Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Heap size limitation on Windows

For 32 bit Windows systems, the OS support 2GB address space. However, the maximum leap size that a JVM can allocate is less than 2GB. This is caused by the way the JDK DLLs are rebased.

For JDK1.3, the heap size is around 1.2GB. Here is a dump of the DLL layout for JDK1.3.0 using listdlls.exe

Base Size Path
0x00400000 0x5000 d:\jdk1.3\bin\java.exe
0x503f0000 0x10b000 d:\jdk1.3\jre\bin\hotspot\jvm.dll
0x50220000 0x7000 d:\jdk1.3\jre\bin\hpi.dll
0x50380000 0xd000 d:\jdk1.3\jre\bin\verify.dll
0x50250000 0x17000 d:\jdk1.3\jre\bin\java.dll
0x50390000 0xd000 d:\jdk1.3\jre\bin\zip.dll
0x6bd00000 0x21000 C:\WINNT\System32\cwbaudll.dll
0x77f60000 0x5e000 C:\WINNT\System32\ntdll.dll
0x77dc0000 0x3f000 C:\WINNT\system32\ADVAPI32.dll
0x77f00000 0x5e000 C:\WINNT\system32\KERNEL32.dll
0x77e70000 0x54000 C:\WINNT\system32\USER32.dll
0x77ed0000 0x2c000 C:\WINNT\system32\GDI32.dll
0x77e10000 0x57000 C:\WINNT\system32\RPCRT4.dll
0x78000000 0x40000 C:\WINNT\system32\MSVCRT.dll
0x77fd0000 0x2a000 C:\WINNT\System32\WINMM.dll

So that leaves 0x50000000 - 0x00400000 = 1276MB contiguous address space. Run the following command:
rebase.exe -b 0x6D000000 \jdk1.3\jre\bin\*.dll \jdk1.3\jre\bin\hotspot\jvm.dll

It will increase the heap size to around 1.65GB.

Compare that to the listdlls output for jdk1.5, which allows around 1.45GB heap size (with JDK1.4.2, -Xmx1200M is the maximum)
0x00400000 0xc000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\bin\java.exe
0x6d6b0000 0x189000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\jre\bin\client\jvm.dll
0x6d2f0000 0x8000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\jre\bin\hpi.dll
0x6d680000 0xc000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\jre\bin\verify.dll
0x6d370000 0x1d000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\jre\bin\java.dll
0x6d6a0000 0xf000 5.00.0040.0005 D:\jdk1.5\jre\bin\zip.dll

rebase.exe is from Visual Studio.
listdlls.exe is from


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