Java Platform, Standard Edition Tools Reference
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java

Launches a Java application.

Synopsis

java [options] classname [args]

java [options] -jar filename [args]

javaw [options] classname [args]

javaw [options] -jar filename [args]

options

Command-line options separated by spaces. See Options.

classname

The name of the class to be launched.

filename

The name of the Java Archive (JAR) file to be called. Used only with the -jar option.

args

The arguments passed to the main() method separated by spaces.

Description

The java command starts a Java application. It does this by starting the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), loading the specified class, and calling that class's main() method. The method must be declared public and static, it must not return any value, and it must accept a String array as a parameter. The method declaration has the following form:

public static void main(String[] args)

The java command can be used to launch a JavaFX application by loading a class that either has a main() method or that extends javafx.application.Application. In the latter case, the launcher constructs an instance of the Application class, calls its init() method, and then calls the start(javafx.stage.Stage) method.

By default, the first argument that is not an option of the java command is the fully qualified name of the class to be called. If the -jar option is specified, its argument is the name of the JAR file containing class and resource files for the application. The startup class must be indicated by the Main-Class manifest header in its source code.

The JRE searches for the startup class (and other classes used by the application) in three sets of locations: the bootstrap class path, the installed extensions, and the user's class path.

Arguments after the class file name or the JAR file name are passed to the main() method.

The javaw command is identical to java, except that with javaw there is no associated console window. Use javaw when you do not want a command prompt window to appear. The javaw launcher will, however, display a dialog box with error information if a launch fails.

Options

The java command supports a wide range of options that can be divided into the following categories:

Standard options are guaranteed to be supported by all implementations of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). They are used for common actions, such as checking the version of the JRE, setting the class path, enabling verbose output, and so on.

Non-standard options are general purpose options that are specific to the Java HotSpot Virtual Machine, so they are not guaranteed to be supported by all JVM implementations, and are subject to change. These options start with -X.

Advanced options are not recommended for casual use. These are developer options used for tuning specific areas of the Java HotSpot Virtual Machine operation that often have specific system requirements and may require privileged access to system configuration parameters. They are also not guaranteed to be supported by all JVM implementations, and are subject to change. Advanced options start with -XX.

To keep track of the options that were deprecated or removed in the latest release, there is a section named Deprecated and Removed Options at the end of the document.

Boolean options are used to either enable a feature that is disabled by default or disable a feature that is enabled by default. Such options do not require a parameter. Boolean -XX options are enabled using the plus sign (-XX:+OptionName) and disabled using the minus sign (-XX:-OptionName).

For options that require an argument, the argument may be separated from the option name by a space, a colon (:), or an equal sign (=), or the argument may directly follow the option (the exact syntax differs for each option). If you are expected to specify the size in bytes, you can use no suffix, or use the suffix k or K for kilobytes (KB), m or M for megabytes (MB), g or G for gigabytes (GB). For example, to set the size to 8 GB, you can specify either 8g, 8192m, 8388608k, or 8589934592 as the argument. If you are expected to specify the percentage, use a number from 0 to 1 (for example, specify 0.25 for 25%).

Standard Options

These are the most commonly used options that are supported by all implementations of the JVM.

-agentlib:libname[=options]

Loads the specified native agent library. After the library name, a comma-separated list of options specific to the library can be used.

If the option -agentlib:foo is specified, then the JVM attempts to load the library named foo.dll in the location specified by the PATH system variable.

The following example shows how to load the heap profiling tool (HPROF) library and get sample CPU information every 20 ms, with a stack depth of 3:

-agentlib:hprof=cpu=samples,interval=20,depth=3

The following example shows how to load the Java Debug Wire Protocol (JDWP) library and listen for the socket connection on port 8000, suspending the JVM before the main class loads:

-agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,address=8000

For more information about the native agent libraries, refer to the following:

-agentpath:pathname[=options]

Loads the native agent library specified by the absolute path name. This option is equivalent to -agentlib but uses the full path and file name of the library.

-client

Selects the Java HotSpot Client VM. The 64-bit version of the Java SE Development Kit (JDK) currently ignores this option and instead uses the Server JVM.

For default JVM selection, see Server-Class Machine Detection at
http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/vm/server-class.html

-Dproperty=value

Sets a system property value. The property variable is a string with no spaces that represents the name of the property. The value variable is a string that represents the value of the property. If value is a string with spaces, then enclose it in quotation marks (for example -Dfoo="foo bar").

-disableassertions[:[packagename]...|:classname]
-da[:[packagename]...|:classname]

Disables assertions. By default, assertions are disabled in all packages and classes.

With no arguments, -disableassertions (-da) disables assertions in all packages and classes. With the packagename argument ending in ..., the switch disables assertions in the specified package and any subpackages. If the argument is simply ..., then the switch disables assertions in the unnamed package in the current working directory. With the classname argument, the switch disables assertions in the specified class.

The -disableassertions (-da) option applies to all class loaders and to system classes (which do not have a class loader). There is one exception to this rule: if the option is provided with no arguments, then it does not apply to system classes. This makes it easy to disable assertions in all classes except for system classes. The -disablesystemassertions option enables you to disable assertions in all system classes.

To explicitly enable assertions in specific packages or classes, use the -enableassertions (-ea) option. Both options can be used at the same time. For example, to run the MyClass application with assertions enabled in package com.wombat.fruitbat (and any subpackages) but disabled in class com.wombat.fruitbat.Brickbat, use the following command:

java -ea:com.wombat.fruitbat... -da:com.wombat.fruitbat.Brickbat MyClass
-disablesystemassertions
-dsa

Disables assertions in all system classes.

-enableassertions[:[packagename]...|:classname]
-ea[:[packagename]...|:classname]

Enables assertions. By default, assertions are disabled in all packages and classes.

With no arguments, -enableassertions (-ea) enables assertions in all packages and classes. With the packagename argument ending in ..., the switch enables assertions in the specified package and any subpackages. If the argument is simply ..., then the switch enables assertions in the unnamed package in the current working directory. With the classname argument, the switch enables assertions in the specified class.

The -enableassertions (-ea) option applies to all class loaders and to system classes (which do not have a class loader). There is one exception to this rule: if the option is provided with no arguments, then it does not apply to system classes. This makes it easy to enable assertions in all classes except for system classes. The -enablesystemassertions option provides a separate switch to enable assertions in all system classes.

To explicitly disable assertions in specific packages or classes, use the -disableassertions (-da) option. If a single command contains multiple instances of these switches, then they are processed in order before loading any classes. For example, to run the MyClass application with assertions enabled only in package com.wombat.fruitbat (and any subpackages) but disabled in class com.wombat.fruitbat.Brickbat, use the following command:

java -ea:com.wombat.fruitbat... -da:com.wombat.fruitbat.Brickbat MyClass
-enablesystemassertions
-esa

Enables assertions in all system classes.

-help
-?

Displays usage information for the java command without actually running the JVM.

-jar filename

Executes a program encapsulated in a JAR file. The filename argument is the name of a JAR file with a manifest that contains a line in the form Main-Class:classname that defines the class with the public static void main(String[] args) method that serves as your application's starting point.

When you use the -jar option, the specified JAR file is the source of all user classes, and other class path settings are ignored.

For more information about JAR files, see the following resources:

-javaagent:jarpath[=options]

Loads the specified Java programming language agent. For more information about instrumenting Java applications, see the java.lang.instrument package description in the Java API documentation at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/java/lang/instrument/package-summary.html

-jre-restrict-search

Includes user-private JREs in the version search.

-no-jre-restrict-search

Excludes user-private JREs from the version search.

-server

Selects the Java HotSpot Server VM. The 64-bit version of the JDK supports only the Server VM, so in that case the option is implicit.

For default JVM selection, see Server-Class Machine Detection at
http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/vm/server-class.html

-showversion

Displays version information and continues execution of the application. This option is equivalent to the -version option except that the latter instructs the JVM to exit after displaying version information.

