Interactive REPL

jbang --interactive enables use of jshell to explore and use your script and any dependencies in a REPL editor.

When using --interactive for java/jar scripts/apps jbang sets up a jshell function named userMain. userMain delegates to the main function that would have been called if not running in interactive. You can call it with arguments as follows userMain(args).

One caveat about jshell is that it cannt access classes in default package. Thus you will need to add a package statement to your script/class to see it.

Flight Recorder

Flight recorder is a feature of the Java VM that lets you gather diagnostic and profiling data about your script.

You can use //JAVA_OPTIONS to have full control over it; but for the easiest setup jbang lets you just run with --jfr, e.g.,

jbang --jfr

By default --jfr will start flight recorder and tell it to dump event recordings to myapp.jfr (i.e. using base name of the script as its filename).

Then you can use tools like jvisualvm or jmc to explore the data.

If you want to tweak the configuration you can pass flight recorder options, like jbang --jfr=filename={basename}.jfr,maxage=24h where {basename} will be replaced by the filename and then added maxage=24h to flight recording options.

If you want further control use //JAVAC_OPTS -XX:StartFlightRecording=<your options> instead.

java and javac Options

If you want to tweak memory settings or enable preview features you can setup the necessary options using //JAVA_OPTS and //COMPILER_OPTS as in the following example using Java 14 experimental record feature:

///usr/bin/env jbang "$0" "$@" ; exit $?
//JAVAC_OPTIONS --enable-preview -source 14 (1)
//JAVA_OPTIONS --enable-preview (2)

import static java.lang.System.*;

public class records {

    record Point(int x, int y) {}

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        var p = new Point(2,4);

Since Java 9 JDK_JAVA_OPTIONS and JDK_JAVAC_OPTIONS are also picked up by the Java runtime and compiler automatically.

For Java 8 and if you want to set explicitly only for jbang you can also add flags by setting JBANG_JAVA_OPTIONS and JBANG_JAVAC_OPTIONS respectively.

(Experimental) Application Class Data Sharing

If your scripts uses a lot of classes Class Data Sharing might help on your startup. The following requires Java 13+.

Using --cds jbang will build the jar with Application Class Data Sharing enabled and when run have it load shared class data.

You can put //CDS in the java file to enable it by default, or simply use --cds to force it or --no-cds to turn it off no matter what the jbang script file contains.

Java Agents

You can activate a javaagent using --javaagent=<agent>[=<options>] where agent can be a already packaged agent jar from file, http url or Maven Coordinate.

It can also be a jbang script itself where you have put //JAVAAGENT to activate agent packaging.

You can create a basic agent using jbang init -t agent to get started.