from - java read inputstream to byte array




How to read/convert an InputStream into a String in Java? (20)

Guava provides much shorter efficient autoclosing solution in case when input stream comes from classpath resource (which seems to be popular task):

byte[] bytes = Resources.toByteArray(classLoader.getResource(path));

or

String text = Resources.toString(classLoader.getResource(path), StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

There is also general concept of ByteSource and CharSource that gently take care of both opening and closing the stream.

So, for example, instead of explicitly opening a small file to read its contents:

String content = Files.asCharSource(new File("robots.txt"), StandardCharsets.UTF_8).read();
byte[] data = Files.asByteSource(new File("favicon.ico")).read();

or just

String content = Files.toString(new File("robots.txt"), StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
byte[] data = Files.toByteArray(new File("favicon.ico"));

If you have a java.io.InputStream object, how should you process that object and produce a String?


Suppose I have an InputStream that contains text data, and I want to convert it to a String, so for example I can write that to a log file.

What is the easiest way to take the InputStream and convert it to a String?

public String convertStreamToString(InputStream is) { 
    // ???
}

A nice way to do this is using Apache commons IOUtils to copy the InputStream into a StringWriter... something like

StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();
IOUtils.copy(inputStream, writer, encoding);
String theString = writer.toString();

or even

// NB: does not close inputStream, you'll have to use try-with-resources for that
String theString = IOUtils.toString(inputStream, encoding); 

Alternatively, you could use ByteArrayOutputStream if you don't want to mix your Streams and Writers


Apache Commons allows:

String myString = IOUtils.toString(myInputStream, "UTF-8");

Of course, you could choose other character encodings besides UTF-8.

Also see: (Docs)


For completeness here is Java 9 solution:

public static String toString(InputStream input) throws IOException {
    return new String(input.readAllBytes(), StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
}

The readAllBytes is currently in JDK 9 main codebase, so it likely to appear in the release. You can try it right now using the JDK 9 snapshot builds.


Here's a way using only standard Java library (note that the stream is not closed, YMMV).

static String convertStreamToString(java.io.InputStream is) {
    java.util.Scanner s = new java.util.Scanner(is).useDelimiter("\\A");
    return s.hasNext() ? s.next() : "";
}

I learned this trick from "Stupid Scanner tricks" article. The reason it works is because Scanner iterates over tokens in the stream, and in this case we separate tokens using "beginning of the input boundary" (\A) thus giving us only one token for the entire contents of the stream.

Note, if you need to be specific about the input stream's encoding, you can provide the second argument to Scanner constructor that indicates what charset to use (e.g. "UTF-8").

Hat tip goes also to Jacob, who once pointed me to the said article.

EDITED: Thanks to a suggestion from Patrick, made the function more robust when handling an empty input stream. One more edit: nixed try/catch, Patrick's way is more laconic.


Here's how to do it using just the JDK using byte array buffers. This is actually how the commons-io IOUtils.copy() methods all work. You can replace byte[] with char[] if you're copying from a Reader instead of an InputStream.

import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;
import java.io.InputStream;

...

InputStream is = ....
ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream(8192);
byte[] buffer = new byte[8192];
int count = 0;
try {
  while ((count = is.read(buffer)) != -1) {
    baos.write(buffer, 0, count);
  }
}
finally {
  try {
    is.close();
  }
  catch (Exception ignore) {
  }
}

String charset = "UTF-8";
String inputStreamAsString = baos.toString(charset);

Here's my Java 8 based solution, which uses the new Stream API to collect all lines from an InputStream:

public static String toString(InputStream inputStream) {
    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(
        new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
    return reader.lines().collect(Collectors.joining(
        System.getProperty("line.separator")));
}

Here's the most elegant, pure-Java (no library) solution I came up with after some experimentation:

public static String fromStream(InputStream in) throws IOException
{
    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));
    StringBuilder out = new StringBuilder();
    String newLine = System.getProperty("line.separator");
    String line;
    while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null) {
        out.append(line);
        out.append(newLine);
    }
    return out.toString();
}

How about:

import java.io.BufferedInputStream;
import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.IOException;    

public static String readInputStreamAsString(InputStream in) 
    throws IOException {

    BufferedInputStream bis = new BufferedInputStream(in);
    ByteArrayOutputStream buf = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    int result = bis.read();
    while(result != -1) {
      byte b = (byte)result;
      buf.write(b);
      result = bis.read();
    }        
    return buf.toString();
}

I did a benchmark upon 14 distinct answers here(Sorry for not providing credits but there are too many duplicates)

The result is very surprising. It turns out that Apache IOUtils is the slowest and ByteArrayOutputStream is the fastest solutions:

