply:


With Java 8 Streams:


or if you need a set:


Fixed size List

The easiest way, that I know of, is to create a fixed-size single element List with Arrays.asList(T...) like

// Returns a List backed by a varargs T.
return Arrays.asList(s);

Variable size List

If it needs vary in size you can construct an ArrayList and the fixed-sizeList like

return new ArrayList<String>(Arrays.asList(s));

and (in Java 7+) you can use the diamond operator <> to make it

return new ArrayList<>(Arrays.asList(s));


the list created by this method is immutable.

The other answers all use Arrays.asList(), which returns an unmodifiable list (an UnsupportedOperationException is thrown if you try to add or remove an element). To get a mutable list you can wrap the returned list in a new ArrayList as a couple of answers point out, but a cleaner solution is to use Guava's Lists.newArrayList() (available since at least Guava 10, released in 2011).

For example:


Yet another alternative is double brace initialization, e.g.

new ArrayList<String>() {{ add(s); }};

but it is inefficient and obscure. Therefore only suitable:

  • in code that doesn't mind memory leaks, such as most unit tests and other short-lived programs;
  • and if none of the other solutions apply, which I think implies you've scrolled all the way down here looking to populate a different type of container than the ArrayList in the question.

Probably a bit overkill, but I enjoy this kind of isolated problem. :)

This code uses a temporary Set (for the uniqueness check) but removes elements directly inside the original list. Since element removal inside an ArrayList can induce a huge amount of array copying, the remove(int)-method is avoided.

public static <T> void removeDuplicates(ArrayList<T> list) {
    int size = list.size();
    int out = 0;
        final Set<T> encountered = new HashSet<T>();
        for (int in = 0; in < size; in++) {
            final T t = list.get(in);
            final boolean first = encountered.add(t);
            if (first) {
                list.set(out++, t);
    while (out < size) {

While we're at it, here's a version for LinkedList (a lot nicer!):

public static <T> void removeDuplicates(LinkedList<T> list) {
    final Set<T> encountered = new HashSet<T>();
    for (Iterator<T> iter = list.iterator(); iter.hasNext(); ) {
        final T t =;
        final boolean first = encountered.add(t);
        if (!first) {

Use the marker interface to present a unified solution for List:

public static <T> void removeDuplicates(List<T> list) {
    if (list instanceof RandomAccess) {
        // use first version here
    } else {
        // use other version here

EDIT: I guess the generics-stuff doesn't really add any value here.. Oh well. :)

java arraylist collections