What Is JVM Stack?

This section describes what are JVM stacks. One stack is created for each thread to hold frames which store local variables, partial results of currently executing nested methods.

What Is JVM (Java Virtual Machine) Stack? A JVM stack, also called thread stack, is a data area in the JVM memory created for a single execution thread. The JVM stack of a thread is used by the thread to store local variables, partial results, and data for method invocations and returns.

What Is a Stack Frame? A JVM stack data area is actually organized as a stack of frames. The life cycle of a frame looks like this:

What Is a StackOverflowError? A StackOverflowError is an exception thrown by a thread, when it's stack has no more room to add a new frame to make the next method call. You may use the JVM -Xss option to increase JVM stack size to avoid StackOverflowError exceptions.

When there are too many threads running, the memory area reserved to allocate JVM stacks may also become full, resulting an OutOfMemoryError exception. Unfortunately, I don't see any JVM option to increase the JVM stack area to avoid OutOfMemoryError exceptions.

The picture below illustrates the JVM stack area, stacks and frames:
One JVM Stack for Each Thread

Last update: 2014.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Downloading and Installing JDK 1.8.0 on Windows

 Downloading and Installing JDK 1.7.0 on Windows

 java.lang.Runtime Class - The JVM Instance

 java.lang.System Class - The Operating System

 ClassLoader Class - Class Loaders

 Class Class - Class Reflections

 Sun's JVM - Java HotSpot VM

 JRockit JVM 28.2.7 by Oracle Corporation

 JVM Runtime Data Areas

 Memory Management and Garbage Collectors

 Garbage Collection Tests

JVM Stack, Frame and Stack Overflow

What Is JVM Stack?

 StackOverflowError Exception Test

 -Xss JVM Option for Stack Size

 Frame Impact of Extra Statements

 JVM Stack Expansion and Footprint

 JVM Stack Expansion and OutOfMemoryError

 Largest Stack Size for HotSpot on Windows

 Default Stack Sizes of HotSpot and JRockit

 JRockit Frame Size Smaller than HotSpot

 JRockit Expanding Stacks in Bigger Chunks

 JRockit Running Out Of Memory Quicker

 Largest Stack Size for JRockit on Windows

 Thread Testing Program and Result

 CPU Impact of Multi-Thread Applications

 I/O Impact of Multi-Thread Applications

 CDS (Class Data Sharing)

 Micro Benchmark Runner and JVM Options

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "int" Operations

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "long" Operations

 Micro Benchmark Tests in JIT Compilation Mode

 Micro Benchmark Tests on "float" and "double" Operations

 Outdated Tutorials


 PDF Printing Version