-splash:imgname

Shows the splash screen with the image specified by imgname. For example, to show the splash.gif file from the images directory when starting your application, use the following option:

-splash:images/splash.gif
-verbose:class

Displays information about each loaded class.

-verbose:gc

Displays information about each garbage collection (GC) event.

-verbose:jni

Displays information about the use of native methods and other Java Native Interface (JNI) activity.

-version

Displays version information and then exits. This option is equivalent to the -showversion option except that the latter does not instruct the JVM to exit after displaying version information.

-version:release

Specifies the release version to be used for running the application. If the version of the java command called does not meet this specification and an appropriate implementation is found on the system, then the appropriate implementation will be used.

The release argument specifies either the exact version string, or a list of version strings and ranges separated by spaces. A version string is the developer designation of the version number in the following form: 1.x.0_u (where x is the major version number, and u is the update version number). A version range is made up of a version string followed by a plus sign (+) to designate this version or later, or a part of a version string followed by an asterisk (*) to designate any version string with a matching prefix. Version strings and ranges can be combined using a space for a logical OR combination, or an ampersand (&) for a logical AND combination of two version strings/ranges. For example, if running the class or JAR file requires either JRE 6u13 (1.6.0_13), or any JRE 6 starting from 6u10 (1.6.0_10), specify the following:

-version:"1.6.0_13 1.6* & 1.6.0_10+"

Quotation marks are necessary only if there are spaces in the release parameter.

For JAR files, the preference is to specify version requirements in the JAR file manifest rather than on the command line.

Non-Standard Options

These options are general purpose options that are specific to the Java HotSpot Virtual Machine.

-X

Displays help for all available -X options.

-Xbatch

Disables background compilation. By default, the JVM compiles the method as a background task, running the method in interpreter mode until the background compilation is finished. The -Xbatch flag disables background compilation so that compilation of all methods proceeds as a foreground task until completed.

This option is equivalent to -XX:-BackgroundCompilation.

-Xbootclasspath:path

Specifies a list of directories, JAR files, and ZIP archives separated by semicolons (;) to search for boot class files. These are used in place of the boot class files included in the JDK.

Do not deploy applications that use this option to override a class in rt.jar, because this violates the JRE binary code license.

-Xbootclasspath/a:path

Specifies a list of directories, JAR files, and ZIP archives separated by semicolons (;) to append to the end of the default bootstrap class path.

Do not deploy applications that use this option to override a class in rt.jar, because this violates the JRE binary code license.

-Xbootclasspath/p:path

Specifies a list of directories, JAR files, and ZIP archives separated by semicolons (;) to prepend to the front of the default bootstrap class path.

Do not deploy applications that use this option to override a class in rt.jar, because this violates the JRE binary code license.

-Xcheck:jni

Performs additional checks for Java Native Interface (JNI) functions. Specifically, it validates the parameters passed to the JNI function and the runtime environment data before processing the JNI request. Any invalid data encountered indicates a problem in the native code, and the JVM will terminate with an irrecoverable error in such cases. Expect a performance degradation when this option is used.

-Xcomp

Forces compilation of methods on first invocation. By default, the Client VM (-client) performs 1,000 interpreted method invocations and the Server VM (-server) performs 10,000 interpreted method invocations to gather information for efficient compilation. Specifying the -Xcomp option disables interpreted method invocations to increase compilation performance at the expense of efficiency.

You can also change the number of interpreted method invocations before compilation using the -XX:CompileThreshold option.

-Xdebug

Does nothing. Provided for backward compatibility.

-Xdiag

Shows additional diagnostic messages.

-Xfuture

Enables strict class-file format checks that enforce close conformance to the class-file format specification. Developers are encouraged to use this flag when developing new code because the stricter checks will become the default in future releases.

-Xint

Runs the application in interpreted-only mode. Compilation to native code is disabled, and all bytecode is executed by the interpreter. The performance benefits offered by the just in time (JIT) compiler are not present in this mode.

-Xinternalversion

Displays more detailed JVM version information than the -version option, and then exits.

-Xloggc:filename

Sets the file to which verbose GC events information should be redirected for logging. The information written to this file is similar to the output of -verbose:gc with the time elapsed since the first GC event preceding each logged event. The -Xloggc option overrides -verbose:gc if both are given with the same java command.

Example:

-Xloggc:garbage-collection.log
-Xmaxjitcodesize=size

Specifies the maximum code cache size (in bytes) for JIT-compiled code. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the value is set to 48 MB:

-Xmaxjitcodesize=48m

This option is equivalent to -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize.

-Xmixed

Executes all bytecode by the interpreter except for hot methods, which are compiled to native code.

-Xmnsize

Sets the initial and maximum size (in bytes) of the heap for the young generation (nursery). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes.

The young generation region of the heap is used for new objects. GC is performed in this region more often than in other regions. If the size for the young generation is too small, then a lot of minor garbage collections will be performed. If the size is too large, then only full garbage collections will be performed, which can take a long time to complete. Oracle recommends that you keep the size for the young generation between a half and a quarter of the overall heap size.

The following examples show how to set the initial and maximum size of young generation to 256 MB using various units:

-Xmn256m
-Xmn262144k
-Xmn268435456

Instead of the -Xmn option to set both the initial and maximum size of the heap for the young generation, you can use -XX:NewSize to set the initial size and -XX:MaxNewSize to set the maximum size.

-Xmssize

Sets the initial size (in bytes) of the heap. This value must be a multiple of 1024 and greater than 1 MB. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes.

The following examples show how to set the size of allocated memory to 6 MB using various units:

-Xms6291456
-Xms6144k
-Xms6m

If you do not set this option, then the initial size will be set as the sum of the sizes allocated for the old generation and the young generation. The initial size of the heap for the young generation can be set using the -Xmn option or the -XX:NewSize option.

-Xmxsize

Specifies the maximum size (in bytes) of the memory allocation pool in bytes. This value must be a multiple of 1024 and greater than 2 MB. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value is chosen at runtime based on system configuration. For server deployments, -Xms and -Xmx are often set to the same value. For more information, see Garbage Collector Ergonomics at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/vm/gc-ergonomics.html

The following examples show how to set the maximum allowed size of allocated memory to 80 MB using various units:

-Xmx83886080
-Xmx81920k
-Xmx80m

The -Xmx option is equivalent to -XX:MaxHeapSize.

-Xnoclassgc

Disables garbage collection (GC) of classes. This can save some GC time, which shortens interruptions during the application run.

When you specify -Xnoclassgc at startup, the class objects in the application will be left untouched during GC and will always be considered live. This can result in more memory being permanently occupied which, if not used carefully, will throw an out of memory exception.

-Xprof

Profiles the running program and sends profiling data to standard output. This option is provided as a utility that is useful in program development and is not intended to be used in production systems.

-Xrs

Reduces the use of operating system signals by the JVM.

Shutdown hooks enable orderly shutdown of a Java application by running user cleanup code (such as closing database connections) at shutdown, even if the JVM terminates abruptly.

The JVM watches for console control events to implement shutdown hooks for unexpected termination. Specifically, the JVM registers a console control handler that begins shutdown-hook processing and returns TRUE for CTRL_C_EVENT, CTRL_CLOSE_EVENT, CTRL_LOGOFF_EVENT, and CTRL_SHUTDOWN_EVENT.

The JVM uses a similar mechanism to implement the feature of dumping thread stacks for debugging purposes. The JVM uses CTRL_BREAK_EVENT to perform thread dumps.

If the JVM is run as a service (for example, as a servlet engine for a web server), then it can receive CTRL_LOGOFF_EVENT but should not initiate shutdown because the operating system will not actually terminate the process. To avoid possible interference such as this, the -Xrs option can be used. When the -Xrs option is used, the JVM does not install a console control handler, implying that it does not watch for or process CTRL_C_EVENT, CTRL_CLOSE_EVENT, CTRL_LOGOFF_EVENT, or CTRL_SHUTDOWN_EVENT.

