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

srikalyan chandrashekar srikalyan.chandrashekar at
Fri Dec 20 02:57:48 UTC 2013

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. 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.


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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