I am hacking OpenJDK7 to implement an algorithm. In the process of doing this, I need to output debug information to the stdout. As I can see in the code base, all printings are done by using outputStream*->print_cr(). I wonder why printf() was not used at all?
Part of the reasons why I'm asking this because I in fact used a lot of printf() calls. And I have been seeing weird bugs such as random memory corruption and random JVM crashing. Is there any chance that my printf() is the root cause? (Assume that the logic of my code is bug-free of course)
why printf() was not used at all?
Instead of using stdio directly, HotSpot utilizes its own printing and logging framework. This extra abstraction layer provides the following benefits:
- Allows printing not only to stdout but to an arbitrary stream. Different JVM parts may log to separate streams (e.g. a dedicated stream for GC logs).
- Has its own implementation of formatting and buffering that does not allocate memory or use global locks.
- Gives control over all output emitted by JVM. For example, all output can be easily supplemented with timestamps.
- Facilitates porting to different platforms and environments.
The framework is further improved in JDK 9 to support JEP 158: Unified JVM Logging.
Is there any chance that my printf() is the root cause?
No, unless printf is misused: e.g. arguments do not match format specifiers, or printf is called inside a signal handler. Otherwise it is safe to use printf for debugging. I did so many times when worked on HotSpot.
// Output streams for printing // // Printing guidelines: // Where possible, please use tty->print() and tty->print_cr(). // For product mode VM warnings use warning() which internally uses tty. // In places where tty is not initialized yet or too much overhead, // we may use jio_printf: // jio_fprintf(defaultStream::output_stream(), "Message"); // This allows for redirection via -XX:+DisplayVMOutputToStdout and // -XX:+DisplayVMOutputToStderr