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Archived - About the Java Update for Mac OS X v10.3.9

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Symptoms

About this update

After updating to Mac OS X 10.3.9, some systems may have issues with Java applications and Java-enabled websites when using Safari. Safari may unexpectedly quit, and standalone Java applications may unexpectedly quit or not launch. This update resolves that issue.

This article replaces previously published information on this issue.

Resolution

Verifying the issue

  1. Go to the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder.
  2. Open Terminal.
  3. Type: java -version
  4. Press Return.

If this issue affects your computer, you will get the the message, "Segmentation fault" (if not, try this instead). To resolve the issue, download and install the Java Update for Mac OS X v10.3.9, or let Software Update select it for you automatically.

Optional: Restoring the Java Shared Archive

After installing this update, you may choose to perform a few optional steps in Terminal to restore the Java Shared Archive. This optimization would only be noticeable when Java is under heavy load, such as running a large number of Java applications simultaneously.

The exact steps depend on whether you have Java 1.4.1 or 1.4.2 installed. To check your Java version, repeat the java -version command that you used to verify the issue. Now that the issue has been resolved, you should see a message stating your Java version instead of the "Segmentation fault" message. Of the steps below, you only need to use the set that matches your installed version.

Important: The typed commands below are lengthy, so they may appear wrapped in your browser. However, they must be typed into Terminal without carriage returns. The easiest way to get this result is to copy and paste from your browser window into the Terminal window.

Steps for Java 1.4.2:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type: cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.4.2/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump
  3. Press Return.
  4. Type your password (you must be logged in as an administrator user).
  5. Press Return.
  6. Type: cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump:/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/classes.jsa -version
  7. Press Return.

Steps for Java 1.4.1:

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type: cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.4.1/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump
  3. Press Return.
  4. Type your password (you must be logged in as an administrator user).
  5. Press Return.
  6. Type: cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump:/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/classes.jsa -version
  7. Press Return.

Advanced background information

To reduce the memory footprint of Java applications, the HotSpot Java Virtual Machine (JVM) in Mac OS X makes use of a Java Shared Archive (JSA). The JSA contains the preprocessed internal HotSpot JVM representations of common standard Java classes that would otherwise be found and processed from the standard classes.jar file. Mac OS X 10.3.9 has exposed an issue in the use of the JSA, by which the virtual memory location of libhotspot.dylib can become incompatible with the current JSA. This can result in Java crashing on every execution.

The Java Update for Mac OS X 10.3.9 addresses this issue.

After installing the automatic software update and fixing the issue, Java no longer has a Java Shared Archive (hence the optional steps above). Users that run a large number of Java applications simultaneously will see an increase in memory pressure (usually 3Mb per application), because there is no Java Shared Archive.

Note: If you have manually deleted all of the classes.jsa files prior to using Software Update, then the Java Update for Mac OS X v10.3.9 will not be presented for installation. You can still download and install it manually if desired.

Last Modified: Apr 12, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Apr 12, 2012
  • Article: TS1537
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