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Troubleshooting: WebSphere 5.1 Application Server hangs

Updated on May 7, 2019


When this situation occurs, you may observe intermittent hanging of Application Server, with no obvious exception or error messages in log files leading up to, or during, the system hang condition.  The application server has to be stopped and restarted to return service to users.

In the case of WebSphere, when the Node Agent detects that it can no longer communicate with the offending Application Server due to the hanging condition, the Node Agent automatically restarts said Application Server to restore service (subject to site-specific configuration).




To tell whether you have encountered this known issue, enable and collate WWWIBM’s Must Gather information the next time the system experiences a hang.

Of particular importance are steps 7-12 to capture thread dumps when the system exhibits the hanging behavior.

7. kill -3 [PID_of_hung_JVM]

8. Wait two minutes.

9. kill -3 [PID_of_hung_JVM]

10. Wait two minutes.

11. kill -3 [PID_of_hung_JVM]

12. Wait two minutes.

The kill -3 command creates javacore.txt files in the install_root, install_root/bin or in the configured working directory. These files are important to help analyze what may be causing the issue observed.

Log files requested to assist diagnosis:

  • PegaRULES.log
  • SystemErr.log
  • SystemOut.log
  • native_stderr.log
  • native_stdout.log
  • All Node agent log files

 The issue is diagnosed via capture of thread dump information at the time of the Application Server hang.  The example thread dump extract below (from the javacore.txt file) shows information for the deadlocked threads causing the Application Server to hang:

1LKREGMONDUMP  JVM System Monitor Dump (registered monitors):            
2LKREGMON          JITC CHA lock (0x750CA748): owner                      
"Servlet.Engine.Transports : 3" (0x86071C20), entry count 3              
3LKWAITERQ            Waiting to enter:                       
3LKWAITER                "Servlet.Engine.Transports : 0" (0x82513AA0)    
2LKREGMON          JITC MB UPDATE lock (0x75BA60E8): <unowned>            
2LKREGMON          JITC Global_Compile lock (0x75BA6038): <unowned>      
2LKREGMON          Integer lock access-lock (0x750CA5B8): <unowned>      
2LKREGMON          Free Class Loader Cache Entry lock (0x30253CA8):      
2LKREGMON          IO lock (0x30253BF8): <unowned>                        
2LKREGMON          Evacuation Region lock (0x30253A98): <unowned>        
2LKREGMON          Heap Promotion lock (0x302539E8): <unowned>            
2LKREGMON          Sleep lock (0x30253938): <unowned>                    
3LKNOTIFYQ            Waiting to be notified:                            
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "PegaRULES Usage Tracking Daemon" (0x7CE34020)  
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "Thread-8" (0x7A037120)                          
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "Thread-7" (0x7A036B20)                          
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "Thread-22" (0x7B815B20)                        
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "Thread-10" (0x7AC7C620)                        
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "Thread-25" (0x7F04A8A0)                        
3LKWAITNOTIFY            "EMAIL-Thread-695" (0x97F83420)                  


IBM confirms this matches a known issue logged under APAR PK12462 – “Deadlock in JIT between CHA & Global Compile Lock”, which is fixed in IBM SDK 1.4.2 Service Release 4.

Additional Resources

Article originally written 10/9/2006.

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