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About Adrianos Dadis

Adrianos Dadis
Adrianos is working as senior software engineer in telcos business domain. Particularly interested in enterprise integration, multi-tier architecture and middleware services. He mainly works with Weblogic, JBoss, Java EE, Spring, Drools, Oracle SOA Suite and various ESBs.

JRockit – JRCMD useful commands

I have been using JRockit since many years 2007. I find it slower than Hotspot, but it has been always better on diagnosis and analysis of problems. Since last summer, I have been working for an international telecommunication systems vendor. We design and implement various products for telecom operators, on top of HP OpenCall Convergent Communication Platform. I am fan of Open Source and Free Software, but this platform is running “only” with JRockit VM. We have tuning it for low latencies and runs very cool, but we have faced various problems, where JRockit has helped us a lot on troubleshooting.

I will describe here a few useful commands of JRCMD. JRCMD is a small command-line tool that can be used to interact with a running JRockit instance.


  1. Get a thread dump
  2. Memory utilization
  3. Memory analysis of heap on a per-class basis
  4. State of VM
  5. Create a flight recording
  6. Produce a heap dump


1) Get a thread dump $> jrcmd <pid> print_threads [nativestack=true]

This is the usual SIGQUIT handler, which prints all thread stacks. You can also get a thread using the classic way: “$> kill -3 <pid>

In any case you will get a thread dump like this:

===== FULL THREAD DUMP ===============
 Thu Jun 21 11:38:19 2012
 Oracle JRockit(R) R28.1.4-7-144370-1.6.0_26-20110617-2130-linux-ia32
'http-' id=46791 idx=0x4 tid=17680 prio=5 alive, waiting, native_blocked, daemon
 -- Waiting for notification on: org/apache/tomcat/util/net/[email protected][fat lock]
 at jrockit/vm/Threads.waitForNotifySignal(JLjava/lang/Object;)Z(Native Method)
 at java/lang/Object.wait(J)V(Native Method)
 at java/lang/Object.wait(Object.java:485)
 at org/apache/tomcat/util/net/JIoEndpoint$Worker.await(JIoEndpoint.java:415)
 ^-- Lock released while waiting: org/apache/tomcat/util/net/[email protected][fat lock]
 at org/apache/tomcat/util/net/JIoEndpoint$Worker.run(JIoEndpoint.java:441)
 at java/lang/Thread.run(Thread.java:662)[optimized]
 at jrockit/vm/RNI.c2java(IIIII)V(Native Method)
 -- end of trace
'(Signal Handler)' id=2 idx=0x8 tid=21213 prio=5 alive, native_blocked, daemon
'(OC Main Thread)' id=3 idx=0xc tid=21214 prio=5 alive, native_waiting, daemon
'(GC Worker Thread 1)' id=? idx=0x10 tid=21215 prio=5 alive, daemon
'(GC Worker Thread 2)' id=? idx=0x14 tid=21216 prio=5 alive, daemon
'(Code Generation Thread 1)' id=4 idx=0x18 tid=21217 prio=5 alive, native_waiting, daemon
'(Code Optimization Thread 1)' id=5 idx=0x1c tid=21218 prio=10 alive, native_waiting, daemon
'(Code Optimization Thread 2)' id=6 idx=0x20 tid=21219 prio=10 alive, native_waiting, daemon
'(VM Periodic Task)' id=7 idx=0x24 tid=21220 prio=10 alive, native_blocked, daemon
'Finalizer' id=8 idx=0x28 tid=21221 prio=8 alive, native_waiting, daemon
 at jrockit/memory/Finalizer.waitForFinalizees(J[Ljava/lang/Object;)I(Native Method)
 at jrockit/memory/Finalizer.access$700(Finalizer.java:12)[optimized]
 at jrockit/memory/Finalizer$4.run(Finalizer.java:189)
 at java/lang/Thread.run(Thread.java:662)
 at jrockit/vm/RNI.c2java(IIIII)V(Native Method)
 -- end of trace
'Reference Handler' id=9 idx=0x2c tid=21222 prio=10 alive, native_waiting, daemon
 at java/lang/ref/Reference.waitForActivatedQueue(J)Ljava/lang/ref/Reference;(Native Method)
 at java/lang/ref/Reference.access$100(Reference.java:11)
 at java/lang/ref/Reference$ReferenceHandler.run(Reference.java:82)
 at jrockit/vm/RNI.c2java(IIIII)V(Native Method)
 -- end of trace

2) Memory utilization $> jrcmd <pid> print_memusage

This command can help you with out of memory errors. It analyses (in summary) the memory allocated by java process (including native code). Columns: a) The name of a memory space, b) How much memory is mapped for that space, c) Extra details. A sample run is the following:

Total mapped                  2110560KB           (reserved=6044KB)
-              Java heap      1572864KB           (reserved=0KB)
-              GC tables        52620KB          
-          Thread stacks        55060KB           (#threads=306)
-          Compiled code        23872KB           (used=21690KB)
-               Internal          776KB          
-                     OS        23368KB          
-                  Other       257328KB          
-        Java class data       123648KB           (malloced=123375KB #169700 in 29996 classes)
- Native memory tracking         1024KB           (malloced=296KB #8)

3) Memory analysis of heap on a per-class basis $> jrcmd <pid> print_object_summary

Prints details of all the instances on the heap on a per-class basis, together with a differential value of how the memory usage has changed. Columns: a) Percentage of heap that objects of this class occupy, b) The total size occupied by the instances of a specific class, c) The number of instances of a specific class, d) The change in size from the first invocation of this command, e) The full name of the class. Check the next sample run, where we might have a problem with objects of class “org/adrianos/MyDTO”:

