Java Unique Number Generator - UUID or GUID with examples

In this blog post, We are going to learn java Unique Number Generator-  UUID or GUID with examples.

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Java Unique Number Generator - UUID or GUID  with examples

Java Unique Number Generator - UUID

There are two types of unique identifiers. UUID is a universally unique identifier, GUID is a globally unique identifier, The difference between UUID and GUID, Both are returning 126 bits,

GUID is Microsoft implementation of UUID functionality. Both generates 16 bytes hexadecimal separated by a hyphen in four groups.

UUID or GUID can be used in the following in real time

  • Used to represent a primary key in a database table
  • can be used as Session ID in web applications, Transaction Id in enterprise applications
  • Can also be used as unique identifier for doing CRUD operations in  REST API applications
  • Represents to identify big data spread across multiple servers
  • Naming static resources for storing and retrieving files.

Java provides java.util.UUID class for providing UUID implementation in java

java.util.UUID class 

This class is specified as an immutable universally unique identifier (UUID).  This class has following notes about it

  • Generates 128 bit or 16 bytes that contains hexadecimal values 
  • Implements Serializable, Comparable interfaces
  • Extends Object class.

There are multiple variants for creating UUID. It has methods for operating Leach-Salz variant. but it has a constructor to support all variants


UUID(long mostSigBits, long leastSigBits)  

It has only one constructor which takes two parameters to create a new UUID mostSigBits - most significant bits 64 bits of UUID
leastSigBits - least significant 64 bits of UUID
UUID has four types of versions

  • Version 1 represents time-based - UUID V1 
  • Version 2 represents DCE security - UUID V2 
  • Version 3 represents name-based - UUID V3 
  • Version 4 represents Random generated - - UUID V4


The below example generates UUID V4 string

import java.util.UUID;  
public class UUIDDemo {  
 public static void main(String[] args) {  
  UUID uuid = UUID.randomUUID();  
  String uuidString = uuid.toString();  
  System.out.println(uuid.variant());  // 2  
  System.out.println(uuid.version());  // 4  
  System.out.println(uuidString);  //3d795ac3-2cea-4ed2-92d8-3d71a2539cf2  

java-uuid-generator maven 

In maven applications, java-uuid-generator is a dependency from com.fasterxml.uuid. This is a java library for generating UUID with all versions


The below example generates the following thins

  • UUID V1 Generation using timebase generator 
  • UUID V3 Generation using UUID.nameUUIDFromBytes method as well as name based
  • UUID V4 Generation using randomBasedGenerator 
  • UUID V5 Generation using SHA digester 
import java.util.UUID;  
import com.fasterxml.uuid.Generators;  
public class HelloWorld {  
 public static void main(String[] args) {  
  // UUID V1 generation  
  UUID v1 = Generators.timeBasedGenerator().generate();  
  System.out.println("UUID V1 value: " + v1.toString());  
  System.out.println("version  : " + v1.version());  
  System.out.println("variant  : " + v1.variant());  
  // UUID V3 generation  
  //  create byte array and initialize it  
  byte[] byteArray = { 0, 1, 4 };  
  // Create uuid from byte array  
  UUID v3 = UUID.nameUUIDFromBytes(byteArray);  
  System.out.println("UUID V4 value: " + v3.toString());  
  System.out.println("version  : " + v3.version());  
  System.out.println("variant  : " + v3.variant());  
  // UUID V4 generation  
  UUID v4 = Generators.randomBasedGenerator().generate();  
  System.out.println("UUID V4 value: " + v4.toString());  
  System.out.println("version  : " + v4.version());  
  System.out.println("variant  : " + v4.variant());  
  // UUID V5 generation  
  UUID v5 = Generators.nameBasedGenerator().generate("");  
  System.out.println("UUID V5 value: " + v5.toString());  
  System.out.println("version  : " + v5.version());  
  System.out.println("variant  : " + v5.variant());  

Output of the above program code is

UUID V1 value: 04272c28-e69d-11e8-be73-df7930994371  
version  : 1  
variant  : 2  
UUID V4 value: be489ef3-af30-3d20-b50a-5c504ecc5294  
version  : 3  
variant  : 2  
UUID V4 value: 1c4e3ff8-bf58-4081-8e3f-f8bf58908109  
version  : 4  
variant  : 2  
UUID V5 value: cdecd331-e6c2-5e7f-ad1d-3ee766052560  
version  : 5  
variant  : 2  

How to create UUID from a String 

UUID class provides fromString() method which generates UUID from a given string. This is an example for Converting String to UUID. This method throws Exception in thread “main” java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Invalid UUID string: 150e064ff8d6, if string is not 16 bytes in length

import java.util.UUID;  
public class fromStringExample {  
 public static void main(String[] args) {  
  UUID uuid = UUID.fromString("d4578015-0e06-4ff8-9780-150e064ff8d6");  
  System.out.println("UUID  value: " + uuid.toString());  
  System.out.println("version  : " + uuid.version());  
  System.out.println("variant  : " + uuid.variant());  

The output of the above code is

UUID  value: d4578015-0e06-4ff8-9780-150e064ff8d6  
version  : 4  
variant  : 2  
UUID class methods  

UUID class methods

  • clockSequence - this method returns clock sequence for given UUID. It throws Exception in thread “main” java.lang.UnsupportedOperationException: Not a time-based UUID.if it is not time-based UUID version
  • getLeastSignificantBits - This method returns least significant 64 bits of given UUID
  • getMostSignificantBits() - This method returns m significant 64 bits of given UUID
  • nameUUIDFromBytes(bytearray) - this method returns UUID V3  for given byte array
  • node()- This method return node value of given UUID 
  • timestamp() - This return timestamp of given UUID
  • randomUUID - This static method generates random UUID

Other UUID libraries 

There are various UUID libraries available for java language-markup

  • UUID
  • appache common io
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