New Command-Line Options in VisualVM 1.1

Recently released VisualVM 1.1 tool introduces three new command-line options: --openfile, --openpid and --openjmx. These options allow to use VisualVM as an application or file viewer. This can be handy especially for viewing heap dumps and thread dumps or for integration with third-party tools.

A nice feature of VisualVM command-line support is the ability to reuse already running VisualVM instance. If you request to open a file for the first time, VisualVM is launched and the file is opened. If you request to open another file, it will be opened in the tool which is already running. This is possible thanks to the NetBeans Command Line Parsing API used by this feature.

The --openfile option

syntax: visualvm --openfile [filename] where filename is full path to a supported file

allows to open a supported file in VisualVM. Supported are the same file types as in the Load dialog in VisualVM GUI - by default thread dumps (.tdump), heap dumps (.hprof) and profiler snapshots (.nps) are supported. Since the heap dumps are recognized by the file header and not just according to their extension, also .bin and other heap dumps can be opened by VisualVM. If a third-party tool adds support for another file type, it will be automatically available also from the command-line.

The --openpid option

syntax: visualvm --openpid [pid] where pid is process id of running Java application

allows to open local Java process in VisualVM. This is an alternative to the Open action in VisualVM GUI. Note that there's a predefined timeout 5sec for which the VisualVM waits for the PID to become available - this allows to start VisualVM along with the monitored application. The --openpid option may be used for example in batch commands for monitoring several predefined applications (application servers etc.) or for integration with third-party tools (like the integration module for the Eclipse IDE).

The --openjmx option

syntax: visualvm --openjmx [hostname:port] where hostname:port defines the JMX connection

allows to connect to local or remote Java process using the JMX connection. This is an alternative to the Add JMX Connection action in VisualVM GUI. JMX connection defined from the command-line is not restored after restarting VisualVM. The --openjmx option may be used for example in batch commands for monitoring several predefined applications (application servers etc.) or just like a simple remote application monitor/viewer.

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