Itanium 1.6.0_17 Release Notes

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About 1.6.0_17 (6u17) for the Itanium® architecture

1.6.0_17 for the Itanium® architecture is a port of JDK 6 update 17 to the Itanium® (64 bit) architecture.

The full internal version number for this update release is 1.6.0_17-b0405 (where "b" means "build"). The external version number is 6u17. Included in JDK 6u17 for the Itanium® architecture is version 14.3 of the Java HotSpot Server Virtual Machine.

The following JDK, JRE tools are not included in JDK, JRE 6u17 for the Itanium® architecture release:

  • Java Plug-in
  • Java Web Start
  • Java Update
  • JavaDB (JavaDB is included only into Linux self-extracting JDK distributive)
  • Java VisualVM

Please refer to JDK tools and Utilities for JDK tools description.

Only offline installation is available for JDK, JRE 6u17 for the Itanium® architecture.

Changes in 1.6.0_17 (6u17) for the Itanium® architecture

  • See changes in 1.6.0_17 common for all platforms in Java SE 6 Update 17 Release Notes.
  • Bug fixes

    This release contains a number of bug fixes in Java HotSpot Server Virtual Machine and fixes for one or more security vulnerabilities. For more information, please see Sun Alerts 269868, 269869, 269870, 270474, 270475, 270476.

    Other bug fixes are listed in the following table.

    BugId Category Subcategory Description
    6885963 java classes_2d Graph 2D object is fuzzy when displayed on Windows Itanium 2003/2008
  • Performance

    The following set of command line options are recommended for running high performance server applications:

    -Xmx, -Xms, -Xmn should have sufficiently large values. (For example, -Xms6600m 
    -Xmn5000m -Xmx6600m or -Xms20000m -Xmn18000m -Xmx20000m.)               

Supported System Configurations

Platform Version Desktop Managers Browsers JRE JDK
Windows 64 bit
Windows IA64 Windows Server 2003 SP2 Windows/Active for Windows
64-bit Install 64-bit Install
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems SP1
Linux 64 bit
Linux IA64 Linux Suse Enterprise Linux Server 9 SP4, Suse Enterprise Linux Server 10 SP2 N/A
64-bit Install 64-bit Install
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 U7, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 U2

JDK, JRE Installation for Microsoft Windows (Itanium® architecture)

The installation procedure installs the JDK or JRE 6u17 but not the Java Plugin or Java Web Start or public Java Runtime Environment (when JDK is installed).

To install, download jdk-6u17-windows-ia64.exe or jre-6u17-windows-ia64.exe file and then follow the 32-bit Windows JDK installation or 32-bit Windows JRE installation "Windows Offline Installation" instructions.

JDK, JRE Installation for Linux (Itanium® architecture)

The installation procedure installs the JRE or JDK 6u17 but not the Java Plugin or Java Web Start or the public Java Runtime Environment (when JDK is installed).

The JDK, JRE for Linux 64-bit comes bundled in two install formats:

  • Linux self-extracting files jdk-6u17-linux-ia64.bin, jre-6u17-linux-ia64.bin and
  • Linux RPM in self-extracting files jdk-6u17-linux-ia64-rpm.bin, jre-6u17-linux-ia64-rpm.bin.

To install, download the necessary file and then follow the 32-bit Linux JDK installation or 32-bit Linux JRE installation instructions.

Known installation issues

  • On Linux systems (specifically, on SLES 9) *-rpm.bin installation can report dmidecode unaligned access:
    dmidecode(18485): unaligned access to 0x600000000000801a, ip=0x4000000000007390                   
    dmidecode(18485): unaligned access to 0x600000000000801e, ip=0x40000000000073a1                   
    dmidecode(18485): unaligned access to 0x6000000000008065, ip=0x4000000000003151                   
    dmidecode(18485): unaligned access to 0x60000000000080f7, ip=0x4000000000003151                 

    The bundles install successfully. Message printing can be disabled by the 'prctl --unaligned=silent' command.

    The message is a warning for a user that the application (dmidecode) works inefficiently from performance perspective. The issue is resolved in dmidecode 2.7.

  • On Linux systems, when the *-rpm.bin file is used for JDK (JRE) installation, JDK (JRE) of a lower version cannot be installed if JDK (JRE) of a higher version is already installed on the same system.

    For example, JDK (JRE) 6u16 cannot be installed using the jdk(jre)-6u16-linux-ia64-rpm.bin file if, on the same machine, JDK (JRE) 6u17 was previously installed using jdk(jre)-6u17-linux-ia64-rpm.bin.

    Installation reports:

    Preparing... ########################################### [100%] package jdk-1.6.0_17-fcs (which is newer than jdk-1.6.0_16-fcs) is already installed p JDK (JRE) 6u16 is not installed.

