Troubleshooting JVM Crash During GC


If a jvm crash during gc (garbage collection) occurs, then the fatal error log reports that a VM_Operation is in progress. For the purposes of this discussion, assume that the mostly concurrent GC ( -XX:+UseConcMarkSweep) is not in use. The VM_Operation is shown in the THREAD section of the log and indicates one of the following situations:

  • Generation collection for allocation
  • Full generation collection
  • Parallel gc failed allocation
  • Parallel gc failed permanent allocation
  • Parallel gc system gc

Most likely the current thread reported in the log is the VMThread. This is the special thread used to execute special tasks in the HotSpot VM. The following fragment of the fatal error log shows an example of a crash in the serial garbage collector:

---------------  T H R E A D  ---------------

Current thread (0x002cb720):  VMThread [id=3252]

siginfo: ExceptionCode=0xc0000005, reading address 0x00000000

EAX=0x0000000a, EBX=0x00000001, ECX=0x00289530, EDX=0x00000000
ESP=0x02aefc2c, EBP=0x02aefc44, ESI=0x00289530, EDI=0x00289530
EIP=0x0806d17a, EFLAGS=0x00010246

Top of Stack: (sp=0x02aefc2c)
0x02aefc2c:   00289530 081641e8 00000001 0806e4b8
0x02aefc3c:   00000001 00000000 02aefc9c 0806e4c5
0x02aefc4c:   081641e8 081641c8 00000001 00289530
0x02aefc5c:   00000000 00000000 00000001 00000001
0x02aefc6c:   00000000 00000000 00000000 08072a9e
0x02aefc7c:   00000000 00000000 00000000 00035378
0x02aefc8c:   00035378 00280d88 00280d88 147fee00
0x02aefc9c:   02aefce8 0806e0f5 00000001 00289530
Instructions: (pc=0x0806d17a)
0x0806d16a:   15 08 83 3d c0 be 15 08 05 53 56 57 8b f1 75 0f
0x0806d17a:   0f be 05 00 00 00 00 83 c0 05 a3 c0 be 15 08 8b 

Stack: [0x02ab0000,0x02af0000),  sp=0x02aefc2c,  free space=255k
Native frames: (J=compiled Java code, j=interpreted, Vv=VM code, C=native code)
V  [jvm.dll+0x6d17a]
V  [jvm.dll+0x6e4c5]
V  [jvm.dll+0x6e0f5]
V  [jvm.dll+0x71771]
V  [jvm.dll+0xfd1d3]
V  [jvm.dll+0x6cd99]
V  [jvm.dll+0x504bf]
V  [jvm.dll+0x6cf4b]
V  [jvm.dll+0x1175d5]
V  [jvm.dll+0x1170a0]
V  [jvm.dll+0x11728f]
V  [jvm.dll+0x116fd5]
C  [MSVCRT.dll+0x27fb8]
C  [kernel32.dll+0x1d33b]

VM_Operation (0x0373f71c): generation collection for allocation, mode:
 safepoint, requested by thread 0x02db7108

Note – A crash during garbage collection does not imply a bug in the garbage collection implementation. It could also indicate a compiler or runtime bug or some other issue.

You can try the following workarounds if you get a repeated crash during garbage collection:

  • Switch GC configuration. For example, if you are using the serial collector, try the throughput collector, or visa versa.
  • If you are using the HotSpot Server VM, try the HotSpot Client VM.

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1 Response

  1. Thomas says:

    Great stuff, thanks. Do you use many MS applications? The company I work for used Microsoft software until about 2002 and then moven to OSX. It took a lot to (3 years!) to get perfect and work to everyone’s needs but now it’s fine. Saved loads on MS licencing! Thanks, Thomas.

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