There are two consequences of specifying -Xrs:

  • Ctrl + Break thread dumps are not available.

  • User code is responsible for causing shutdown hooks to run, for example, by calling System.exit() when the JVM is to be terminated.

-Xshare:mode

Sets the class data sharing mode. Possible mode arguments for this option include the following:

auto

Use shared class data if possible. This is the default value for Java HotSpot 32-Bit Client VM.

on

Require the use of class data sharing. Print an error message and exit if class data sharing cannot be used.

off

Do not use shared class data. This is the default value for Java HotSpot 32-Bit Server VM, Java HotSpot 64-Bit Client VM, and Java HotSpot 64-Bit Server VM.

dump

Manually generate the class data sharing archive.

-XshowSettings:category

Shows settings and continues. Possible category arguments for this option include the following:

all

Shows all categories of settings. This is the default value.

locale

Shows settings related to locale.

properties

Shows settings related to system properties.

vm

Shows the settings of the JVM.

-Xsssize

Sets the thread stack size (in bytes). Append the letter k or K to indicate KB, m or M to indicate MB, g or G to indicate GB. The default value depends on the platform:

  • Linux/ARM (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Linux/i386 (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Linux/x64 (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • OS X (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • Oracle Solaris/i386 (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Oracle Solaris/x64 (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • Windows: depends on virtual memory

The following examples set the thread stack size to 1024 KB in different units:

-Xss1m
-Xss1024k
-Xss1048576

This option is equivalent to -XX:ThreadStackSize.

-Xverify:mode

Sets the mode of the bytecode verifier. Bytecode verification helps to troubleshoot some problems, but it also adds overhead to the running application. Possible mode arguments for this option include the following:

none

Do not verify the bytecode. This reduces startup time and also reduces the protection provided by Java.

remote

Verify only those classes that are loaded remotely over the network. This is the default behavior if you do not specify the -Xverify option.

all

Verify all classes.

Advanced Runtime Options

These options control the runtime behavior of the Java HotSpot VM.

-XX:+DisableAttachMechanism

Enables the option that disables the mechanism that lets tools attach to the JVM. By default, this option is disabled, meaning that the attach mechanism is enabled and you can use tools such as jcmd, jstack, jmap, and jinfo.

-XX:ErrorFile=filename

Specifies the path and file name to which error data is written when an irrecoverable error occurs. By default, this file is created in the current working directory and named hs_err_pidpid.log where pid is the identifier of the process that caused the error. The following example shows how to set the default log file (note that the identifier of the process is specified as %p):

-XX:ErrorFile=./hs_err_pid%p.log

The following example shows how to set the error log file to C:/log/java/java_error.log:

-XX:ErrorFile=C:/log/java/java_error.log

If the file cannot be created in the specified directory (due to insufficient space, permission problem, or another issue), then the file is created in the temporary directory for the operating system. The temporary directory is specified by the value of the TMP environment variable; if that environment variable is not defined, then the value of the TEMP environment variable is used.

-XX:+FlightRecorder

Enables the use of the Java Flight Recorder (JFR) during the runtime of the application. This is a commercial feature that requires you to also specify the -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures option as follows:

java -XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures -XX:+FlightRecorder
-XX:FlightRecorderOptions=parameter=value

Sets the parameters that control the behavior of JFR. This option can be used only when JFR is enabled (that is, the -XX:+FlightRecorder option is specified).

The following list contains all available JFR parameters:

defaultrecording={true|false}

Specifies whether the recording is a continuous background recording or if it runs for a limited time. By default, this parameter is set to false (recording runs for a limited time). To make the recording run continuously, set the parameter to true.

disk={true|false}

Specifies whether JFR should write a continuous recording to disk. By default, this parameter is set to false (continuous recording to disk is disabled). To enable it, set the parameter to true, and also set defaultrecording=true.

dumponexit={true|false}

Specifies whether a dump file of JFR data should be generated when the JVM terminates in a controlled manner. By default, this parameter is set to false (dump file on exit is not generated). To enable it, set the parameter to true, and also set defaultrecording=true.

The dump file is written to the location defined by the dumponexitpath parameter.

dumponexitpath=path

Specifies the path and name of the dump file with JFR data that is created when the JVM exits in a controlled manner if you set the dumponexit=true parameter. Setting the path makes sense only if you also set defaultrecording=true.

If the specified path is a directory, the JVM assigns a file name that shows the creation date and time. If the specified path includes a file name and if that file already exists, the JVM creates a new file by appending the date and time stamp to the specified file name.

globalbuffersize=size

Specifies the total amount of primary memory (in bytes) used for data retention. Append k or K, to specify the size in KB, m or M to specify the size in MB, g or G to specify the size in GB. By default, the size is set to 462848 bytes.

loglevel={quiet|error|warning|info|debug|trace}

Specify the amount of data written to the log file by JFR. By default, it is set to info.

maxage=time

Specifies the maximum age of disk data to keep for the default recording. Append s to specify the time in seconds, m for minutes, h for hours, or d for days (for example, specifying 30s means 30 seconds). By default, the maximum age is set to 15 minutes (15m).

This parameter is valid only if you set the disk=true parameter.

maxchunksize=size

Specifies the maximum size (in bytes) of the data chunks in a recording. Append k or K, to specify the size in KB, m or M to specify the size in MB, g or G to specify the size in GB. By default, the maximum size of data chunks is set to 12 MB.

maxsize=size

Specifies the maximum size (in bytes) of disk data to keep for the default recording. Append k or K, to specify the size in KB, m or M to specify the size in MB, g or G to specify the size in GB. By default, the maximum size of disk data is not limited, and this parameter is set to 0.

This parameter is valid only if you set the disk=true parameter.

repository=path

Specifies the repository (a directory) for temporary disk storage. By default, the system's temporary directory is used.

samplethreads={true|false}

Specifies whether thread sampling is enabled. Thread sampling occurs only if the sampling event is enabled along with this parameter. By default, this parameter is enabled.

settings=path

Specifies the path and name of the event settings file (of type JFC). By default, the default.jfc file is used, which is located in JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/jfr.

stackdepth=depth

Stack depth for stack traces by JFR. By default, the depth is set to 64 method calls. The maximum is 2048, minimum is 1.

threadbuffersize=size

Specifies the per-thread local buffer size (in bytes). Append k or K, to specify the size in KB, m or M to specify the size in MB, g or G to specify the size in GB. Higher values for this parameter allow more data gathering without contention to flush it to the global storage. It can increase application footprint in a thread-rich environment. By default, the local buffer size is set to 5 KB.

You can specify values for multiple parameters by separating them with a comma. For example, to instruct JFR to write a continuous recording to disk, and set the maximum size of data chunks to 10 MB, specify the following:

-XX:FlightRecorderOptions=defaultrecording=true,disk=true,maxchunksize=10M
-XX:LargePageSizeInBytes=size

Sets the maximum size (in bytes) for large pages used for Java heap. The size argument must be a power of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, ...). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the size is set to 0, meaning that the JVM chooses the size for large pages automatically.

The following example illustrates how to set the large page size to 4 megabytes (MB):

-XX:LargePageSizeInBytes=4m
-XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=size

Sets the maximum total size (in bytes) of the New I/O (the java.nio package) direct-buffer allocations. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the size is set to 0, meaning that the JVM chooses the size for NIO direct-buffer allocations automatically.

The following examples illustrate how to set the NIO size to 1024 KB in different units:

-XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=1m
-XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=1024k
-XX:MaxDirectMemorySize=1048576
-XX:NativeMemoryTracking=mode

Specifies the mode for tracking JVM native memory usage. Possible mode arguments for this option include the following:

off

Do not track JVM native memory usage. This is the default behavior if you do not specify the -XX:NativeMemoryTracking option.

summary

Only track memory usage by JVM subsystems, such as Java heap, class, code, and thread.

detail

In addition to tracking memory usage by JVM subsystems, track memory usage by individual CallSite, individual virtual memory region and its committed regions.

