Eclipse/JVM fails to start due to lack of memory

Eclipsed

Lately, when starting Eclipse, the JVM has failed to start.  A reboot of the system usually fixed the problem.  Until yesterday.  So I had to dig in and solve this problem.

I wanted to share my experiences with debugging this issue.

Added Note: This is not the bug by which Eclipse running under java 1.6u21 fails to pass the permgen size on to the JVM.  If you are running java 1.6u21 with Eclipse, don’t.

Determine why eclipse.exe is crashing with „-debug”

I edited my eclipse.ini and added the -debug option:


-startup
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher_1.0.201.R35x_v20090715.jar
--launcher.library
plugins/org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.win32.win32.x86_1.0.200.v20090519
-showsplash
org.eclipse.platform
--launcher.XXMaxPermSize
512m
-debug
-vmargs
-Xms100m
-Xmx752m

Then I ran eclipse.exe from the command-line, hoping to get a bit more information:

$ ./eclipse.exe
Error occurred during initialization of VM
Could not reserve enough space for object heap

Now that’s a clear error message!

I need lots of memory

You may have noticed some pretty…

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