WebStart periodically fails to start with -Xmx1024m

Shane Cox shane.cox at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 09:16:07 PDT 2009


Our customers download and execute our client application (front-end) using
WebStart.  Recently we increased the max heap size specified in our JNLP
file from -Xmx512m to -Xmx1024m.  After this update, many of our customers
running Windows XP called to complain that WebStart would no longer
launch/start.  After some brief troubleshooting we discovered that many of
these customers were running PCs with 2GB of RAM, with about 1GB available.
So we were puzzled as to why WebStart failed to launch.  We then reverted to
the old max of -Xmx512m and WebStart launched successfully.

Any idea why specifying a max heap size of -Xmx1024m would cause WebStart to
fail to launch on some Windows XP PCs?  Unfortunately I have no logs to
share because the process fails to start and the only error that we've
observed is "unable to launch."  We've only been able to recreate the
problem in our test environments by setting -Xmx to an even larger value
such as -Xmx1500m.


Below are the specific args that we specify in our JNLP file:
java-vm-args="-XX:MinHeapFreeRatio=20 -XX:MaxHeapFreeRatio=35
-XX:NewRatio=2"
initial-heap-size="32m" max-heap-size="1024m"


Any insight you could provide would be appreciated.
Thanks
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