-XX:OnError=string

Sets a custom command or a series of semicolon-separated commands to run when an irrecoverable error occurs. If the string contains spaces, then it must be enclosed in quotation marks.

The following example shows how the -XX:OnError option can be used to run the userdump.exe utility to obtain a crash dump in case of an irrecoverable error (the %p designates the current process):

-XX:OnError="userdump.exe %p"

The preceding example assumes that the path to the userdump.exe utility is specified in the PATH environment variable.

-XX:OnOutOfMemoryError=string

Sets a custom command or a series of semicolon-separated commands to run when an OutOfMemoryError exception is first thrown. If the string contains spaces, then it must be enclosed in quotation marks. For an example of a command string, see the description of the -XX:OnError option.

-XX:+PrintCommandLineFlags

Enables printing of ergonomically selected JVM flags that appeared on the command line. It can be useful to know the ergonomic values set by the JVM, such as the heap space size and the selected garbage collector. By default, this option is disabled and flags are not printed.

-XX:+PrintNMTStatistics

Enables printing of collected native memory tracking data at JVM exit when native memory tracking is enabled (see -XX:NativeMemoryTracking). By default, this option is disabled and native memory tracking data is not printed.

-XX:+ShowMessageBoxOnError

Enables displaying of a dialog box when the JVM experiences an irrecoverable error. This prevents the JVM from exiting and keeps the process active so that you can attach a debugger to it to investigate the cause of the error. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:StartFlightRecording=parameter=value

Starts a JFR recording for the Java application. This option is equivalent to the JFR.start diagnostic command that starts a recording during runtime. You can set the following parameters when starting a JFR recording:

compress={true|false}

Specifies whether to compress the JFR recording log file (of type JFR) on the disk using the gzip file compression utility. This parameter is valid only if the filename parameter is specified. By default it is set to false (recording is not compressed). To enable compression, set the parameter to true.

defaultrecording={true|false}

Specifies whether the recording is a continuous background recording or if it runs for a limited time. By default, this parameter is set to false (recording runs for a limited time). To make the recording run continuously, set the parameter to true.

delay=time

Specifies the delay between the Java application launch time and the start of the recording. Append s to specify the time in seconds, m for minutes, h for hours, or d for days (for example, specifying 10m means 10 minutes). By default, there is no delay, and this parameter is set to 0.

duration=time

Specifies the duration of the recording. Append s to specify the time in seconds, m for minutes, h for hours, or d for days (for example, specifying 5h means 5 hours). By default, the duration is not limited, and this parameter is set to 0.

filename=path

Specifies the path and name of the JFR recording log file.

name=identifier

Specifies the identifier for the JFR recording. By default, it is set to Recording x.

maxage=time

Specifies the maximum age of disk data to keep for the default recording. Append s to specify the time in seconds, m for minutes, h for hours, or d for days (for example, specifying 30s means 30 seconds). By default, the maximum age is set to 15 minutes (15m).

maxsize=size

Specifies the maximum size (in bytes) of disk data to keep before it is flushed from the thread buffer to the global buffer. Append k or K, to specify the size in KB, m or M to specify the size in MB, g or G to specify the size in GB. By default, the maximum size is not limited, and this parameter is set to 0.

This parameter is valid only for size-bound recordings.

settings=path

Specifies the path and name of the event settings file (of type JFC). By default, the default.jfc file is used, which is located in JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/jfr.

You can specify values for multiple parameters by separating them with a comma. For example, to save the recording to test.jfr in the current working directory, and instruct JFR to compress the log file, specify the following:

-XX:StartFlightRecording=filename=test.jfr,compress=true
-XX:ThreadStackSize=size

Sets the thread stack size (in bytes). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value depends on the platform:

  • Linux/ARM (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Linux/i386 (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Linux/x64 (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • OS X (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • Oracle Solaris/i386 (32-bit): 320 KB

  • Oracle Solaris/x64 (64-bit): 1024 KB

  • Windows: depends on virtual memory

The following examples show how to set the thread stack size to 1024 KB in different units:

-XX:ThreadStackSize=1m
-XX:ThreadStackSize=1024k
-XX:ThreadStackSize=1048576

This option is equivalent to -Xss.

-XX:+TraceClassLoading

Enables tracing of classes as they are loaded. By default, this option is disabled and classes are not traced.

-XX:+TraceClassLoadingPreorder

Enables tracing of all loaded classes in the order in which they are referenced. By default, this option is disabled and classes are not traced.

-XX:+TraceClassResolution

Enables tracing of constant pool resolutions. By default, this option is disabled and constant pool resolutions are not traced.

-XX:+TraceClassUnloading

Enables tracing of classes as they are unloaded. By default, this option is disabled and classes are not traced.

-XX:+TraceLoaderConstraints

Enables tracing of the loader constraints recording. By default, this option is disabled and loader constraints recoding is not traced.

-XX:+UnlockCommercialFeatures

Enables the use of commercial features. Commercial features are included with Oracle Java SE Advanced or Oracle Java SE Suite packages, as defined on the Java SE Products page at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/terms/products/index.html

By default, this option is disabled and the JVM runs without the commercial features. Once they were enabled for a JVM process, it is not possible to disable their use for that process.

-XX:+UseBiasedLocking

Enables the use of biased locking. Some applications with significant amounts of uncontended synchronization may attain significant speedups with this flag enabled, whereas applications with certain patterns of locking may see slowdowns. For more information about the biased locking technique, see the example in Java Tuning White Paper at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/tuning-139912.html#section4.2.5

By default, this option is disabled and biased locking is not used.

-XX:+UseCompressedOops

Enables the use of compressed pointers. When this option is enabled, object references are represented as 32-bit offsets instead of 64-bit pointers, which typically increases performance when running the application with Java heap sizes less than 32 GB. This option works only for 64-bit JVMs.

By default, this option is disabled and compressed pointers are not used.

-XX:+UseLargePages

Enables the use of large page memory. By default, this option is disabled and large page memory is not used.

For more information, see Java Support for Large Memory Pages at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/tech/largememory-jsp-137182.html

-XX:+UseMembar

Enables issuing of membars on thread state transitions. This option is disabled by default on all platforms except Power PC and ARM servers, where it is enabled. To disable issuing of membars on thread state transitions for Power PC and ARM, specify -XX:-UseMembar.

-XX:+UsePerfData

Enables the perfdata feature. This option is enabled by default to allow JVM monitoring and performance testing. Disabling it suppresses the creation of the hsperfdata_userid directories. To disable the perfdata feature, specify -XX:-UsePerfData.

Advanced JIT Compiler Options

These options control the dynamic just-in-time (JIT) compilation performed by the Java HotSpot VM.

-XX:+AggressiveOpts

Enables the use of aggressive performance optimization features, which are expected to become default in upcoming releases. By default, this option is disabled and experimental performance features are not used.

-XX:AllocateInstancePrefetchLines=lines

Sets the number of lines to prefetch ahead of the instance allocation pointer. By default, the number of lines to prefetch is set to 1:

-XX:AllocateInstancePrefetchLines=1
-XX:AllocatePrefetchInstr=instruction

Sets the prefetch instruction to prefetch ahead of the allocation pointer. Possible values are from 0 to 3. The actual instructions behind the values depend on the platform. By default, the prefetch instruction is set to 0:

-XX:AllocatePrefetchInstr=0
-XX:AllocatePrefetchStepSize=size

Sets the step size (in bytes) for sequential prefetch instructions. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the step size is set to 16 bytes:

-XX:AllocatePrefetchStepSize=16
-XX:+BackgroundCompilation

Enables background compilation. This option is enabled by default. To disable background compilation, specify -XX:-BackgroundCompilation (this is equivalent to specifying -Xbatch).

