RFR: 8222334: java -Xss0 triggers StackOverflowError

David Holmes david.holmes at oracle.com
Fri Apr 12 08:11:50 UTC 2019

Hi Patrick,

First apologies that it took me so long to get my head around this. :) 
Let me summarise the problem as I see it.

The launcher specifies no particular semantics for -Xss0, to it 0 is 
just a very small size. However the VM maps -Xss to -XX:ThreadStackSize 
and for it 0 means "use the platform default stack size".

The launcher examines -Xss because it needs to use it to define the 
stacksize for the initial thread created to launch the VM.

The VM examines -Xss to see what stacksize to use for subsequently 
created threads and it treats 0 as 'use the platform default' and it 
otherwise checks the value against some hardcoded minimums and reports 
an error if it is too small.

The initial thread that loads the VM needs sufficient stack to be able 
to process things to the point where it can determine that the requested 
stacksize is too small and report the error. The value of the minimum 
stack is hardcoded into the launcher, as STACK_SIZE_MINIMUM (64KB). If 
the -Xss value is less than that then it gets set to that.

If no -Xss is specified then the launcher asks the VM for a reasonable 
value to use for the stacksize of the initial thread (typically 1MB).

The problem arises with -Xss0 because this causes the launcher to set an 
initial thread stacksize of STACK_SIZE_MINIMUM, but the VM sees this as 
"use the default" and so does not reject it and tries to continue with 
VM initialization. That can't succeed as we only have a tiny 
STACK_SIZE_MINIMUM stack and so we get StackOverflowError (or fail an 
assert in debug builds).

So the solution, as Patrick proposes, is to treat -Xss0 in the launcher 
as-if -Xss has not been set and so use the VM suggested default for the 
initial thread's stacksize.

So I agree with the functional change here, but have some alternate 
suggestions for additional commentary. Unfortunately I have to step away 
at the moment (its Friday night) so will send that later - sorry.


On 12/04/2019 5:51 pm, Patrick Zhang OS wrote:
> Moved this to core-libs-dev for review, thanks.
> Dropped and bcc'ed jdk-dev and jdk-updates-dev.
> Regards
> Patrick
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Holmes <david.holmes at oracle.com>
> Sent: Friday, April 12, 2019 3:43 PM
> To: Patrick Zhang OS <patrick at os.amperecomputing.com>; jdk-dev at openjdk.java.net
> Cc: jdk-updates-dev at openjdk.java.net
> Subject: Re: RFR: 8222334: java -Xss0 triggers StackOverflowError
> Hi Patrick,
> Please takes this to core-libs-dev for review.
> Thanks,
> David
> On 12/04/2019 5:24 pm, Patrick Zhang OS wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Please review this patch.
>> The problem is that the launcher does a check on the input -Xss and
>> ensure it >=64K for the initial thread, while vm has another function
>> to determine whether the input stack size is big enough to future
>> threads, such as cgc_thread, vm_thread, java_thead etc. However if
>> -Xss0, the initial thread is created with stack size 64K, while others
>> use hotspot/system default sizes, which would trigger
>> StackOverflowError. We could either fine tune the threshold 64K to be
>> a bigger one, or have the initial thread created with system defaults
>> that may be what the user expects. This patch chooses the second
>> solution, to avoid potential side-effect of the first.
>> This can be reproduced with 10, 11, 12 too, so I cc'ed jdk-updates-dev here.
>> More details please refer to the ticket.
>> JBS: https://bugs.openjdk.java.net/browse/JDK-8222334
>> Webrev: http://cr.openjdk.java.net/~qpzhang/8222334/webrev.01/
>> Thanks for David's comments in Jira.
>> Regards
>> Patrick

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