How do I read / convert an InputStream into a String in Java?

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) {
    // ???
}

Answers


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


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

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 character set to use (e.g. "UTF-8").

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


Summarize other answers I found 11 main ways to do this (see below). And I wrote some performance tests (see results below):

Ways to convert an InputStream to a String:

  1. Using IOUtils.toString (Apache Utils)

    String result = IOUtils.toString(inputStream, StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
    
  2. Using CharStreams (Guava)

    String result = CharStreams.toString(new InputStreamReader(
          inputStream, Charsets.UTF_8));
    
  3. Using Scanner (JDK)

    Scanner s = new Scanner(inputStream).useDelimiter("\\A");
    String result = s.hasNext() ? s.next() : "";
    
  4. Using Stream API (Java 8). Warning: This solution converts different line breaks (like \r\n) to \n.

    String result = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream))
      .lines().collect(Collectors.joining("\n"));
    
  5. Using parallel Stream API (Java 8). Warning: This solution converts different line breaks (like \r\n) to \n.

    String result = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream)).lines()
       .parallel().collect(Collectors.joining("\n"));
    
  6. Using InputStreamReader and StringBuilder (JDK)

    final int bufferSize = 1024;
    final char[] buffer = new char[bufferSize];
    final StringBuilder out = new StringBuilder();
    Reader in = new InputStreamReader(inputStream, "UTF-8");
    for (; ; ) {
        int rsz = in.read(buffer, 0, buffer.length);
        if (rsz < 0)
            break;
        out.append(buffer, 0, rsz);
    }
    return out.toString();
    
  7. Using StringWriter and IOUtils.copy (Apache Commons)

    StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();
    IOUtils.copy(inputStream, writer, "UTF-8");
    return writer.toString();
    
  8. Using ByteArrayOutputStream and inputStream.read (JDK)

    ByteArrayOutputStream result = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
    int length;
    while ((length = inputStream.read(buffer)) != -1) {
        result.write(buffer, 0, length);
    }
    // StandardCharsets.UTF_8.name() > JDK 7
    return result.toString("UTF-8");
    
  9. Using BufferedReader (JDK). Warning: This solution converts different line breaks (like \n\r) to line.separator system property (for example, in Windows to "\r\n").

    String newLine = System.getProperty("line.separator");
    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
    StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder();
    boolean flag = false;
    for (String line; (line = reader.readLine()) != null; ) {
        result.append(flag? newLine: "").append(line);
        flag = true;
    }
    return result.toString();
    
  10. Using BufferedInputStream and ByteArrayOutputStream (JDK)

    BufferedInputStream bis = new BufferedInputStream(inputStream);
    ByteArrayOutputStream buf = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    int result = bis.read();
    while(result != -1) {
        buf.write((byte) result);
        result = bis.read();
    }
    // StandardCharsets.UTF_8.name() > JDK 7
    return buf.toString("UTF-8");
    
  11. Using inputStream.read() and StringBuilder (JDK). Warning: This solution has problems with Unicode, for example with Russian text (works correctly only with non-Unicode text)

    int ch;
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    while((ch = inputStream.read()) != -1)
        sb.append((char)ch);
    reset();
    return sb.toString();
    

Warning:

  1. Solutions 4, 5 and 9 convert different line breaks to one.

  2. Solution 11 can't work correctly with Unicode text

Performance tests

Performance tests for small String (length = 175), url in github (mode = Average Time, system = Linux, score 1,343 is the best):

              Benchmark                         Mode  Cnt   Score   Error  Units
 8. ByteArrayOutputStream and read (JDK)        avgt   10   1,343 ± 0,028  us/op
 6. InputStreamReader and StringBuilder (JDK)   avgt   10   6,980 ± 0,404  us/op
10. BufferedInputStream, ByteArrayOutputStream  avgt   10   7,437 ± 0,735  us/op
11. InputStream.read() and StringBuilder (JDK)  avgt   10   8,977 ± 0,328  us/op
 7. StringWriter and IOUtils.copy (Apache)      avgt   10  10,613 ± 0,599  us/op
 1. IOUtils.toString (Apache Utils)             avgt   10  10,605 ± 0,527  us/op
 3. Scanner (JDK)                               avgt   10  12,083 ± 0,293  us/op
 2. CharStreams (guava)                         avgt   10  12,999 ± 0,514  us/op
 4. Stream Api (Java 8)                         avgt   10  15,811 ± 0,605  us/op
 9. BufferedReader (JDK)                        avgt   10  16,038 ± 0,711  us/op
 5. parallel Stream Api (Java 8)                avgt   10  21,544 ± 0,583  us/op