-XX:CICompilerCount=threads

Sets the number of compiler threads to use for compilation. By default, the number of threads is set to 2 for the server JVM, to 1 for the client JVM, and it scales to the number of cores if tiered compilation is used. The following example shows how to set the number of threads to 2:

-XX:CICompilerCount=2
-XX:CodeCacheMinimumFreeSpace=size

Sets the minimum free space (in bytes) required for compilation. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. When less than the minimum free space remains, compiling stops. By default, this option is set to 500 KB. The following example shows how to set the minimum free space to 1024 MB:

-XX:CodeCacheMinimumFreeSpace=1024m
-XX:CompileCommand=command,method[,option]

Specifies a command to perform on a method. For example, to exclude the indexOf() method of the String class from being compiled, use the following:

-XX:CompileCommand=exclude,java/lang/String.indexOf

Note that the full class name is specified, including all packages and subpackages separated by a slash (/). For easier cut and paste operations, it is also possible to use the method name format produced by the -XX:+PrintCompilation and -XX:+LogCompilation options:

-XX:CompileCommand=exclude,java.lang.String::indexOf

If the method is specified without the signature, the command will be applied to all methods with the specified name. However, you can also specify the signature of the method in the class file format. In this case, you should enclose the arguments in quotation marks, because otherwise the shell treats the semicolon as command end. For example, if you want to exclude only the indexOf(String) method of the String class from being compiled, use the following:

-XX:CompileCommand="exclude,java/lang/String.indexOf,(Ljava/lang/String;)I"

You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard for class and method names. For example, to exclude all indexOf() methods in all classes from being compiled, use the following:

-XX:CompileCommand=exclude,*.indexOf

The commas and periods are aliases for spaces, making it easier to pass compiler commands through a shell. You can pass arguments to -XX:CompileCommand using spaces as separators by enclosing the argument in quotation marks:

-XX:CompileCommand="exclude java/lang/String indexOf"

Note that after parsing the commands passed on the command line using the -XX:CompileCommand options, the JIT compiler then reads commands from the .hotspot_compiler file. You can add commands to this file or specify a different file using the -XX:CompileCommandFile option.

To add several commands, either specify the -XX:CompileCommand option multiple times, or separate each argument with the newline separator (\n). The following commands are available:

break

Set a breakpoint when debugging the JVM to stop at the beginning of compilation of the specified method.

compileonly

Exclude all methods from compilation except for the specified method. As an alternative, you can use the -XX:CompileOnly option, which allows to specify several methods.

dontinline

Prevent inlining of the specified method.

exclude

Exclude the specified method from compilation.

help

Print a help message for the -XX:CompileCommand option.

inline

Attempt to inline the specified method.

log

Exclude compilation logging (with the -XX:+LogCompilation option) for all methods except for the specified method. By default, logging is performed for all compiled methods.

option

This command can be used to pass a JIT compilation option to the specified method in place of the last argument (option). The compilation option is set at the end, after the method name. For example, to enable the BlockLayoutByFrequency option for the append() method of the StringBuffer class, use the following:

-XX:CompileCommand=option,java/lang/StringBuffer.append,BlockLayoutByFrequency

You can specify multiple compilation options, separated by commas or spaces.

print

Print generated assembler code after compilation of the specified method.

quiet

Do not print the compile commands. By default, the commands that you specify with the -XX:CompileCommand option are printed; for example, if you exclude from compilation the indexOf() method of the String class, then the following will be printed to standard output:

CompilerOracle: exclude java/lang/String.indexOf

You can suppress this by specifying the -XX:CompileCommand=quiet option before other -XX:CompileCommand options.

-XX:CompileCommandFile=filename

Sets the file from which JIT compiler commands are read. By default, the .hotspot_compiler file is used to store commands performed by the JIT compiler.

Each line in the command file represents a command, a class name, and a method name for which the command is used. For example, this line prints assembly code for the toString() method of the String class:

print java/lang/String toString

For more information about specifying the commands for the JIT compiler to perform on methods, see the -XX:CompileCommand option.

-XX:CompileOnly=methods

Sets the list of methods (separated by commas) to which compilation should be restricted. Only the specified methods will be compiled. Specify each method with the full class name (including the packages and subpackages). For example, to compile only the length() method of the String class and the size() method of the List class, use the following:

-XX:CompileOnly=java/lang/String.length,java/util/List.size

Note that the full class name is specified, including all packages and subpackages separated by a slash (/). For easier cut and paste operations, it is also possible to use the method name format produced by the -XX:+PrintCompilation and -XX:+LogCompilation options:

-XX:CompileOnly=java.lang.String::length,java.util.List::size

Although wildcards are not supported, you can specify only the class or package name to compile all methods in that class or package, as well as specify just the method to compile methods with this name in any class:

-XX:CompileOnly=java/lang/String
-XX:CompileOnly=java/lang
-XX:CompileOnly=.length
-XX:CompileThreshold=invocations

Sets the number of interpreted method invocations before compilation. By default, in the server JVM, the JIT compiler performs 10,000 interpreted method invocations to gather information for efficient compilation. For the client JVM, the default setting is 1,500 invocations. The following example shows how to set the number of interpreted method invocations to 5,000:

-XX:CompileThreshold=5000

You can completely disable interpretation of Java methods before compilation by specifying the -Xcomp option.

-XX:+DoEscapeAnalysis

Enables the use of escape analysis. This option is enabled by default. To disable the use of escape analysis, specify -XX:-DoEscapeAnalysis.

-XX:+FailOverToOldVerifier

Enables automatic failover to the old verifier when the new type checker fails. By default, this option is disabled and it is ignored (that is, treated as disabled) for classes with a recent bytecode version. You can enable it for classes with older versions of the bytecode.

-XX:InitialCodeCacheSize=size

Sets the initial code cache size (in bytes). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value is set to 500 KB. The following example shows how to set the initial code cache size to 32 KB:

-XX:InitialCodeCacheSize=32k
-XX:+Inline

Enables method inlining. This option is enabled by default to increase performance. To disable method inlining, specify -XX:-Inline.

-XX:InlineSmallCode=size

Sets the maximum code size (in bytes) for compiled methods that should be inlined. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. Only compiled methods with the size smaller than the specified size will be inlined. By default, the maximum code size is set to 1000 bytes:

-XX:InlineSmallCode=1000
-XX:+LogCompilation

Enables logging of compilation activity to a file named hotspot.log in the current working directory. You can specify a different log file path and name using the -XX:LogFile option.

By default, this option is disabled and compilation activity is not logged. The -XX:+LogCompilation option has to be used together with the -XX:UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions option that unlocks diagnostic JVM options.

You can enable verbose diagnostic output with a message printed to the console every time a method is compiled by using the -XX:+PrintCompilation option.

-XX:MaxInlineSize=size

Sets the maximum bytecode size (in bytes) of a method to be inlined. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the maximum bytecode size is set to 35 bytes:

-XX:MaxInlineSize=35
-XX:MaxNodeLimit=nodes

Sets the maximum number of nodes to be used during single method compilation. By default, the maximum number of nodes is set to 65,000:

-XX:MaxNodeLimit=65000
-XX:MaxTrivialSize=size

Sets the maximum bytecode size (in bytes) of a trivial method to be inlined. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. By default, the maximum bytecode size of a trivial method is set to 6 bytes:

-XX:MaxTrivialSize=6
-XX:+OptimizeStringConcat

Enables the optimization of String concatenation operations. This option is enabled by default. To disable the optimization of String concatenation operations, specify -XX:-OptimizeStringConcat.

-XX:+PrintAssembly

Enables printing of assembly code for bytecoded and native methods by using the external disassembler.so library. This enables you to see the generated code, which may help you to diagnose performance issues.

By default, this option is disabled and assembly code is not printed. The -XX:+PrintAssembly option has to be used together with the -XX:UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions option that unlocks diagnostic JVM options.

-XX:+PrintCompilation

Enables verbose diagnostic output from the JVM by printing a message to the console every time a method is compiled. This enables you to see which methods actually get compiled. By default, this option is disabled and diagnostic output is not printed.

You can also log compilation activity to a file by using the -XX:+LogCompilation option.

