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WebLogic Server Support Pattern: Investigating JVM Crashing with No Core Dump (Doc ID 1276688.1)

Last updated on OCTOBER 09, 2023

Applies to:

Oracle WebLogic Server - Version 6.1 and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.


A JVM is an ordinary process like any other, and can sometimes terminate unexpectedly. Java has built-in support for handling exceptions, and JVMs can tolerate run-of-the-mill problems better than most. The very exceptional nature of a JVM crash makes it both interesting and important to determine the root cause, since it can be indicative of a serious problem.

Problem Description

A core dump is usually created when a process crashes. A core file is a memory map of the running process, and it saves the state of the application at the time of its termination. Therefore, it is important evidence (probably the most important) in determining why the JVM crashed.

Sometimes, however, a core dump is not created. This is like a missing body in a murder mystery, and we are forced to fall back on circumstantial evidence (and sometimes reenact the murder) to determine just what killed the JVM. This is the scenario addressed by this document.

Problem Troubleshooting

Please note that not all of the following items need to be done. Some issues can be solved by following only a few of the suggestions.

Troubleshooting Steps

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In this Document
 Problem Description
 Problem Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting Steps
 Why does the problem occur?
 Why isn't there a core dump?
 Troubleshooting Checklist
 Are you sure the JVM really crashed?
 Can a core dump be created at all?
 Do you have a dump file? [JRockit-specific]
 Is the crash reproducible?
 What do we know?
 Quick Fixes and Workarounds
 Need further help?

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