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Inspecting JIT compiled assembly code in Oracle JVM

21 June 2015

JVM is one of the most well engineered piece of software. Most popular implementations (openJDK / Oracle) are bundled with a JIT compiler called “HotSpot”, which identifies “hotspots” in the runtime as the bytecode is executing and compiles them to native code to get native performance. To summarize the effects of a JIT compiler on JVM, Lets look at an example

This program does a reduce operation iterating over 100 million times. Running this program with JIT enabled (default) and disabled would show us the importance of JIT compiler.

shell-> javac
shell-> java Main # JIT Enabled by default
Result : 5000000050000000
Time taken : 30.757 ms
shell-> java -Djava.compiler=NONE Main # JIT disabled
Result : 5000000050000000
Time taken : 1582.021 ms

JIT compiled version ran atleast 50x faster than the other. As we are convinced of the speedups we get from JIT, we might be wondering about the assembly code it generated during the runtime. We might need to inspect this assembly code for various reasons like

Inspecting the JIT compiled assembly code can be done using the flag “XX:+PrintAssembly”. We have to turn on the VM diagnostics for this flag to work. As this option is also dependent on the basic disassembler for hotspot, we need to download it and place it in our LD_LIBRARY_PATH before invoking the JVM with these flags.

shell->#Downloading disassembler for MacOS
shell->sudo wget -O  /usr/lib/hsdis-amd64.dylib \

shell-> java -server -XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions -XX:+PrintAssembly Main
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM warning: PrintAssembly is enabled;
 turning on DebugNonSafepoints to gain additional output
Loaded disassembler from hsdis-amd64.dylib
Decoding compiled method 0x0000000104e77d50:
[Disassembling for mach='i386:x86-64']
[Entry Point]
  # {method} {0x000000011deaefc8} 'hashCode' '()I' in 'java/lang/String'
  #           [sp+0x40]  (sp of caller)
  0x0000000104e77ec0: mov    0x8(%rsi),%r10d
  0x0000000104e77ec4: shl    $0x3,%r10

  .... [Trimmed for readability]

Many times while debugging performance issues, we focus on a set of methods and filtering the disassembler output only for these methods can help us analyze effectively. This can be done with the help of “-XX:CompileCommand” flag as shown below.

shell-> java -server -XX:+UnlockDiagnosticVMOptions -XX:CompileCommand=print,*Main.seriousLoop Main
CompilerOracle: print *Main.seriousLoop
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM warning: printing of assembly code is enabled;
turning on DebugNonSafepoints to gain additional output
Compiled method (c1)      72   46 %     3       Main::seriousLoop @ 4 (25 bytes)
 total in heap  [0x0000000102dde4d0,0x0000000102dde968] = 1176
 relocation     [0x0000000102dde5f0,0x0000000102dde628] = 56
 main code      [0x0000000102dde640,0x0000000102dde7e0] = 416
 stub code      [0x0000000102dde7e0,0x0000000102dde870] = 144
 oops           [0x0000000102dde870,0x0000000102dde878] = 8
 metadata       [0x0000000102dde878,0x0000000102dde880] = 8
 scopes data    [0x0000000102dde880,0x0000000102dde8c0] = 64
 scopes pcs     [0x0000000102dde8c0,0x0000000102dde960] = 160
 dependencies   [0x0000000102dde960,0x0000000102dde968] = 8
Loaded disassembler from hsdis-amd64.dylib
Decoding compiled method 0x0000000102dde4d0:
[Disassembling for mach='i386:x86-64']
[Entry Point]
[Verified Entry Point]
  # {method} {0x000000011c1ea3d0} 'seriousLoop' '()J' in 'Main'
  0x0000000102dde640: mov    %eax,-0x14000(%rsp)
  0x0000000102dde647: push   %rbp
  0x0000000102dde648: sub    $0x40,%rsp
  0x0000000102dde64c: movabs $0x11c1ea6c8,%rsi  
    ; {metadata(method data for {method} {0x000000011c1ea3d0} 'seriousLoop' '()J' in 'Main')}
  0x0000000102dde656: mov    0x64(%rsi),%edi
  0x0000000102dde659: add    $0x8,%edi
  0x0000000102dde65c: mov    %edi,0x64(%rsi)
  0x0000000102dde65f: movabs $0x11c1ea3d0,%rsi  
    ; {metadata({method} {0x000000011c1ea3d0} 'seriousLoop' '()J' in 'Main')}
  0x0000000102dde669: and    $0x1ff8,%edi
  0x0000000102dde66f: cmp    $0x0,%edi
  0x0000000102dde672: je     0x0000000102dde776  ;*lconst_0
                                                ; - Main::seriousLoop@0 (line 4)

.... [Trimmed for readability]

As we can see, the generated assembly code also includes details like line number, function name, class etc.. which helps us to understand the code flow. Full disassembler output is available here

Reference: PrintAssembly Manual