Analysis on JDK-8022321 java/lang/ref/ fails intermittently

David Holmes david.holmes at
Tue Jan 7 00:40:28 UTC 2014

Back from vacation ...

On 20/12/2013 4:49 PM, David Holmes wrote:
> On 20/12/2013 12:57 PM, srikalyan chandrashekar wrote:
>> Hi David Thanks for your comments, the unguarded part(clean and enqueue)
>> in the Reference Handler thread does not seem to create any new objects,
>> so it is the application(the test in this case) which is adding objects
>> to heap and causing the Reference Handler to die with OOME.
> The ReferenceHandler thread can only get OOME if it allocates (directly
> or indirectly) - so there has to be something in the unguarded part that
> causes this. Again it may be an implicit action in the VM - similar to
> the class load issue for InterruptedException.

Run a debug VM with -XX:+TraceExceptions to see where the OOME is triggered.


> David
> I am still
>> unsure about the side effects of the code change and agree with your
>> thoughts(on memory exhaustion test's reliability).
>> PS: hotspot dev alias removed from CC.
>> --
>> Thanks
>> kalyan
>> On 12/19/13 5:08 PM, David Holmes wrote:
>>> Hi Kalyan,
>>> This is not a hotspot issue so I'm moving this to core-libs, please
>>> drop hotspot from any replies.
>>> On 20/12/2013 6:26 AM, srikalyan wrote:
>>>> Hi all,  I have been working on the bug JDK-8022321
>>>> <> , this is a sporadic
>>>> failure and the webrev is available here
>>> I'm really not sure what to make of this. We have a test that triggers
>>> an out-of-memory condition but the OOME can actually turn up in the
>>> ReferenceHandler thread causing it to terminate and the test to fail.
>>> We previously accounted for the non-obvious occurrences of OOME due to
>>> the Object.wait and the possible need to load the InterruptedException
>>> class - but still the OOME can appear where we don't want it. So
>>> finally you have just placed the whole for(;;) loop in a
>>> try/catch(OOME) that ignores the OOME. I'm certain that makes the test
>>> happy, but I'm not sure it is really what we want for the
>>> ReferenceHandler thread. If the OOME occurs while cleaning, or
>>> enqueuing then we will fail to clean and/or enqueue but there would be
>>> no indication that has occurred and I think that is a bigger problem
>>> than this test failing.
>>> There may be no way to make this test 100% reliable. In fact I'd
>>> suggest that no memory exhaustion test can be 100% reliable.
>>> David
>>>> *
>>>> **"Root Cause:Still not known"*
>>>> 2 places where there is a possibility for OOME
>>>> 1) Cleaner.clean()
>>>> 2) ReferenceQueue.enqueue()
>>>> 1)  The cleanup code in turn has 2 places where there is potential for
>>>> throwing OOME,
>>>>      a) thunk Thread which is run from clean() method. This Runnable is
>>>> passed to Cleaner and appears in the following classes
>>>>          java/nio/
>>>>          sun/misc/
>>>>          sun/nio/fs/
>>>>          sun/nio/ch/
>>>>          sun/misc/Cleaner/
>>>> However none of the above overridden implementations ever create an
>>>> object in the clean() code.
>>>>      b) new PrivilegedAction created in try catch Exception block of
>>>> clean() method but for this object to be created and to be held
>>>> responsible for OOME an Exception(other than OOME) has to be thrown.
>>>> 2) No new heap objects are created in the enqueue method nor
>>>> anywhere in
>>>> the deep call stack (VM.addFinalRefCount() etc) so this cannot be a
>>>> potential cause.
>>>> *Experimental change to* :
>>>> - Put one more guard (try catch with OOME block) in the Reference
>>>> Handler Thread which may give the Reference Handler a chance to
>>>> cleanup.
>>>> This is fixing the test failure (several 1000 runs with 0 failures)
>>>> - Without the above change the test fails atleast 3-5 times for every
>>>> 1000 run.
>>>> *PS*: The code change is to a very critical part of JDK and i am fully
>>>> not aware of the consequences of the change, hence seeking expert help
>>>> here. Appreciate your time and inputs towards this.

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