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Doesn't happen on Android 4.4.2 with ART (Galaxy Nexus CyanogenMode), but does happen on a Nexus 5 Lollipop, latest release image.
Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2013
Version 12.0.30501.00 Update 2
Microsoft .NET Framework
Xamarin 22.214.171.124 (ce228b21c69ea3a0feaa7b5e50e9bb19fcbe238c)
Visual Studio extension to enable development for Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.
Xamarin.Android 126.96.36.199 (0ef616ae42005ece52f6df7aa1e093ceb11998f8)
Visual Studio plugin to enable development for Xamarin.Android.
This test case shows the GREF count on screen while allocating 1000 objects between repeated garbage collection. The count rapidly increases and then the app stalls out and jams.
There is a good chance this is related to Bug 23959.
> [DllImport("__Internal", EntryPoint = "_monodroid_gref_get")]
> public static extern int GetGrefs();
Really? You could just use Runtime.GlobalReferenceCount:
The deal with Bug #23959 is that it's an emulator, so we assume that there's a 2000 GREF limit, so once we get to ~1800 GREFs we perform a GC. ART in API-21 apparently doesn't have this limit (I need to confirm), so Bug #23959 sees 6000+ GREFs, so it's *constantly* doing a GC.
What I don't know is why there are so many GREFs in the first place. I'd have to run the sample for Bug #23959.
This bug, however, is on hardware, not the emulator, so assuming we properly detect it as hardware then the GREF limit will be ~41000, so unless you're exceeding that then the cause of the slowdown will be different. (Getting 41000 GREFs would ITSELF cause performance issues; don't do that.)
Unfortunately, I don't have API-21 hardware at this time.
Could you please enable GREF logging, run your test, and attach the logcat output?
$ adb shell setprop debug.mono.log gref
$ adb logcat > logcat.txt
# run your app...
# attach logcat.txt
Oh that's a handy method, I didn't know about. Thanks.
Created attachment 8625 [details]
adb logcat output with debug.mono.log gref,gc
FYI, the Dalvik in KitKat removed the GREF limit, while ART set a 64k limit. I haven't seen what the sources of lollipop actually do for the GREF limit.
You have successfully created logcat output which chokes logcat-parse.exe. Congratulations!
That said, the very end of the file is interesting:
> I/monodroid-gref( 2789): -g- grefc 48 gwrefc 5489 handle 0xb500496/G from thread 'finalizer'(2857)^M
At the time that message was printed, there were 48 GREFs (yay), and 5489 weak global references. (Doh!)
Please try one of the alternate GC bridge implementations. Do they improve performance for you?
@Mark: Here's a GC bridge perf example for you. ;-)
The problem isn't the performance per se, if I run the sample app for a minute the GREF count climbs to 40k+ because references are leaking. As you mentioned, it does look like these are somehow weak references. At that point, the app is basically completely hung.
The object graph here is very simple. The only allocated objects are single Java.Lang.Object with no out or in references. As you mentioned, it does look like the there is some problem in the GC bridge because the logs in just GC log mode (vs GC+GREF) log mode I noticed that the messages were bouncing back and forth between showing a high weak global ref count and a high global ref count.
I can try the other GC bridges for you to see if one has a bug that causes the leak, but I think its unlikely as the same sample worked fine on an Android 4.4.2 with ART enabled.
I remember from the release notes that you mentioned you had to work around an ART issue with global refs to null being legal and that you conditioned that behavior based on the Android version...
I added the android environment file and tried all 3 bridges which have the same result. # of grefs climbs, test app slows down to a crawl within a minute.
If I let it run for maybe 2 minutes I see the count gets very high
> I/monodroid-gc(14155): GC cleanup summary: 44770 objects tested - resurrecting 4
And the monodroid warnings about gref count getting high have kicked in.
> I/monodroid-gc(14155): 46810 outstanding GREFs. Performing a full GC!
I presume eventually it will crash.
So you can see the leak in action...
Lollipop on the left, KitKat ART on the right
If I connect the android monitor tool to the test app for heap monitoring, the heap statistics are supposed to update whenever a Java GC happens. But they never update. If I click the "force update heap" button, then the gref count drops.
I turned on verbose GC logging (I think) with this command
adb shell setprop art.vm.extra-opts "-verbose:gc"
And it looks like mono GC is not triggering a Java GC for the magic weak/strong reference for each GC op. It worked for the first one... but this would explain why the grefs grow until a point of DOOOM.
> I/ActivityManager( 750): Displayed App1.App1/app1.MainActivity: +1s393ms
> I/wpa_supplicant(19754): wlan0: CTRL-EVENT-SCAN-STARTED
> I/mono-stdout( 3869): Will gc 1, 101, 101
> I/art ( 3869): Explicit concurrent mark sweep GC freed 5320(261KB) AllocSpace objects, 2(93KB) LOS objects, 40% free, 15MB/25MB, paused 1.358ms total 39.723ms
> I/monodroid-gc( 3869): GC cleanup summary: 102 objects tested - resurrecting 1.
