How to generate Thread Dump in Java

A Thread dump is list of all the threads active in the JVM, thread dumps are very helpful in analyzing bottlenecks in the application and analyzing deadlock situations.

Here we will learn two ways through which we can generate thread dump for a java program. These instructions are valid for *nix operating systems but in windows the steps might be different.

1. VisualVM Profiler: If you are analyzing application for slowness, you must use a profiler. We can generate thread dump for any process using VisualVM profiler very easily. You just need to right click on the running process and click on “Thread Dump” option to generate it.

2. jstack: Java comes with jstack tool through which we can generate thread dump for a java process. This is a two step process.

  1. Find out the PID of the java process using “ps -eaf | grep java” command
  2. Run jstack tool as “jstack PID” to generate the thread dump output to console, you can append thread dump output to file using command “jstack PID >> mydumps.tdump

In my last post, I explained about java Timer, here is a thread dump generated for the same program using jstack.

2012-12-26 22:28:39
Full thread dump Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (23.5-b02 mixed mode):

"Attach Listener" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d8000000 nid=0x4207 waiting on condition [0x0000000000000000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE

"Timer-0" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d4867000 nid=0x5503 waiting on condition [0x00000001604d9000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: TIMED_WAITING (sleeping)
	at java.lang.Thread.sleep(Native Method)
	at com.journaldev.threads.MyTimerTask.completeTask(MyTimerTask.java:19)
	at com.journaldev.threads.MyTimerTask.run(MyTimerTask.java:12)
	at java.util.TimerThread.mainLoop(Timer.java:555)
	at java.util.TimerThread.run(Timer.java:505)

"Service Thread" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d482c000 nid=0x5303 runnable [0x0000000000000000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE

"C2 CompilerThread1" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d482b800 nid=0x5203 waiting on condition [0x0000000000000000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE

"C2 CompilerThread0" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d4829800 nid=0x5103 waiting on condition [0x0000000000000000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE

"Signal Dispatcher" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d4828800 nid=0x5003 runnable [0x0000000000000000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE

"Finalizer" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d4812000 nid=0x3f03 in Object.wait() [0x000000015fd26000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: WAITING (on object monitor)
	at java.lang.Object.wait(Native Method)
	- waiting on <0x0000000140a25798> (a java.lang.ref.ReferenceQueue$Lock)
	at java.lang.ref.ReferenceQueue.remove(ReferenceQueue.java:135)
	- locked <0x0000000140a25798> (a java.lang.ref.ReferenceQueue$Lock)
	at java.lang.ref.ReferenceQueue.remove(ReferenceQueue.java:151)
	at java.lang.ref.Finalizer$FinalizerThread.run(Finalizer.java:177)

"Reference Handler" daemon prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d4811800 nid=0x3e03 in Object.wait() [0x000000015fc23000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: WAITING (on object monitor)
	at java.lang.Object.wait(Native Method)
	- waiting on <0x0000000140a25320> (a java.lang.ref.Reference$Lock)
	at java.lang.Object.wait(Object.java:503)
	at java.lang.ref.Reference$ReferenceHandler.run(Reference.java:133)
	- locked <0x0000000140a25320> (a java.lang.ref.Reference$Lock)

"main" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5000800 nid=0x1703 waiting on condition [0x0000000106116000]
   java.lang.Thread.State: TIMED_WAITING (sleeping)
	at java.lang.Thread.sleep(Native Method)
	at com.journaldev.threads.MyTimerTask.main(MyTimerTask.java:33)

"VM Thread" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d480f000 nid=0x3d03 runnable 

"GC task thread#0 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d500d800 nid=0x3503 runnable 

"GC task thread#1 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d500e000 nid=0x3603 runnable 

"GC task thread#2 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5800000 nid=0x3703 runnable 

"GC task thread#3 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5801000 nid=0x3803 runnable 

"GC task thread#4 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5801800 nid=0x3903 runnable 

"GC task thread#5 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5802000 nid=0x3a03 runnable 

"GC task thread#6 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5802800 nid=0x3b03 runnable 

"GC task thread#7 (ParallelGC)" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d5803800 nid=0x3c03 runnable 

"VM Periodic Task Thread" prio=5 tid=0x00007fb7d481e800 nid=0x5403 waiting on condition 

JNI global references: 116

Thread dump is the list of all the threads, every entry shows information about thread which includes following in the order of appearance.

  • Thread Name: Name of the Thread
  • Thread Priority: Priority of the thread
  • Thread ID: Represents the unique ID of the Thread
  • Thread Status: Provides the current thread state, for example RUNNABLE, WAITING, BLOCKED. While analyzing deadlock look for the blocked threads and resources on which they are trying to acquire lock.
  • Thread callstack: Provides the vital stack information for the thread. This is the place where we can see the locks obtained by Thread and if it’s waiting for any lock.

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