-XX:+PrintInlining

Enables printing of inlining decisions. This enables you to see which methods are getting inlined.

By default, this option is disabled and inlining information is not printed. The -XX:+PrintInlining option has to be used together with the -XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions option that unlocks diagnostic JVM options.

-XX:+RelaxAccessControlCheck

Decreases the amount of access control checks in the verifier. By default, this option is disabled, and it is ignored (that is, treated as disabled) for classes with a recent bytecode version. You can enable it for classes with older versions of the bytecode.

-XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=size

Sets the maximum code cache size (in bytes) for JIT-compiled code. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. This option is equivalent to -Xmaxjitcodesize.

-XX:+TieredCompilation

Enables the use of tiered compilation. By default, this option is disabled and tiered compilation is not used.

-XX:+UseCodeCacheFlushing

Enables flushing of the code cache before shutting down the compiler. This option is enabled by default. To disable flushing of the code cache before shutting down the compiler, specify -XX:-UseCodeCacheFlushing.

-XX:+UseCondCardMark

Enables checking of whether the card is already marked before updating the card table. This option is disabled by default and should only be used on machines with multiple sockets, where it will increase performance of Java applications that rely heavily on concurrent operations.

-XX:+UseSuperWord

Enables the transformation of scalar operations into superword operations. This option is enabled by default. To disable the transformation of scalar operations into superword operations, specify -XX:-UseSuperWord.

Advanced Serviceability Options

These options provide the ability to gather system information and perform extensive debugging.

-XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemory

Enables the dumping of the Java heap to a file in the current directory by using the heap profiler (HPROF) when a java.lang.OutOfMemoryError exception is thrown. You can explicitly set the heap dump file path and name using the -XX:HeapDumpPath option. By default, this option is disabled and the heap is not dumped when an OutOfMemoryError exception is thrown.

-XX:HeapDumpPath=path

Sets the path and file name for writing the heap dump provided by the heap profiler (HPROF) when the -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError option is set. By default, the file is created in the current working directory, and it is named java_pidpid.hprof where pid is the identifier of the process that caused the error. The following example shows how to set the default file explicitly (%p represents the current process identificator):

-XX:HeapDumpPath=./java_pid%p.hprof

The following example shows how to set the heap dump file to C:/log/java/java_heapdump.log:

-XX:HeapDumpPath=C:/log/java/java_heapdump.log
-XX:LogFile=path

Sets the path and file name where log data is written. By default, the file is created in the current working directory, and it is named hotspot.log.

The following example shows how to set the log file to C:/log/java/hotspot.log:

-XX:LogFile=C:/log/java/hotspot.log
-XX:+PrintClassHistogram

Enables printing of a class instance histogram after a Control+Break event. By default, this option is disabled.

Setting this option is equivalent to running the jmap -histo command, or the jcmd pid GC.class_histogram command, where pid is the current Java process identifier.

-XX:+PrintConcurrentLocks

Enables printing of java.util.concurrent locks after a Control+Break event. By default, this option is disabled.

Setting this option is equivalent to running the jstack -l command or the jcmd pid Thread.print -l command, where pid is the current Java process identifier.

-XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions

Unlocks the options intended for diagnosing the JVM. By default, this option is disabled and diagnostic options are not available.

Advanced Garbage Collection Options

These options control how garbage collection (GC) is performed by the Java HotSpot VM.

-XX:+AggressiveHeap

Enables Java heap optimization. This sets various parameters to be optimal for long-running jobs with intensive memory allocation, based on the configuration of the computer (RAM and CPU). By default, the option is disabled and the heap is not optimized.

-XX:AllocatePrefetchDistance=size

Sets the size (in bytes) of the prefetch distance for object allocation. Memory about to be written with the value of new objects is prefetched up to this distance starting from the address of the last allocated object. Each Java thread has its own allocation point.

Negative values denote that prefetch distance is chosen based on the platform. Positive values are bytes to prefetch. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value is set to -1.

The following example shows how to set the prefetch distance to 1024 bytes:

-XX:AllocatePrefetchDistance=1024
-XX:AllocatePrefetchLines=lines

Sets the number of cache lines to load after the last object allocation by using the prefetch instructions generated in compiled code. The default value is 1 if the last allocated object was an instance, and 3 if it was an array.

The following example shows how to set the number of loaded cache lines to 5:

-XX:AllocatePrefetchLines=5
-XX:AllocatePrefetchStyle=style

Sets the generated code style for prefetch instructions. The style argument is an integer from 0 to 3:

0

Do not generate prefetch instructions.

1

Execute prefetch instructions after each allocation. This is the default parameter.

2

Use the thread-local allocation block (TLAB) watermark pointer to determine when prefetch instructions are executed.

3

Use BIS instruction on SPARC for allocation prefetch.

-XX:+AlwaysPreTouch

Enables touching of every page on the Java heap during JVM initialization. This gets all pages into the memory before entering the main() method. The option can be used in testing to simulate a long-running system with all virtual memory mapped to physical memory. By default, this option is disabled and all pages are committed as JVM heap space fills.

-XX:+CMSClassUnloadingEnabled

Enables class unloading when using the concurrent mark-sweep (CMS) garbage collector. This option is enabled by default. To disable class unloading for the CMS garbage collector, specify -XX:-CMSClassUnloadingEnabled.

-XX:CMSExpAvgFactor=percent

Sets the percentage of time (0 to 100) used to weight the current sample when computing exponential averages for the concurrent collection statistics. By default, the exponential averages factor is set to 25%. The following example shows how to set the factor to 15%:

-XX:CMSExpAvgFactor=15
-XX:CMSInitiatingOccupancyFraction=percent

Sets the percentage of the old generation occupancy (0 to 100) at which to start a CMS collection cycle. The default value is set to -1. Any negative value (including the default) implies that -XX:CMSTriggerRatio is used to define the value of the initiating occupancy fraction.

The following example shows how to set the occupancy fraction to 20%:

-XX:CMSInitiatingOccupancyFraction=20
-XX:+CMSScavengeBeforeRemark

Enables scavenging attempts before the CMS remark step. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:CMSTriggerRatio=percent

Sets the percentage (0 to 100) of the value specified by -XX:MinHeapFreeRatio that is allocated before a CMS collection cycle commences. The default value is set to 80%.

The following example shows how to set the occupancy fraction to 75%:

-XX:CMSTriggerRatio=75
-XX:ConcGCThreads=threads

Sets the number of threads used for concurrent GC. The default value depends on the number of CPUs available to the JVM.

For example, to set the number of threads for concurrent GC to 2, specify the following option:

-XX:ConcGCThreads=2
-XX:+DisableExplicitGC

Enables the option that disables processing of calls to System.gc(). This option is disabled by default, meaning that calls to System.gc() are processed. If processing of calls to System.gc() is disabled, the JVM still performs GC when necessary.

-XX:+ExplicitGCInvokesConcurrent

Enables invoking of concurrent GC by using the System.gc() request. This option is disabled by default and can be enabled only together with the -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC option.

-XX:+ExplicitGCInvokesConcurrentAndUnloadsClasses

Enables invoking of concurrent GC by using the System.gc() request and unloading of classes during the concurrent GC cycle. This option is disabled by default and can be enabled only together with the -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC option.

-XX:G1HeapRegionSize=size

Sets the size of the regions into which the Java heap is subdivided when using the garbage-first (G1) collector. The value can be between 1 MB and 32 MB. The default region size is determined ergonomically based on the heap size.

The following example shows how to set the size of the subdivisions to 16 MB:

-XX:G1HeapRegionSize=16m
-XX:+G1PrintHeapRegions

Enables the printing of information about which regions are allocated and which are reclaimed by the G1 collector. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:G1ReservePercent=percent

Sets the percentage of the heap (0 to 50) that is reserved as a false ceiling to reduce the possibility of promotion failure for the G1 collector. By default, this option is set to 10%.

