Monitoring an Application


VisualVM presents data for local and remote applications in a tab specific for that application. When you open an application in VisualVM, each application opens in a new tab in the main window. You can have multiple application tabs open.

Monitoring an Application

You can use VisualVM to monitor a local application and view real-time, high-level data on the memory heap, thread activity, and the classes loaded in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Monitoring an application imposes low overhead and can be used for extended periods.

screenshot of Monitor tab

Monitoring data is displayed in the following graphs:

  • Heap. The Heap graph displays the total heap size and how much of the heap is currently used. These are the figures that a Java technology-based application (Java application) can obtain using the java.lang.Runtime.totalMemory() and java.lang.Runtime.freeMemory() calls.
  • PermGen. The PermGen graph displays changes in the permanent generation area over time. The permanent generation is the area of the heap where class and method objects are stored. If an application loads a very large number of classes, then the size of the permanent generation might need to be increased using the -XX:MaxPermSize option.
  • Classes The Classes graph displays an overview of the total number of loaded classes and shared classes.
  • Threads. The Threads graphs displays an overview of the number of live and daemon threads in the application's JVM. You can use VisualVM to take a thread dump if you want to capture and view exact data on application threads at a specific point in time. For more about working with threads, see the following document:

The Monitoring tab contains buttons that enable you to perform the following actions:

  • Perform GC. Click Perform GC to perform garbage collection immediately.
  • Heap Dump. Click Heap Dump to take a heap dump. When you take a heap dump, a tab displaying the heap dump opens in the application tab. A node for the heap dump appears under the node for the application in the Applications window. For more about working with a heap dump, see the following document:

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