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Packages in Java vs. Interfaces in Java: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 26, 2024
Packages in Java are collections of related classes and interfaces for organization, while interfaces define methods that implementing classes must use.

Key Differences

Packages in Java serve as a namespace mechanism to avoid name conflicts and to control access, grouping related classes and interfaces together. Interfaces in Java, on the other hand, are abstract types that define a contract or behavior that implementing classes must follow. Both are fundamental to Java's organization and architecture but serve distinctly different purposes.
Packages act as a file directory, organizing Java classes and interfaces into namespaces, while interfaces are used to implement polymorphism, a core concept in Java. Packages help in logical grouping and accessibility control, whereas interfaces provide a way for a class to adhere to a specific behavior pattern.
Packages in Java can contain classes, interfaces, enumerations, and annotations. They are declared at the beginning of a Java source file and reflect the file's directory structure. Interfaces, however, are purely abstract; they cannot hold concrete implementations but only method signatures and static, final variables. This differentiation highlights the structural versus behavioral roles they play in Java programming.
In Java, packages help in avoiding naming conflicts by qualifying class and interface names with a namespace. This way, two classes in different packages can have the same name without conflict. Interfaces define methods without bodies, requiring classes that implement them to provide concrete methods, thus ensuring a certain level of abstraction and design consistency.
Packages in Java are used to specify access levels for classes and interfaces within them through access modifiers. In contrast, interfaces allow for multiple inheritance in Java, a feature not available to classes. Through interfaces, a class can 'inherit' the method signatures from multiple interfaces.

Comparison Chart


Organize classes/interfaces into namespaces.
Define methods for classes to implement.


Can contain classes, interfaces, enums, annotations.
Only method signatures and constants.

Usage in Inheritance

Not directly involved in inheritance.
Enable multiple inheritance of method signatures.


Do not contain implementations, only groupings.
Do not contain implementations, define them.

Access Control

Can control access to classes/interfaces within them.
Cannot control access but can be public or package-private.

Packages in Java and Interfaces in Java Definitions

Packages in Java

A package in Java is a namespace that groups related classes and interfaces.
Import java.util.*; imports all classes and interfaces in the Java utility package.

Interfaces in Java

Interfaces in Java are used to achieve abstraction and multiple inheritance.
Class ArrayList implements List, Serializable { ... }

Packages in Java

Packages in Java can be used to control access to classes and interfaces.
Classes in the same package can access each other's package-private members.

Interfaces in Java

An interface in Java is a reference type that can contain only constants, method signatures, default methods, static methods, and nested types.
Public interface List { void add(Object obj); }

Packages in Java

A package in Java represents a file directory structure for organizing code files.
The package declaration package com.example.app; reflects its directory hierarchy.

Interfaces in Java

Interfaces in Java cannot have instance fields or constructors.
An interface cannot have a constructor as it cannot be instantiated directly.

Packages in Java

Java packages can contain classes, interfaces, enumerations, and annotations.
The java.lang package contains fundamental classes like String and Object.

Interfaces in Java

Java interfaces can have default methods with a body, introduced in Java 8.
Default void print() { System.out.println(Default Method); }

Packages in Java

Packages in Java help to avoid name conflicts between classes and interfaces.
Two classes named Date can coexist in different packages like java.util and java.sql.

Interfaces in Java

Java interfaces define a contract that implementing classes must follow.
If a class implements the Runnable interface, it must provide an implementation of the run method.


Can a package contain another package in Java?

Indirectly, yes. Packages can be nested within each other to form a hierarchy.

Why are packages used in Java?

To avoid naming conflicts, manage access control, and logically organize code.

Why use interfaces in Java?

To achieve abstraction, define a contract for classes, and support multiple inheritance.

What is a package in Java?

A package in Java is a namespace for organizing classes and interfaces into groups.

What is an interface in Java?

An interface is a reference type in Java that can contain abstract methods, default methods, static methods, constants, and nested types.

Do interfaces contain method bodies in Java?

Traditionally, no, but default methods in interfaces can have bodies.

Can you import a subpackage using its parent package in Java?

No, each package must be imported explicitly.

How do you create a package in Java?

Declare a package at the beginning of a Java file using package packageName;.

Can an interface extend another interface in Java?

Yes, interfaces can extend other interfaces.

Can a Java class implement multiple interfaces?

Yes, a class can implement multiple interfaces.

What is package-private access in Java?

A member with package-private access is accessible only within its own package.

How do you implement an interface in Java?

Use the implements keyword in a class to implement an interface.

What are default methods in interfaces?

Default methods are methods in an interface that have a body and provide a default implementation.

Are interfaces in Java a type of class?

No, interfaces are not classes, but they are a reference type similar to classes.

Can an interface in Java have instance fields?

No, interfaces cannot have instance fields.

How does packaging affect access levels in Java?

Classes in the same package can access each other's package-private members.

Can interfaces in Java have constructors?

No, interfaces cannot have constructors.

Can a Java interface implement another interface?

No, an interface cannot implement another, but it can extend one or more other interfaces.

Is it mandatory to implement all methods of an interface in Java?

Yes, unless the class is abstract or the methods are default methods.

Can a Java package be renamed easily?

Renaming a package often requires changes in the package declaration and in all places where its classes are used.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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