[8u60] RFR: 8078470: [Linux] Replace syscall use in os::fork_and_exec with glibc fork() and execve()

Thomas Stüfe thomas.stuefe at gmail.com
Fri Apr 24 09:00:33 UTC 2015

Hi David,

Unfortunately printing out errno in VMError will not work so well, as it is
not clear if it is from fork() or execve(), and it is vulnerable against
future changes of os::fork_and_exec(). Also, will not do anything for you
on Windows.

I do not see a nice solution. Returning errno will not work, or be ugly,
because you'd need to return GetLastError for windows, which has a
different semantic, and the caller must remember that.

On Solaris, os::fork_and_exec() prints a warning if PrintWarning() is on,
which in my opinion does not help. That printout is very verbose and you
have to remember setting it before starting the process.

In some places in error handling (e.g. "check_dump_limits()") we return a
string in a caller provided buffer describing the error which then is
printed into the error logs. So, that may be a pragmatic solution,
especially because we already have the scratch buffer in

On the other hand, in almost any os::... function we just swallow error
details, as we did in os::fork_and_exec() before, so maybe we just leave it
at this.

Otherwise, change looks fine to me.


On Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 4:03 AM, David Holmes <david.holmes at oracle.com>

> Hi Thomas,
> On 23/04/2015 6:00 PM, Thomas Stüfe wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 9:50 AM, David Holmes <david.holmes at oracle.com
>> <mailto:david.holmes at oracle.com>> wrote:
>>     On 23/04/2015 5:24 PM, Thomas Stüfe wrote:
>>         - would it be possible to use vfork() instead of fork()? Might
>>         increase
>>         the chance of fork() succeeding in out-of-memory scenarios. The
>> way
>>         fork/execve is used here is simple enough for vfork().
>>     I'm reluctant to use vfork() as it is an unknown. The use of fork()
>>     has been trialled by Google with no problem.
>> I understand.
>> We use vfork() by default on Linux and HP-UX since 3-4 years for
>> Runtime.exec() without problems (but our implementation differs wildly
>> from the standard one). But then, Runtime.exec does not get called in
>> error situations, so the conditions may be different for
>> os::fork_and_exec().
> Right - os::fork_and_exec is potentially a lot more fragile given the
> potential execution context. Which prompted me to add a second test for the
> general OnError handling case. I also moved the tests to
> runtime/ErrorHandling to match the directory that exists in JDK 9.
> Updated webrev:
> http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~dholmes/8078470/webrev.v2/
> Thanks,
> David
>          - would it be possible to print out errno in case fork fails?
>>     Sure.
>> Thanks!
>> ..Thomas
>>     Thanks,
>>     David
>>         Regards, Thomas
>>         On Thu, Apr 23, 2015 at 8:40 AM, David Holmes
>>         <david.holmes at oracle.com <mailto:david.holmes at oracle.com>
>>         <mailto:david.holmes at oracle.com
>>         <mailto:david.holmes at oracle.com>>> wrote:
>>              webrev: http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~dholmes/8078470/webrev/
>>              bug: https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8078470
>>              For historical reasons, dating back to LinuxThreads,
>>              os::fork_and_exec uses direct syscalls to perform fork and
>>         execve
>>              functions. The fork syscall has been deprecated on linux
>>         for quite
>>              some time and some distributions are now shipping with
>>         deprecated
>>              syscalls removed - this results in a ENOSYS error and the
>>         "OnError"
>>              commands that utilize os::fork_and_exec no longer work.
>>              The problem was discussed here:
>> http://mail.openjdk.java.net/pipermail/hotspot-dev/2015-April/017916.html
>>              It seems the concerns surrounding direct use of glibc
>>         fork() and
>>              exec() are no longer legitimate and Martin Buchholz reports
>>         that
>>              Google replaced the syscalls with glibc calls some time ago
>>         and have
>>              not had any problems. So we propose to apply the same change
>>              uniformly on Linux.
>>              This is initially going into 8u60 via jdk8u-hs-dev due to
>> time
>>              constraints on the 8u60 schedule, and an internal limitation
>>              preventing me from pushing this to 9 right now. But it will
>> be
>>              "backported" to 9 ASAP.
>>              Thanks,
>>              David

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