Getting started with jconsole just got easier!
By user12820862 on Sep 23, 2005
One of the goals during the development of jconsole was that it should be easy to get going very quickly. The JMX agent has lots of configuration properties but a new user should be able to avoid most of this and get going in a few simple steps. All you need is to start the application with a simple property on the command line. When this property is set then the JMX agent starts up in a way that allows jconsole to connect without needing to prompt for connection details. This is somethings called local monitoring because it restricts the monitoring to the local machine (you have to be the same user too). The property is com.sun.management.jmxremote so you start your application like this:
java -Dcom.sun.management.jmxremote App
Once the application is running then jconsole can connect. If you know the process-id (pid) then "jconsole <process-id>" should do it. Alternatively, if you don't know the process id then start jconsole without any parameters and select the application in the connection dialog.
It turns out that it gets even simpler in Mustang (Java SE 6.0). The reason is that jconsole has been updated so that it can connect to applications that did not start up with the JMX agent. This is rather useful as it allows jconsole to connect to applets in the browser, Java Web Start applications, and other applications where it isn't easy to fiddle with the command line.
So how does it work? jconsole uses a JMXConnector client to connect to the JMXConnectorServer in the target application. In the application isn't started with the JMX agent then there isn't a JMXConnectorServer and jconsole doesn't have anything to connect too. In that case it uses a HotSpotTM VM specific mechanism to start the JMX agent in the target VM. Once the agent is started then jconsole connects as normal.
This sounds very cool so let us see how it looks. First, we start jconsole. I haven't use any parameters so jconsole opens the Connection Dialog. I've selected the Local Tab and jconsole shows me the applications that I have running on this machine. In this screen-shot I have clicked ona Java Web Start application called bugster:
Next I press the Connect button. Behind the scenes the JMX agent is started in the target VM and jconsole connects. (By the way, that checkbox column with the title Enabled just indictaes if the JMX agent is running in the target VM or not - this is probably not the best way to indicate this but jconsole is due a new connection dialog soon and it should look much better). Once the connection is established jconsole opens up Summary Tab which gives me a summary of the bugster application.
I'm sure you'll agree this is rather neat and makes getting started with jconsole very easy.