RFR: 8222334: java -Xss0 triggers StackOverflowError

David Holmes david.holmes at oracle.com
Sun Apr 14 22:55:20 UTC 2019

Hi Patrick,

Please see:


for my suggested updates to the commentary. Note that 
GetDefaultJavaVMInitArgs returns the build-time default stack sizes and 
so will only return 0 (for "use the system default") on Windows. It is 
not affected by -XX:ThreadStackSize=n as that only gets processed when 
the JVM is actually loaded.


On 12/04/2019 6:11 pm, David Holmes wrote:
> 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.
> Thanks,
> David
> 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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