HotSpot JVM Options

There are a number of parameters/options you can provide while creating a Java HotSpot VM.
The options fall under the following 3 categories:

  • Standard – To list out the standard options do: java -help

    abhi@abhiltlnx(~)# java -help
    Usage: java [-options] class [args...]
    (to execute a class)
    or  java [-options] -jar jarfile [args...]
    (to execute a jar file)
    where options include:
    -d32          use a 32-bit data model if available
    -d64          use a 64-bit data model if available
    -client       to select the "client" VM
    -server       to select the "server" VM
    -hotspot      is a synonym for the "client" VM  [deprecated]
    The default VM is client.
    A : separated list of directories, JAR archives,
    and ZIP archives to search for class files.
    set a system property
    enable verbose output
    -version      print product version and exit
    require the specified version to run
    -showversion  print product version and continue
    -jre-restrict-search | -jre-no-restrict-search
    include/exclude user private JREs in the version search
    -? -help      print this help message
    -X            print help on non-standard options
    enable assertions
    disable assertions
    -esa | -enablesystemassertions
    enable system assertions
    -dsa | -disablesystemassertions
    disable system assertions
    load native agent library , e.g. -agentlib:hprof
    see also, -agentlib:jdwp=help and -agentlib:hprof=help
    load native agent library by full pathname
    load Java programming language agent, see java.lang.instrument
    show splash screen with specified image
  • Non-Standard – To list them out do: java -X

    abhi@abhiltlnx(~)# java -X
    -Xmixed           mixed mode execution (default)
    -Xint             interpreted mode execution only
    set search path for bootstrap classes and resources
    append to end of bootstrap class path
    prepend in front of bootstrap class path
    -Xnoclassgc       disable class garbage collection
    -Xincgc           enable incremental garbage collection
    -Xloggc:    log GC status to a file with time stamps
    -Xbatch           disable background compilation
    -Xms        set initial Java heap size
    -Xmx        set maximum Java heap size
    -Xss        set java thread stack size
    -Xprof            output cpu profiling data
    -Xfuture          enable strictest checks, anticipating future default
    -Xrs              reduce use of OS signals by Java/VM (see documentation)
    -Xcheck:jni       perform additional checks for JNI functions
    -Xshare:off       do not attempt to use shared class data
    -Xshare:auto      use shared class data if possible (default)
    -Xshare:on        require using shared class data, otherwise fail.
    The -X options are non-standard and subject to change without notice.
  • Hidden – Well as the name suggests, they are hidden. These options typically have a -XX prefix

To learn more about the HotSpot JVM options –

I found a great resource that lists various JVM versions and the corresponding options.


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