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  1. JDK
  2. JDK-8252500

ZGC on aarch64: Unable to allocate heap for certain Linux kernel configurations



    • Bug
    • Status: Resolved
    • P3
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • 15.0.2, 16
    • 16
    • hotspot
    • None
    • gc
    • b15
    • aarch64
    • linux


      On one of our test devices (a rock64 [1] running Debian GNU/Linux) I am unable to use ZGC due to the heap allocation scheme used by the JVM and the Linux kernel configuration for the device.

      $ uname -a
      Linux rock64-aarch64-1 4.4.190-1233-rockchip-ayufan-gd3f1be0ed310 #1 SMP Wed Aug 28 08:59:34 UTC 2019 aarch64 GNU/Linux
      $ getconf PAGE_SIZE
      $ zcat /proc/config.gz |grep PGTABLE_LEVELS

      The problem is, the Linux kernel is configured to only use 3 pagetable levels, not 4. According to the kernel documentation [2], using 3 pagetable levels and a page size of 4k, the highest virtual address available to userspace programs is 0x007f_ffff_ffff. If 4 pagetable levels are used with 4k pages, the address range is bigger and goes up to 0xffff_ffff_ffff for userspace programs.

      Because of the memory allocation scheme used by ZGC [3], the JVM is not able to allocate the heap if ZGC is used on an aarch64 device, if the Linux kernel is configured to only use 3 pagetable levels with a page size of 4k. According to the documentation, the heap layout is only determined by the size of the Java heap, not by the capabilities of the device. On the rock64, which has 4GB of RAM, the JVM only tries to allocate the heap on addresses > 0x0400_0000_0000, which is well beyond the maximum address for userspace programs. Because of this, the JVM terminates during startup, because it is unable to allocate the heap, even though there are still more than 3 GB of RAM available.

      $ free -m
               total used free shared buff/cache available
      Mem: 3986 56 3714 18 215 3880
      Swap: 0 0 0

      [1] https://www.pine64.org/devices/single-board-computers/rock64/
      [2] https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/arm64/memory.txt
      [3] https://hg.openjdk.java.net/jdk/jdk/file/3123bebd1eff/src/hotspot/cpu/aarch64/gc/z/zGlobals_aarch64.cpp


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              cgo Christoph Göttschkes
              cgo Christoph Göttschkes
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