javafx Getting started with javafx


JavaFX is a software platform for creating and delivering desktop applications, as well as rich internet applications (RIAs) that can run across a wide variety of devices. JavaFX is intended to replace Swing as the standard GUI library for Java SE.

IT enables developers to design, create, test, debug, and deploy rich client applications.

The appearance of JavaFX applications can be customized using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for styling (see JavaFX: CSS) and (F)XML files can be used to object structures making it easy to build or develop an application (see FXML and Controllers). Scene Builder is a visual editor allowing the creation of fxml files for an UI without writing code.


VersionRelease Date
JavaFX 22011-10-10
JavaFX 82014-03-18

Hello World program

The following code creates a simple user interface containing a single Button that prints a String to the console on click.

import javafx.application.Application;
import javafx.scene.Scene;
import javafx.scene.control.Alert;
import javafx.scene.control.Alert.AlertType;
import javafx.scene.control.Button;
import javafx.scene.layout.StackPane;
import javafx.stage.Stage;

public class HelloWorld extends Application {

    public void start(Stage primaryStage) {
        // create a button with specified text
        Button button = new Button("Say 'Hello World'");

        // set a handler that is executed when the user activates the button
        // e.g. by clicking it or pressing enter while it's focused
        button.setOnAction(e -> {
           //Open information dialog that says hello
           Alert alert = new Alert(AlertType.INFORMATION, "Hello World!?");

        // the root of the scene shown in the main window
        StackPane root = new StackPane();

        // add button as child of the root

        // create a scene specifying the root and the size
        Scene scene = new Scene(root, 500, 300);

        // add scene to the stage

        // make the stage visible;

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // launch the HelloWorld application.

        // Since this method is a member of the HelloWorld class the first
        // parameter is not required
        Application.launch(HelloWorld.class, args);


The Application class is the entry point of every JavaFX application. Only one Application can be launched and this is done using

Application.launch(HelloWorld.class, args);

This creates a instance of the Application class passed as parameter and starts up the JavaFX platform.

The following is important for the programmer here:

  1. First launch creates a new instance of the Application class (HelloWorld in this case). The Application class therefore needs a no-arg constructor.
  2. init() is called on the Application instance created. In this case the default implementation from Application does nothing.
  3. start is called for the Appication instance and the primary Stage (= window) is passed to the method. This method is automatically called on the JavaFX Application thread (Platform thread).
  4. The application runs until the platform determines it's time to shut down. This is done when the last window is closed in this case.
  5. The stop method is invoked on the Application instance. In this case the implementation from Application does nothing. This method is automatically called on the JavaFX Application thread (Platform thread).

In the start method the scene graph is constructed. In this case it contains 2 Node s: A Button and a StackPane .

The Button represents a button in the UI and the StackPane is a container for the Button that determines it's placement.

A Scene is created to display these Node s. Finally the Scene is added to the Stage which is the window that shows the whole UI.

Installation or Setup

The JavaFX APIs are available as a fully integrated feature of the Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK ). Because the JDK is available for all major desktop platforms (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux), JavaFX applications compiled to JDK 7 and later also run on all the major desktop platforms. Support for ARM platforms has also been made available with JavaFX 8. JDK for ARM includes the base, graphics and controls components of JavaFX.

To install JavaFX install your chosen version of the Java Runtime environment and Java Development kit.

Features offered by JavaFX include:

  1. Java APIs.
  2. FXML and Scene Builder.
  3. WebView.
  4. Swing interoperability.
  5. Built-in UI controls and CSS.
  6. Modena theme.
  7. 3D Graphics Features.
  8. Canvas API.
  9. Printing API.
  10. Rich Text Support.
  11. Multitouch Support.
  12. Hi-DPI support.
  13. Hardware-accelerated graphics pipeline.
  14. High-performance media engine.
  15. Self-contained application deployment model.