Java – Writing large strings with DataOutputStream


I've been doing some socket programming to transmit information across the wire. I've run into a problem with DataOutputStream.writeUTF(). It seems to allow strings of up to 64k but I have a few situations where I can run over this. Are there any good alternatives that support larger strings or do I need to roll my own?

Best Solution

It actually uses a two bytes to write the length of the string before using an algorithm that compacts it into one, two or three bytes per character. (See the documentation on It is close to UTF-8, but even though documented as being so, there are compatibility problems. If you are not terribly worried about the amount of data you will be writing, you can easily write your own by writing the length of the string first, and then the raw data of the string using the getBytes method.

// Write data
String str="foo";
byte[] data=str.getBytes("UTF-8");

// Read data
int length=in.readInt();
byte[] data=new byte[length];
String str=new String(data,"UTF-8");