So first here is the best method:

public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
    try(ByteArrayOutputStream result = new ByteArrayOutputStream()) {
        byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
        int length;
        while ((length = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
            result.write(buffer, 0, length);
        }

        return result.toString(UTF_8);
    }
}

Benchmark results, of 20MB random bytes in 20 cycles

Time in milliseconds

  • ByteArrayOutputStreamTest: 194
  • NioStream: 198
  • Java9ISTransferTo: 201
  • Java9ISReadAllBytes: 205
  • BufferedInputStreamVsByteArrayOutputStream: 314
  • ApacheStringWriter2: 574
  • GuavaCharStreams: 589
  • ScannerReaderNoNextTest: 614
  • ScannerReader: 633
  • ApacheStringWriter: 1544
  • StreamApi: Error
  • ParallelStreamApi: Error
  • BufferReaderTest: Error
  • InputStreamAndStringBuilder: Error

Benchmark source code

import com.google.common.io.CharStreams;
import org.apache.commons.io.IOUtils;

import java.io.*;
import java.nio.ByteBuffer;
import java.nio.channels.Channels;
import java.nio.channels.ReadableByteChannel;
import java.nio.channels.WritableByteChannel;
import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.Random;
import java.util.stream.Collectors;

/**
 * Created by Ilya Gazman on 2/13/18.
 */
public class InputStreamToString {


    private static final String UTF_8 = "UTF-8";

    public static void main(String... args) {
        log("App started");
        byte[] bytes = new byte[1024 * 1024];
        new Random().nextBytes(bytes);
        log("Stream is ready\n");

        try {
            test(bytes);
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }

    private static void test(byte[] bytes) throws IOException {
        List<Stringify> tests = Arrays.asList(
                new ApacheStringWriter(),
                new ApacheStringWriter2(),
                new NioStream(),
                new ScannerReader(),
                new ScannerReaderNoNextTest(),
                new GuavaCharStreams(),
                new StreamApi(),
                new ParallelStreamApi(),
                new ByteArrayOutputStreamTest(),
                new BufferReaderTest(),
                new BufferedInputStreamVsByteArrayOutputStream(),
                new InputStreamAndStringBuilder(),
                new Java9ISTransferTo(),
                new Java9ISReadAllBytes()
        );

        String solution = new String(bytes, "UTF-8");

        for (Stringify test : tests) {
            try (ByteArrayInputStream inputStream = new ByteArrayInputStream(bytes)) {
                String s = test.inputStreamToString(inputStream);
                if (!s.equals(solution)) {
                    log(test.name() + ": Error");
                    continue;
                }
            }
            long startTime = System.currentTimeMillis();
            for (int i = 0; i < 20; i++) {
                try (ByteArrayInputStream inputStream = new ByteArrayInputStream(bytes)) {
                    test.inputStreamToString(inputStream);
                }
            }
            log(test.name() + ": " + (System.currentTimeMillis() - startTime));
        }
    }

    private static void log(String message) {
        System.out.println(message);
    }

    interface Stringify {
        String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException;

        default String name() {
            return this.getClass().getSimpleName();
        }
    }

    static class ApacheStringWriter implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();
            IOUtils.copy(inputStream, writer, UTF_8);
            return writer.toString();
        }
    }

    static class ApacheStringWriter2 implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            return IOUtils.toString(inputStream, UTF_8);
        }
    }

    static class NioStream implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream in) throws IOException {
            ReadableByteChannel channel = Channels.newChannel(in);
            ByteBuffer byteBuffer = ByteBuffer.allocate(1024 * 16);
            ByteArrayOutputStream bout = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
            WritableByteChannel outChannel = Channels.newChannel(bout);
            while (channel.read(byteBuffer) > 0 || byteBuffer.position() > 0) {
                byteBuffer.flip();  //make buffer ready for write
                outChannel.write(byteBuffer);
                byteBuffer.compact(); //make buffer ready for reading
            }
            channel.close();
            outChannel.close();
            return bout.toString(UTF_8);
        }
    }

    static class ScannerReader implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream is) throws IOException {
            java.util.Scanner s = new java.util.Scanner(is).useDelimiter("\\A");
            return s.hasNext() ? s.next() : "";
        }
    }

    static class ScannerReaderNoNextTest implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream is) throws IOException {
            java.util.Scanner s = new java.util.Scanner(is).useDelimiter("\\A");
            return s.next();
        }
    }

    static class GuavaCharStreams implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream is) throws IOException {
            return CharStreams.toString(new InputStreamReader(
                    is, UTF_8));
        }
    }

    static class StreamApi implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            return new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream))
                    .lines().collect(Collectors.joining("\n"));
        }
    }

    static class ParallelStreamApi implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            return new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream)).lines()
                    .parallel().collect(Collectors.joining("\n"));
        }
    }

    static class ByteArrayOutputStreamTest implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            try(ByteArrayOutputStream result = new ByteArrayOutputStream()) {
                byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
                int length;
                while ((length = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
                    result.write(buffer, 0, length);
                }

                return result.toString(UTF_8);
            }
        }
    }

    static class BufferReaderTest implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            String newLine = System.getProperty("line.separator");
            BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
            StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder(UTF_8);
            String line;
            boolean flag = false;
            while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null) {
                result.append(flag ? newLine : "").append(line);
                flag = true;
            }
            return result.toString();
        }
    }