The following example shows how to set the reserved heap to 20%:

-XX:G1ReservePercent=20
-XX:InitialHeapSize=size

Sets the initial size (in bytes) of the memory allocation pool. This value must be either 0, or a multiple of 1024 and greater than 1 MB. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value is chosen at runtime based on system configuration. For more information, see Garbage Collector Ergonomics at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/vm/gc-ergonomics.html

The following examples show how to set the size of allocated memory to 6 MB using various units:

-XX:InitialHeapSize=6291456
-XX:InitialHeapSize=6144k
-XX:InitialHeapSize=6m

If you set this option to 0, then the initial size will be set as the sum of the sizes allocated for the old generation and the young generation. The size of the heap for the young generation can be set using the -XX:NewSize option.

-XX:InitialSurvivorRatio=ratio

Sets the initial survivor space ratio used by the throughput garbage collector (which is enabled by the -XX:+UseParallelGC and/or -XX:+UseParallelOldGC options). Adaptive sizing is enabled by default with the throughput garbage collector by using the -XX:+UseParallelGC and -XX:+UseParallelOldGC options, and survivor space is resized according to the application behavior, starting with the initial value. If adaptive sizing is disabled (using the -XX:-UseAdaptiveSizePolicy option), then the -XX:SurvivorRatio option should be used to set the size of the survivor space for the entire execution of the application.

The following formula can be used to calculate the initial size of survivor space (S) based on the size of the young generation (Y), and the initial survivor space ratio (R):

S=Y/(R+2)

The 2 in the equation denotes two survivor spaces. The larger the value specified as the initial survivor space ratio, the smaller the initial survivor space size.

By default, the initial survivor space ratio is set to 8. If the default value for the young generation space size is used (2 MB), the initial size of the survivor space will be 0.2 MB.

The following example shows how to set the initial survivor space ratio to 4:

-XX:InitialSurvivorRatio=4
-XX:InitiatingHeapOccupancyPercent=percent

Sets the percentage of the heap occupancy (0 to 100) at which to start a concurrent GC cycle. It is used by garbage collectors that trigger a concurrent GC cycle based on the occupancy of the entire heap, not just one of the generations (for example, the G1 garbage collector).

By default, the initiating value is set to 45%. A value of 0 implies nonstop GC cycles. The following example shows how to set the initiating heap occupancy to 75%:

-XX:InitiatingHeapOccupancyPercent=75
-XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=time

Sets a target for the maximum GC pause time (in milliseconds). This is a soft goal, and the JVM will make its best effort to achieve it. By default, there is no maximum pause time value.

The following example shows how to set the maximum target pause time to 500 ms:

-XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=500
-XX:MaxHeapSize=size

Sets the maximum size (in byes) of the memory allocation pool. This value must be a multiple of 1024 and greater than 2 MB. Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. The default value is chosen at runtime based on system configuration. For server deployments, -XX:InitialHeapSize and -XX:MaxHeapSize are often set to the same value. For more information, see Garbage Collector Ergonomics at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/vm/gc-ergonomics.html

The following examples show how to set the maximum allowed size of allocated memory to 80 MB using various units:

-XX:MaxHeapSize=83886080
-XX:MaxHeapSize=81920k
-XX:MaxHeapSize=80m

The -XX:MaxHeapSize option is equivalent to -Xmx.

-XX:MaxHeapFreeRatio=percent

Sets the maximum allowed percentage of free heap space (0 to 100) after a GC event. If free heap space expands above this value, then the heap will be shrunk. By default, this value is set to 70%.

The following example shows how to set the maximum free heap ratio to 75%:

-XX:MaxHeapFreeRatio=75
-XX:MaxMetaspaceSize=size

Sets the maximum amount of native memory that can be allocated for class metadata. By default, the size is not limited. The amount of metadata for an application depends on the application itself, other running applications, and the amount of memory available on the system.

The following example shows how to set the maximum class metadata size to 256 MB:

-XX:MaxMetaspaceSize=256m
-XX:MaxNewSize=size

Sets the maximum size (in bytes) of the heap for the young generation (nursery). The default value is set ergonomically.

-XX:MaxTenuringThreshold=threshold

Sets the maximum tenuring threshold for use in adaptive GC sizing. The largest value is 15. The default value is 15 for the parallel (throughput) collector, and 6 for the CMS collector.

The following example shows how to set the maximum tenuring threshold to 10:

-XX:MaxTenuringThreshold=10
-XX:MetaspaceSize=size

Sets the size of the allocated class metadata space that will trigger a garbage collection the first time it is exceeded. This threshold for a garbage collection is increased or decreased depending on the amount of metadata used. The default size depends on the platform.

-XX:MinHeapFreeRatio=percent

Sets the minimum allowed percentage of free heap space (0 to 100) after a GC event. If free heap space falls below this value, then the heap will be expanded. By default, this value is set to 40%.

The following example shows how to set the minimum free heap ratio to 25%:

-XX:MinHeapFreeRatio=25
-XX:NewRatio=ratio

Sets the ratio between young and old generation sizes. By default, this option is set to 2. The following example shows how to set the young/old ratio to 1:

-XX:NewRatio=1
-XX:NewSize=size

Sets the initial size (in bytes) of the heap for the young generation (nursery). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes.

The young generation region of the heap is used for new objects. GC is performed in this region more often than in other regions. If the size for the young generation is too low, then a large number of minor GCs will be performed. If the size is too high, then only full GCs will be performed, which can take a long time to complete. Oracle recommends that you keep the size for the young generation between a half and a quarter of the overall heap size.

The following examples show how to set the initial size of young generation to 256 MB using various units:

-XX:NewSize=256m
-XX:NewSize=262144k
-XX:NewSize=268435456

The -XX:NewSize option is equivalent to -Xmn.

-XX:ParallelGCThreads=threads

Sets the number of threads used for parallel garbage collection in the young and old generations. The default value depends on the number of CPUs available to the JVM.

For example, to set the number of threads for parallel GC to 2, specify the following option:

-XX:ParallelGCThreads=2
-XX:+ParallelRefProcEnabled

Enables parallel reference processing. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintAdaptiveSizePolicy

Enables printing of information about adaptive generation sizing. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGC

Enables printing of messages at every GC. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGCApplicationConcurrentTime

Enables printing of how much time elapsed since the last pause (for example, a GC pause). By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGCApplicationStoppedTime

Enables printing of how much time the pause (for example, a GC pause) lasted. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX+PrintGCDateStamp

Enables printing of a date stamp at every GC. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGCDetails

Enables printing of detailed messages at every GC. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGCTaskTimeStamps

Enables printing of time stamps for every individual GC worker thread task. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintGCTimeStamp

Enables printing of time stamps at every GC. By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+PrintTenuringDistribution

Enables printing of tenuring age information. The following is an example of the output:

Desired survivor size 48286924 bytes, new threshold 10 (max 10)
- age 1: 28992024 bytes, 28992024 total
- age 2: 1366864 bytes, 30358888 total
- age 3: 1425912 bytes, 31784800 total
...

Age 1 objects are the youngest survivors (they were created after the previous scavenge, survived the latest scavenge, and moved from eden to survivor space). Age 2 objects have survived two scavenges (during the second scavenge they were copied from one survivor space to the next). And so on.

In the preceding example, 28 992 024 bytes survived one scavenge and were copied from eden to survivor space, 1 366 864 bytes are occupied by age 2 objects, etc. The third value in each row is the cumulative size of objects of age n or less.

By default, this option is disabled.

-XX:+ScavengeBeforeFullGC

Enables GC of the young generation before each full GC. This option is enabled by default. Oracle recommends that you do not disable it, because scavenging the young generation before a full GC can reduce the number of objects reachable from the old generation space into the young generation space. To disable GC of the young generation before each full GC, specify -XX:-ScavengeBeforeFullGC.