Performance tests for big String (length = 50100), url in github (mode = Average Time, system = Linux, score 200,715 is the best):

               Benchmark                        Mode  Cnt   Score        Error  Units
 8. ByteArrayOutputStream and read (JDK)        avgt   10   200,715 ±   18,103  us/op
 1. IOUtils.toString (Apache Utils)             avgt   10   300,019 ±    8,751  us/op
 6. InputStreamReader and StringBuilder (JDK)   avgt   10   347,616 ±  130,348  us/op
 7. StringWriter and IOUtils.copy (Apache)      avgt   10   352,791 ±  105,337  us/op
 2. CharStreams (guava)                         avgt   10   420,137 ±   59,877  us/op
 9. BufferedReader (JDK)                        avgt   10   632,028 ±   17,002  us/op
 5. parallel Stream Api (Java 8)                avgt   10   662,999 ±   46,199  us/op
 4. Stream Api (Java 8)                         avgt   10   701,269 ±   82,296  us/op
10. BufferedInputStream, ByteArrayOutputStream  avgt   10   740,837 ±    5,613  us/op
 3. Scanner (JDK)                               avgt   10   751,417 ±   62,026  us/op
11. InputStream.read() and StringBuilder (JDK)  avgt   10  2919,350 ± 1101,942  us/op

Graphs (performance tests depending on Input Stream length in Windows 7 system)

Performance test (Average Time) depending on Input Stream length in Windows 7 system:

 length  182    546     1092    3276    9828    29484   58968

 test8  0.38    0.938   1.868   4.448   13.412  36.459  72.708
 test4  2.362   3.609   5.573   12.769  40.74   81.415  159.864
 test5  3.881   5.075   6.904   14.123  50.258  129.937 166.162
 test9  2.237   3.493   5.422   11.977  45.98   89.336  177.39
 test6  1.261   2.12    4.38    10.698  31.821  86.106  186.636
 test7  1.601   2.391   3.646   8.367   38.196  110.221 211.016
 test1  1.529   2.381   3.527   8.411   40.551  105.16  212.573
 test3  3.035   3.934   8.606   20.858  61.571  118.744 235.428
 test2  3.136   6.238   10.508  33.48   43.532  118.044 239.481
 test10 1.593   4.736   7.527   20.557  59.856  162.907 323.147
 test11 3.913   11.506  23.26   68.644  207.591 600.444 1211.545

Apache Commons allows:

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

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

Also see: (documentation)


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();
}

Use:

InputStream in = /* Your InputStream */;
StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));
String read;

while ((read=br.readLine()) != null) {
    //System.out.println(read);
    sb.append(read);
}

br.close();
return sb.toString();

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!)


This is my pure Java and Android solution, and it 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;
}

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();
}

Use:

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();
}

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.


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 20 MB 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.


I ran some timing tests because time matters, always.

I attempted to get the response into a String 3 different ways. (shown below) I left out try/catch blocks for the sake readability.

To give context, this is the preceding code for all 3 approaches:

   String response;
   String url = "www.blah.com/path?key=value";
   GetMethod method = new GetMethod(url);
   int status = client.executeMethod(method);

1)

 response = method.getResponseBodyAsString();

2)

InputStream resp = method.getResponseBodyAsStream();
InputStreamReader is=new InputStreamReader(resp);
BufferedReader br=new BufferedReader(is);
String read = null;
StringBuffer sb = new StringBuffer();
while((read = br.readLine()) != null) {
    sb.append(read);
}
response = sb.toString();

3)

InputStream iStream  = method.getResponseBodyAsStream();
StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();
IOUtils.copy(iStream, writer, "UTF-8");
response = writer.toString();

So, after running 500 tests on each approach with the same request/response data, here are the numbers. Once again, these are my findings and your findings may not be exactly the same, but I wrote this to give some indication to others of the efficiency differences of these approaches.

Ranks: Approach #1 Approach #3 - 2.6% slower than #1 Approach #2 - 4.3% slower than #1

Any of these approaches is an appropriate solution for grabbing a response and creating a String from it.