    Workarounds are:

    • Uninstall JDK (JRE) 6u17, then, install JDK (JRE) 6u16 using jdk(jre)-6u16-linux-ia64-rpm.bin, or
    • Install JDK (JRE) 6u16 using the jdk(jre)-6u16-linux-ia64.bin file

    If JDK (JRE) 6u17 was installed using jdk(jre)-6u17-linux-ia64.bin, installation of JRE (JDK) 6u16 using jre(jdk)-6u16-linux-ia64.bin passes successfully.

  • On Windows systems after installation of JDK (or JRE) the registry keys "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Development Kit\1.6" (for JDK), "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment\1.6" (for JRE) should contain the value "JavaHome" with the full path name of the directory in which JDK (or JRE) of the highest version is installed.

    After installation of JDK (or JRE) of a lower version on top of a higher version (for example, 6u16 on top of 6u17), "JavaHome" contains the path to the last installed JDK (or JRE) instead of the path to the JDK (or JRE) of the highest installed version. After deinstallation the value is removed.

    The workaround is to put the correct value to the Windows registry manually. A more accurate workaround is to uninstall the previously installed JDK (or JRE) and install the required version. See Deploying the JRE on Windows for more details about registry values.

  • On Windows consecutive JDK/JRE installations/uninstallations can lead (very rarely) to:

    Error 1334.The file 'javaw.exe' cannot be installed because the file cannot be found in cabinet file ''. This could indicate a network error, an error reading from the CD-ROM, or a problem with this package


    Internal Error 2356.

    The second case can block installation/uninstallation, as the installer reports that there is a suspended installation process. A reboot of the system helps. After the reboot, please, uninstall the previously installed JDK/JRE. Confirm the message, if it appears:

    Error 1704.An installation for Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment 6 Update 17 is currently suspended. You must undo the changes made by that installation to continue. Do you want to undo those changes?

Known issues and limitations

  • The Garbage First (G1) garbage collector and Compressed object pointers are not yet ported to the Itanium® architecture. They will be available in JDK, JRE for the Itanium® architecture in one of the nearest releases.
  • Optimizations using Escape Analysis are not well tested on the Itanium® architecture; they are switched off by default.
  • The JVM can intermittently crash with SIGILL on Linux RHEL4 for the Itanium® architecture when executed from an NFS mounted directory.

    This is a known bug in kernels of versions less than 2.6.22. Processors older than Montecito (e.g. Madison, McKinley) are not affected.

    RHEL4 (Nahant Update 5), kernel 2.6.9-55.EL has this bug. In RHEL5.2(Tikanga), kernel 2.6.18-92.el5 the bug is fixed.

    Possible workarounds are:

    • Run Java from a local directory.
    • Migrate to a newer kernel in which this bug is fixed, for example, to RHEL5.2 or RHEL4.6.
    • Apply the patch linux-2.6-mm-ia64-flush-i-cache-before-set_pte.patch (from kernel-2.6.18-92.el5.src.rpm) to your kernel.
  • The JVM can intermittently crash when executed on Montecito or Montvale microprocessors, SLES 9 (any SP) operating system with Hyper-Threading enabled. The crash is rare. It occurs due to issues in the OS kernel. Typically, the crash is caused by a SIGILL (si_errno=0, si_code=1 (ILL_ILLOPC)) signal.

    Workarounds are:

    • Disable Hyper-Threading either completely (in BIOS) or partially for a JVM process only using the 'taskset' utility.
    • Use SLES 10.
  • The JVM can intermittently crash on Windows 2003 SP1 for the Itanium® architecture when it is run from network drive. A workaround is to install the JRE or JDK on a local disk. The problem disappears after installing "Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 for Itanium-based Systems"
  • Serviceablity Agent (SA) issues:
    • SA can fail to show thread stack frames; instead it throws InternalError with diagnostic message ‘Failed to decode stack’. Workaround: for running processes use JVMTI Agent.
    • SA can fail to show some local variables of stack frames; instead it throws an unexpected exception (typically, NullPointerException or AssertionFailure). Workaround: try to start JVM with the –XX:+FullSASupport option.
    • Sometimes SA can show incorrect values for Long and Double locals. Workaround: for running processes use JVMTI Agent.
    • SA can show an incorrect code location in the method on top of the stack, the shown location is not far from real. Workaround: for running processes use JVMTI Agent.
    • On Windows SA does not accept a dump file generated by default (the MiniDumpNormal type of information that is written to the minidump file). Workaround: specify the –XX:ErrorDumpLevel=2 JVM option (MiniDumpWithFullMemory type).
    • jstack (an experimental tool) does not print the mixed mode (both Java and native C/C++ frames) stack trace when the option -m is specified; an exception with diagnostic "not yet implemented (debugger does not support CDebugger)!" is thrown. The reason is that CDebugger is not implemented for the Itanium® architecture. Workaround: do not use the -m option or use a different tool.