    static class BufferedInputStreamVsByteArrayOutputStream implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            BufferedInputStream bis = new BufferedInputStream(inputStream);
            ByteArrayOutputStream buf = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
            int result = bis.read();
            while (result != -1) {
                buf.write((byte) result);
                result = bis.read();
            }

            return buf.toString(UTF_8);
        }
    }

    static class InputStreamAndStringBuilder implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            int ch;
            StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(UTF_8);
            while ((ch = inputStream.read()) != -1)
                sb.append((char) ch);
            return sb.toString();
        }
    }

    static class Java9ISTransferTo implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            ByteArrayOutputStream bos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
            inputStream.transferTo(bos);
            return bos.toString(UTF_8);
        }
    }

    static class Java9ISReadAllBytes implements Stringify {

        @Override
        public String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream) throws IOException {
            return new String(inputStream.readAllBytes(), UTF_8);
        }
    }

}

I'd use some Java 8 tricks.

public static String streamToString(final InputStream inputStream) throws Exception {
    // buffering optional
    try
    (
        final BufferedReader br
           = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream))
    ) {
        // parallel optional
        return br.lines().parallel().collect(Collectors.joining("\n"));
    } catch (final IOException e) {
        throw new RuntimeException(e);
        // whatever.
    }
}

Essentially the same as some other answers except more succinct.


If you are using Google-Collections/Guava you could do the following:

InputStream stream = ...
String content = CharStreams.toString(new InputStreamReader(stream, Charsets.UTF_8));
Closeables.closeQuietly(stream);

Note that the second parameter (i.e. Charsets.UTF_8) for the InputStreamReader isn't necessary, but it is generally a good idea to specify the encoding if you know it (which you should!)


If you were feeling adventurous, you could mix Scala and Java and end up with this:

scala.io.Source.fromInputStream(is).mkString("")

Mixing Java and Scala code and libraries has it's benefits.

See full description here: Idiomatic way to convert an InputStream to a String in Scala


Kotlin users simply do:

println(InputStreamReader(is).readText())

whereas

readText()

is Kotlin standard library’s built-in extension method.


Note: This probably isn't a good idea. This method uses recursion:

public String read (InputStream is) {
    byte next = is.read();
    return next == -1 ? "" : next + read(is); // Recursive part: reads next byte recursively
}

Please don't downvote this just because it's a bad choice to use; this was mostly creative :)


Pure Java solution using Streams, works since Java 8.

import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.InputStreamReader;
import java.util.stream.Collectors;

// ...
public static String inputStreamToString(InputStream is) throws IOException {
    try (BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(is))) {
        return br.lines().collect(Collectors.joining(System.lineSeparator()));
    }
}

As mentioned by Christoffer Hammarström below other answer it is safer to explicitly specify the Charset. I.e. The InputStreamReader constructor can be changes as follows:

new InputStreamReader(is, Charset.forName("UTF-8"))

Taking into account file one should first get a java.io.Reader instance. This can then be read and added to a StringBuilder (we don't need StringBuffer if we are not accessing it in multiple threads, and StringBuilder is faster). The trick here is that we work in blocks, and as such don't need other buffering streams. The block size is parameterized for run-time performance optimization.

public static String slurp(final InputStream is, final int bufferSize) {
    final char[] buffer = new char[bufferSize];
    final StringBuilder out = new StringBuilder();
    try (Reader in = new InputStreamReader(is, "UTF-8")) {
        for (;;) {
            int rsz = in.read(buffer, 0, buffer.length);
            if (rsz < 0)
                break;
            out.append(buffer, 0, rsz);
        }
    }
    catch (UnsupportedEncodingException ex) {
        /* ... */
    }
    catch (IOException ex) {
        /* ... */
    }
    return out.toString();
}

The easiest way in JDK is with the following code snipplets.

String convertToString(InputStream in){
    String resource = new Scanner(in).useDelimiter("\\Z").next();
    return resource;
}

This is my pure Java & Android solution, works well...

public String readFullyAsString(InputStream inputStream, String encoding)
        throws IOException {
    return readFully(inputStream).toString(encoding);
}    

public byte[] readFullyAsBytes(InputStream inputStream)
        throws IOException {
    return readFully(inputStream).toByteArray();
}    

private ByteArrayOutputStream readFully(InputStream inputStream)
        throws IOException {
    ByteArrayOutputStream baos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
    int length = 0;
    while ((length = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
        baos.write(buffer, 0, length);
    }
    return baos;
}

This one is nice because:

  • Hand safety the Charset.
  • You control the read buffer size.
  • You can provision the length of the builder and can be not exactly.
  • Is free from library dependencies.
  • Is for Java 7 or higher.

What the for?

public static String convertStreamToString(InputStream is) {
   if (is == null) return null;
   StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(2048); // Define a size if you have an idea of it.
   char[] read = new char[128]; // Your buffer size.
   try (InputStreamReader ir = new InputStreamReader(is, StandardCharsets.UTF_8)) {
     for (int i; -1 != (i = ir.read(read)); sb.append(read, 0, i));
   } catch (Throwable t) {}
   return sb.toString();
}






inputstream