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"))

Here's more-or-less sampath's answer, cleaned up a bit and represented as a function:

String streamToString(InputStream in) throws IOException {
  StringBuilder out = new StringBuilder();
  BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));
  for(String line = br.readLine(); line != null; line = br.readLine()) 
    out.append(line);
  br.close();
  return out.toString();
}

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


If you can't use Commons IO (FileUtils/IOUtils/CopyUtils), here's an example using a BufferedReader to read the file line by line:

public class StringFromFile {
    public static void main(String[] args) /*throws UnsupportedEncodingException*/ {
        InputStream is = StringFromFile.class.getResourceAsStream("file.txt");
        BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(is/*, "UTF-8"*/));
        final int CHARS_PER_PAGE = 5000; //counting spaces
        StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder(CHARS_PER_PAGE);
        try {
            for(String line=br.readLine(); line!=null; line=br.readLine()) {
                builder.append(line);
                builder.append('\n');
            }
        } 
        catch (IOException ignore) { }

        String text = builder.toString();
        System.out.println(text);
    }
}

Or if you want raw speed I'd propose a variation on what Paul de Vrieze suggested (which avoids using a StringWriter (which uses a StringBuffer internally):

public class StringFromFileFast {
    public static void main(String[] args) /*throws UnsupportedEncodingException*/ {
        InputStream is = StringFromFileFast.class.getResourceAsStream("file.txt");
        InputStreamReader input = new InputStreamReader(is/*, "UTF-8"*/);
        final int CHARS_PER_PAGE = 5000; //counting spaces
        final char[] buffer = new char[CHARS_PER_PAGE];
        StringBuilder output = new StringBuilder(CHARS_PER_PAGE);
        try {
            for(int read = input.read(buffer, 0, buffer.length);
                    read != -1;
                    read = input.read(buffer, 0, buffer.length)) {
                output.append(buffer, 0, read);
            }
        } catch (IOException ignore) { }

        String text = output.toString();
        System.out.println(text);
    }
}

This is an answer adapted from org.apache.commons.io.IOUtils source code, for those who want to have the apache implementation but do not want the whole library.

private static final int BUFFER_SIZE = 4 * 1024;

public static String inputStreamToString(InputStream inputStream, String charsetName)
        throws IOException {
    StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
    InputStreamReader reader = new InputStreamReader(inputStream, charsetName);
    char[] buffer = new char[BUFFER_SIZE];
    int length;
    while ((length = reader.read(buffer)) != -1) {
        builder.append(buffer, 0, length);
    }
    return builder.toString();
}

Make sure to close the streams at end if you use Stream Readers

private String readStream(InputStream iStream) throws IOException {
    //build a Stream Reader, it can read char by char
    InputStreamReader iStreamReader = new InputStreamReader(iStream);
    //build a buffered Reader, so that i can read whole line at once
    BufferedReader bReader = new BufferedReader(iStreamReader);
    String line = null;
    StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
    while((line = bReader.readLine()) != null) {  //Read till end
        builder.append(line);
        builder.append("\n"); // append new line to preserve lines
    }
    bReader.close();         //close all opened stuff
    iStreamReader.close();
    //iStream.close(); //EDIT: Let the creator of the stream close it!
                       // some readers may auto close the inner stream
    return builder.toString();
}

EDIT: On JDK 7+, you can use try-with-resources construct.

/**
 * Reads the stream into a string
 * @param iStream the input stream
 * @return the string read from the stream
 * @throws IOException when an IO error occurs
 */
private String readStream(InputStream iStream) throws IOException {

    //Buffered reader allows us to read line by line
    try (BufferedReader bReader =
                 new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(iStream))){
        StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
        String line;
        while((line = bReader.readLine()) != null) {  //Read till end
            builder.append(line);
            builder.append("\n"); // append new line to preserve lines
        }
        return builder.toString();
    }
}

Here is the complete method for converting InputStream into String without using any third party library. Use StringBuilder for single threaded environment otherwise use StringBuffer.

public static String getString( InputStream is) throws IOException {
    int ch;
    StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();
    while((ch = is.read()) != -1)
        sb.append((char)ch);
    return sb.toString();
}

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);

Kotlin users simply do:

println(InputStreamReader(is).readText())

whereas

readText()

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


Another one, for all the Spring users:

import java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets;
import org.springframework.util.FileCopyUtils;

public String convertStreamToString(InputStream is) throws IOException { 
    return new String(FileCopyUtils.copyToByteArray(is), StandardCharsets.UTF_8);
}

The utility methods in org.springframework.util.StreamUtils are similar to the ones in FileCopyUtils, but they leave the stream open when done.


Use the java.io.InputStream.transferTo(OutputStream) supported in Java 9 and the ByteArrayOutputStream.toString(String) which takes the charset name:

public static String gobble(InputStream in, String charsetName) throws IOException {
    ByteArrayOutputStream bos = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    in.transferTo(bos);
    return bos.toString(charsetName);
}

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();
}

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;
}

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")));
}

In Groovy

inputStream.getText()

In terms of reduce, and concat it can be expressed in Java 8 as:

String fromFile = new BufferedReader(new   
InputStreamReader(inputStream)).lines().reduce(String::concat).get();

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