Java – Changing the default encoding for String(byte[])


Is there a way to change the encoding used by the String(byte[]) constructor ?

In my own code I use String(byte[],String) to specify the encoding but I am using an external library that I cannot change.

String src = "with accents: é à";
byte[] bytes = src.getBytes("UTF-8");
System.out.println("UTF-8 decoded: "+new String(bytes,"UTF-8"));
System.out.println("Default decoded: "+new String(bytes));

The output for this is :

UTF-8 decoded: with accents: é à
Default decoded: with accents: é à

I have tried changing the system property file.encoding but it does not work.

Best Solution

You need to change the locale before launching the JVM; see:

Java, bug ID 4163515

Some places seem to imply you can do this by setting the file.encoding variable when launching the JVM, such as

java -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 ...

...but I haven't tried this myself. The safest way is to set an environment variable in the operating system.