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Analysing GC logs (the output from running the JVM with the -verbosegc flag or the equivalent flags that produce similar output) is probably one of the most frequently attempted tasks in Java. So, considering how many commercial Java profilers there are, you'd think there would be many commercial tools to analyse GC logs. But extraordinarily, I believe the very first one has only now been released (by jClarity). If you know of other commercial ones, please do tell me!

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That's not to say this is the first GC log analyser. Over the years we've had many tools that have tried to analyse GC logs. Sun (before it became part of Oracle) actually published at least three separate tools (gchisto, PrintGCStats and GCPortal) they developed in house over the years, none of which are still live (I've listed all the GC log analysis tools I know of, including the dead ones, in the tools section below). Oracle, to my knowledge, isn't supporting any tool in this space. On the other hand IBM supports two free GC log analysers, and HP supports one! And there are a plethora of others started by various ambitious individuals - the best known is probably Hendrik Schreiber's GCViewer, for which we published a tool report years ago. Hendrik stopped supporting that in 2008, though there is now a new github version which seems to be up to date.

The new jClarity offering, Censum, was originally created as a brain dump from my colleague (and occasional contributor to the Java Performance Tuning site), Kirk Pepperdine. I believe the jClarity guys have all added their own brains into there too, so it's going to be an interesting tool.

Now on to all our usual links, including those GC log analysis tools, news, articles and, as ever, all the extracted tips from all of this month's referenced articles.

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Jack Shirazi

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