-XX:SoftRefLRUPolicyMSPerMB=time

Sets the amount of time (in milliseconds) a softly reachable object is kept active on the heap after the last time it was referenced. The default value is one second of lifetime per free megabyte in the heap. The -XX:SoftRefLRUPolicyMSPerMB option accepts integer values representing milliseconds per one megabyte of the current heap size (for Java HotSpot Client VM) or the maximum possible heap size (for Java HotSpot Server VM). This difference means that the Client VM tends to flush soft references rather than grow the heap, whereas the Server VM tends to grow the heap rather than flush soft references. In the latter case, the value of the -Xmx option has a significant effect on how quickly soft references are garbage collected.

The following example shows how to set the value to 2.5 seconds:

-XX:SoftRefLRUPolicyMSPerMB=2500
-XX:SurvivorRatio=ratio

Sets the ratio between eden space size and survivor space size. By default, this option is set to 8. The following example shows how to set the eden/survivor space ratio to 4:

-XX:SurvivorRatio=4
-XX:TargetSurvivorRatio=percent

Sets the desired percentage of survivor space (0 to 100) used after young garbage collection. By default, this option is set to 50%.

The following example shows how to set the target survivor space ratio to 30%:

-XX:TargetSurvivorRatio=30
-XX:TLABSize=size

Sets the initial size (in bytes) of a thread-local allocation buffer (TLAB). Append the letter k or K to indicate kilobytes, m or M to indicate megabytes, g or G to indicate gigabytes. If this option is set to 0, then the JVM chooses the initial size automatically.

The following example shows how to set the initial TLAB size to 512 KB:

-XX:TLABSize=512k
-XX:+UseAdaptiveSizePolicy

Enables the use of adaptive generation sizing. This option is enabled by default. To disable adaptive generation sizing, specify -XX:-UseAdaptiveSizePolicy and set the size of the memory allocation pool explicitly (see the -XX:SurvivorRatio option).

-XX:+UseCMSInitiatingOccupancyOnly

Enables the use of the occupancy value as the only criterion for initiating the CMS collector. By default, this option is disabled and other criteria may be used.

-XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC

Enables the use of the CMS garbage collector for the old generation. Oracle recommends that you use the CMS garbage collector when application latency requirements cannot be met by the throughput (-XX:+UseParallelGC) garbage collector. The G1 garbage collector (-XX:+UseG1GC) is another alternative.

By default, this option is disabled and the collector is chosen automatically based on the configuration of the machine and type of the JVM. When this option is enabled, the -XX:+UseParNewGC option is automatically set and you should not disable it, because the following combination of options has been deprecated in JDK 8: -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:-UseParNewGC.

-XX:+UseG1GC

Enables the use of the G1 garbage collector. It is a server-style garbage collector, targeted for multiprocessor machines with a large amount of RAM. It meets GC pause time goals with high probability, while maintaining good throughput. The G1 collector is recommended for applications requiring large heaps (sizes of around 6 GB or larger) with limited GC latency requirements (stable and predictable pause time below 0.5 seconds).

By default, this option is disabled and the collector is chosen automatically based on the configuration of the machine and type of the JVM.

-XX:+UseGCOverheadLimit

Enables the use of a policy that limits the proportion of time spent by the JVM on GC before an OutOfMemoryError exception is thrown. This option is enabled, by default and the parallel GC will throw an OutOfMemoryError if more than 98% of the total time is spent on garbage collection and less than 2% of the heap is recovered. When the heap is small, this feature can be used to prevent applications from running for long periods of time with little or no progress. To disable this option, specify -XX:-UseGCOverheadLimit.

-XX:+UseNUMA

Enables performance optimization of an application on a machine with nonuniform memory architecture (NUMA) by increasing the application's use of lower latency memory. By default, this option is disabled and no optimization for NUMA is made. The option is only available when the parallel garbage collector is used (-XX:+UseParallelGC).

-XX:+UseParallelGC

Enables the use of the parallel scavenge garbage collector (also known as the throughput collector) to improve the performance of your application by leveraging multiple processors.

By default, this option is disabled and the collector is chosen automatically based on the configuration of the machine and type of the JVM. If it is enabled, then the -XX:+UseParallelOldGC option is automatically enabled, unless you explicitly disable it.

-XX:+UseParallelOldGC

Enables the use of the parallel garbage collector for full GCs. By default, this option is disabled. Enabling it automatically enables the -XX:+UseParallelGC option.

-XX:+UseParNewGC

Enables the use of parallel threads for collection in the young generation. By default, this option is disabled. It is automatically enabled when you set the -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC option. Using the -XX:+UseParNewGC option without the -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC option was deprecated in JDK 8.

-XX:+UseSerialGC

Enables the use of the serial garbage collector. This is generally the best choice for small and simple applications that do not require any special functionality from garbage collection. By default, this option is disabled and the collector is chosen automatically based on the configuration of the machine and type of the JVM.

-XX:+UseTLAB

Enables the use of thread-local allocation blocks (TLABs) in the young generation space. This option is enabled by default. To disable the use of TLABs, specify -XX:-UseTLAB.

Deprecated and Removed Options

These options were included in the previous release, but have since been considered unnecessary.

-Xincgc

Enables incremental garbage collection. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement.

-Xrunlibname

Loads the specified debugging/profiling library. This option was superseded by the -agentlib option.

-XX:CMSIncrementalDutyCycle=percent

Sets the percentage of time (0 to 100) between minor collections that the concurrent collector is allowed to run. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, following the deprecation of the -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode option.

-XX:CMSIncrementalDutyCycleMin=percent

Sets the percentage of time (0 to 100) between minor collections that is the lower bound for the duty cycle when -XX:+CMSIncrementalPacing is enabled. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, following the deprecation of the -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode option.

-XX:+CMSIncrementalMode

Enables the incremental mode for the CMS collector. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, along with other options that start with CMSIncremental.

-XX:CMSIncrementalOffset=percent

Sets the percentage of time (0 to 100) by which the incremental mode duty cycle is shifted to the right within the period between minor collections. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, following the deprecation of the -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode option.

-XX:+CMSIncrementalPacing

Enables automatic adjustment of the incremental mode duty cycle based on statistics collected while the JVM is running. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, following the deprecation of the -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode option.

-XX:CMSIncrementalSafetyFactor=percent

Sets the percentage of time (0 to 100) used to add conservatism when computing the duty cycle. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement, following the deprecation of the -XX:+CMSIncrementalMode option.

-XX:CMSInitiatingPermOccupancyFraction=percent

Sets the percentage of the permanent generation occupancy (0 to 100) at which to start a GC. This option was deprecated in JDK 8 with no replacement.

-XX:MaxPermSize=size

Sets the maximum permanent generation space size (in bytes). This option was deprecated in JDK 8, and superseded by the -XX:MaxMetaspaceSize option.

-XX:PermSize=size

Sets the space (in bytes) allocated to the permanent generation that triggers a garbage collection if it is exceeded. This option was deprecated un JDK 8, and superseded by the -XX:MetaspaceSize option.

-XX:+UseSplitVerifier

Enables splitting of the verification process. By default, this option was enabled in the previous releases, and verification was split into two phases: type referencing (performed by the compiler) and type checking (performed by the JVM runtime). This option was deprecated in JDK 8, and verification is now split by default without a way to disable it.

-XX:+UseStringCache

Enables caching of commonly allocated strings. This option was removed from JDK 8 with no replacement.

Performance Tuning Examples

The following examples show how to use experimental tuning flags to either optimize throughput or to provide lower response time.

Example 1Tuning for Higher Throughput
java -d64 -server -XX:+AggressiveOpts -XX:+UseLargePages -Xmn10g  -Xms26g -Xmx26g
Example 2Tuning for Lower Response Time
java -d64 -XX:+UseG1GC -Xms26g Xmx26g -XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=500 -XX:+PrintGCTimeStamp

Exit Status

The following exit values are typically returned by the launcher when the launcher is called with the wrong arguments, serious errors, or exceptions thrown by the JVM. However, a Java application may choose to return any value by using the API call System.exit(exitValue). The values are:

  • 0: Successful completion

  • >0: An error occurred

See Also

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