--------- Detailed Heap Statistics: ---------
61.1% 939735k  6772960 +939735k [C
16.4% 252243k 10762404 +252243k java/lang/String
 7.0% 107516k  3947228 +107516k [Ljava/lang/String;
 4.5% 69265k   369180 +69265k [Ljava/lang/Object;
 1.6% 24127k   205889 +24127k org/adrianos/MyDTO
 1.3% 19486k  1247140 +19486k java/lang/Long
 1.0% 15551k    26621 +15551k [B
 0.6% 8871k     9700  +8871k [I
 0.6% 8710k   103896  +8710k [Ljava/util/HashMap$Entry;
     1537175kB total ---

--------- End of Detailed Heap Statistics ---

4) State of VM $> jrcmd <pid> print_vm_state

This command produce an output similar to the dump file that is normally created when a JRockit instance crashes. It shows various information of VM like command line arguments of java process, uptime, CPU type, state of heap, loaded modules, libc release, etc.. Check the next excerpt of a sample run:

Uptime       : 5 days, 16:29:55 on Thu Jun 21 12:02:34 2012
Version      : Oracle JRockit(R) R28.1.4-7-144370-1.6.0_26-20110617-2130-linux-ia32
CPU          : Intel Westmere (HT) SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSSE3 SSE4.1 SSE4.2 Core Intel64
Number CPUs  : 8
Tot Phys Mem : 12632571904 (12047 MB)
OS version   : Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.5 (Tikanga)
Linux version 2.6.18-194.26.1.el5PAE ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-48)) #1 SMP Fri Oct 29 14:28:58 EDT 2010 (i686)
Thread System: Linux NPTL
LibC release : 2.5-stable
Java locking : Lazy unlocking enabled (class banning) (transfer banning)
State        : JVM is running (Main thread has finished)
Command Line : -Dprogram.name=run.sh -Xms1536M -Xmx1536M -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Xverbose:gc,memory -XverboseLog:/tmp/gc-jrockit.log -Xbootclasspath/p: -XXaggressive -XXcompaction:heapParts=1536 -Xgc:genconcon -Xns:150M -XXgcThreads:2 -XXgcTrigger:50 -XXcompaction:internalPercentage=1.0 -XXcompaction:externalPercentage=1.0 -Xmanagement -Djrockit.managementserver.port=4646 -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote.ssl=false -Djava.net.preferIPv4Stack=true -Djava.endorsed.dirs=/var/lib/OC/imsc/lib/endorsed -Dsun.java.launcher=SUN_STANDARD com.adrianos.Main 
Repository   : /tmp/2012_06_15_19_32_40_21109
java.home    : /usr/java/jrockit-jdk1.6.0_26-R28.1.4-4.0.1.orig/jre
StackOverFlow: 0 StackOverFlowErrors have occured
OutOfMemory  : 0 OutOfMemoryErrors have occured
C Heap       : Good; no memory allocations have failed
GC Strategy  : Mode: pausetime, with strategy: genconcon (basic strategy: genconcon)
GC Status    : OC is not running. Last finished OC was OC#5287.
             : YC is not running. Last finished YC was YC#16925.
YC Promotion : Last YC successfully promoted all objects
YC History   : Ran 3 YCs before OC#5283.
             : Ran 3 YCs before OC#5284.
             : Ran 3 YCs before OC#5285.
             : Ran 3 YCs before OC#5286.
             : Ran 3 YCs before OC#5287.
             : Ran 2 YCs since last OC.
Heap         : 0x5661a000 - 0xb661a000  (Size: 1536 MB)
Compaction   : (no compaction area)
Allocation   : TLA-min: 2048, TLA-preferred: 20480 TLA-waste limit: 2048
NurseryList  : 0x869370d8 - 0x941e0390
KeepArea     : 0x8da6c078 - 0x941e0390
KA Markers   : [ 0x8b4857c8,  0x8da6c078 , 0x941e0390 ]
Forbidden A  : (none)
Previous KA  : 0x8b4857c8 - 0x8da6c078
Previous FA  : (none)
CompRefs     : References are 32-bit.
Loaded modules:
08048000-08057193  /usr/java/jrockit-jdk1.6.0_26-R28.1.4-4.0.1.orig/bin/java
b7f12000-b7f1262b  /usr/java/jrockit-jdk1.6.0_26-R28.1.4-4.0.1.orig/bin/java

5) Create a flight recording $> jrcmd <pid> start_flightrecording name=myrecord1 filename=/var/tmp/myrecord1.jfr duration=60s compress=true settings=/my/path/xxx.jfs

Starts a JRockit Flight Recorder recording that can help you analyse the behaviour of your code and find potentials problems (like bottlenecks). This is really useful to understand what your threads are doing. There re many templates located in the JROCKIT_HOME/jre/lib/jfr directory.

6) Produce a heap dump $> jrcmd <pid> hprofdump filename=/tmp/jrockit1.hprof

Produce heap dumps in the popular HPROF format that can be used to resolve memory leaks or have a better understanding of your code. You can analyse this file using the excellent Eclipse Memory Analyzer Tool (MAT) or default Java memory analyser VisualVM. General Tips:

  1. You have to be careful with the last 2 commands as they are very useful, but need extra resources from JVM. Avoid to execute them on high traffic hours, except you really need them. Keep in mind that if JVM is at very “difficult” state, it will not permit such actions.
  2. MAT is a great tool and I love it. BUT if you want to be fully prepared you have to also play with VisualVM as exists in default installation of Hotspot. This means that VisualVM is always there and you do not need an extra graphical tool to check something simple. I have been in a such case, where I did not have internet access and my laptop use was prohibited.

I hope you will find these details useful.

Reference: JRockit – JRCMD useful commands from our JCG partner Adrianos Dadis at the Java, Integration and the virtues of source blog.

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