Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

How do I attach a profiler to Ant?

I'll admit, I have very little experience working with a profiler - but I think I need one. Someone e-mailed me about testing all of AppFuse on a super-beafy box, and he got OOM errors after 17 minutes. For a dual CPU, 2Ghz Opterons, with 2GB RAM running RHEL3 workstation, it only made it to the Spring/AppGen test, which is #8 of 21. On my PowerBook, it makes it to #12, but my Linux box only make it to #8 too. My guess is there's some sort of memory leak in one of the testing tools - Tomcat, Cargo, WebTest or AppFuse itself.

Anyone have experience attaching a profiler to their Ant build or testing process to look for memory leaks?

Posted in Java at Dec 12 2004, 10:55:35 AM MST 10 Comments

Download YourKit made by ex-Intellij employees. It will tell you the jvm options which you then set in an environment variable ANT_OPTS in your console before launching ant. Colin.

Posted by on December 12, 2004 at 01:57 PM MST #

Your kid doesn't run on OS X. Matt try to increase the memory heap on ant. Mine looks like this for tough tasks and long intense tests: ANT_OPTS="-Xmn400m -Xmx400m -Xms400m -XX:NewRatio=2" hth. R P.S. For profilers I think jprobe work on the Mac.

Posted by Robert S. Sfeir on December 12, 2004 at 07:08 PM MST #

Ummm I meant Your kiT not your kiD :D

Posted by Robert S. Sfeir on December 12, 2004 at 07:09 PM MST #

You could also trying using JRockit. This eliminates the possibly of JVM specific leak and you also get access to profiler capabilities JRockit bundles for free:

Posted by Blogic Blogger on December 12, 2004 at 07:56 PM MST #

I really like OptimizeIt, although I don't have specific Ant instructions. The general idea is to edit ANT_OPTS so you run the JVM with special flags so the profiler can attach to the Ant JVM process. Pretty much any Java profiler should do the trick...just focus on their instructions for connecting to a remote VM (the Ant process). Another thing to try is running the test suite through IDEA 4.5, rather than Ant. IDEA shows a table with memory usage before and after each test. You might be able to see which ones grab the most memory, although this won't be as reliable as a profiler. Finally, do your tearDown() JUnit methods (I'm assuming you are using JUnit) set all private fields to null? When you run a test suite through Ant, all of the tests are constructed and stay in memory. If your tearDown() does not set all refs to null, none of the data will get removed as your tests run.

Posted by Eric Burke on December 12, 2004 at 07:58 PM MST #

I doubt it's a problem with ANT. If you are not using fork="true" in your junit tasks then it all happens in the same JVM, so any singltons may hang around for a while. Using fork="true" may help you solve the problem without understanding what it is/ It's up to you if you think that's a good thing or not. BTW, you could use AOP as a form of profiler, non?

Posted by David Roussel on December 13, 2004 at 06:43 AM MST #

I know I have problems running my own application on Tomcat 4.1.31. I get OutOfMemory errors after I've reloaded it quite a few times. I haven't looked at your build script, but maybe you should start/stop the Tomcat process itself (and not just the web application).

Posted by François Beausoleil on December 13, 2004 at 07:20 AM MST #

Our development team uses JProfiler, which has excellent Mac OS X support, is easy to use, and works better than the leading brand name in terms of usable information displayed.

Posted by Gerry Power on December 13, 2004 at 08:24 AM MST #

I just spent 3 days tracking down a memory leak myself. I didn't have much luck with JProfiler since the leak was very subtle and I needed to have the server run in production for several hours. JProfiler always crashed the jvm before I could collect useful data. If you have a short-lived application, it should work great though. After that I tried Ariadna which looks very promising but doesn't show enough information yet to make it really useful. The author was very open to suggestions though and in time I think this will become a worthy open-source alternative. I finally traced everything without problems using Yourkit. Sadly it doesn't run on OSX, but they do hand out free licenses for open-source projects, which they gave me and all other RIFE developers.

Posted by Geert Bevin on December 13, 2004 at 05:06 PM MST #

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Posted by life of a dred nerd on December 14, 2004 at 10:21 AM MST #

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