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The short version

The "\n" character represents a newline on some systems, but other systems have different newline conventions.

For more portable Java code, instead of hard coding "\n" in your strings, use either:

  String nl = System.getProperty("line.separator");

or, use the %n format specifier to get a system-independent newline.

Note that some sources suggest that on System.out and System.err it really doesn’t matter; that the lower layers of Java plumbing will take care of the problem.