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_OLD_BRIDGE num-objects 102 num_hash_entries 103 sccs size 103 init 0.00ms df1 0.96ms sort 0.05ms dfs2 2.25ms setup-cb 0.16ms free-data 0.21ms links 1/1/1/1 dfs passes 206/104
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_MAJOR: (user request) pause 12.55ms, total 13.98ms, bridge 51.63ms major 720K/240K los 0K/0K
> D/Mono ( 3869): DllImport searching in: '__Internal' ('(null)').
> D/Mono ( 3869): Searching for '_monodroid_gref_get'.
> D/Mono ( 3869): Probing '_monodroid_gref_get'.
> D/Mono ( 3869): Found as '_monodroid_gref_get'.
> I/mono-stdout( 3869): Will gc 2, 104, 205
> I/monodroid-gc( 3869): GC cleanup summary: 101 objects tested - resurrecting 101.
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_OLD_BRIDGE num-objects 101 num_hash_entries 102 sccs size 102 init 0.00ms df1 0.29ms sort 0.01ms dfs2 0.39ms setup-cb 0.04ms free-data 0.04ms links 1/1/1/1 dfs passes 204/103
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_MAJOR: (user request) pause 3.62ms, total 4.34ms, bridge 1.46ms major 720K/720K los 0K/0K
> I/mono-stdout( 3869): Will gc 3, 104, 309
> I/monodroid-gc( 3869): GC cleanup summary: 205 objects tested - resurrecting 205.
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_OLD_BRIDGE num-objects 205 num_hash_entries 206 sccs size 206 init 0.00ms df1 0.38ms sort 0.02ms dfs2 0.69ms setup-cb 0.07ms free-data 0.07ms links 1/1/1/1 dfs passes 412/207
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_MAJOR: (user request) pause 9.07ms, total 12.10ms, bridge 4.36ms major 704K/720K los 0K/0K
> I/mono-stdout( 3869): Will gc 4, 104, 413
> I/monodroid-gc( 3869): GC cleanup summary: 309 objects tested - resurrecting 309.
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_OLD_BRIDGE num-objects 309 num_hash_entries 310 sccs size 310 init 0.00ms df1 0.45ms sort 0.06ms dfs2 0.55ms setup-cb 0.11ms free-data 0.08ms links 1/1/1/1 dfs passes 620/311
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_MAJOR: (user request) pause 3.75ms, total 4.03ms, bridge 13.19ms major 704K/704K los 0K/0K
> I/mono-stdout( 3869): Will gc 5, 50, 463
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_BRIDGE waiting for bridge processing to finish
> I/monodroid-gc( 3869): GC cleanup summary: 368 objects tested - resurrecting 368.
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_OLD_BRIDGE num-objects 368 num_hash_entries 369 sccs size 369 init 0.00ms df1 0.85ms sort 0.10ms dfs2 0.89ms setup-cb 0.22ms free-data 0.17ms links 1/1/1/1 dfs passes 738/370
> D/Mono ( 3869): GC_MAJOR: (user request) pause 4.50ms, total 4.95ms, bridge 7.38ms major 720K/704K los 0K/0K
Sometimes doing the force heap updates causes a deadlock.. so that might be interesting as well...
Any thoughts on this? This is such a simple test case (just allocates java objects that should immediately be eligible for collection) that its a near certainty the underlying issue will affect all Xamarin.Android apps running on Lollipop. It doesn't depend on which API level is targeted, and happens with the stable/beta releases, which means that when the Lollipop updates roll out next week sadness will come to pass. The garbage men will slow to a crawl, and the street will fill with stinky performance. :(
Is it possible that Lollipop doesn't do a GC when we ask it to?
Well maybe if someone has a pending GetPrimitiveArrayCritical (etc) there will be a problem? The compacting collector is disabled.
https://android.googlesource.com/platform/art/+/android-5.0.0_r2/runtime/gc/heap.cc @ 1556
Seems like Mono does some of these, so maybe some are unmatched or something like that... its weird that the debugger triggered GC was able to work. That may mean mono is holding the critical references during the collection process.
1635 says this...
> // GC can be disabled if someone has a used GetPrimitiveArrayCritical but not yet released.
Actually, I don't know that mono calls these for sure, I just grepped and found it in Mono.Android.dll, but it seems like a working theory...
Created attachment 8661 [details]
logcat for the process on ART KitKat
Created attachment 8662 [details]
logcat for the process on Lollipop
Lollipop does this, not sure if it is relevant
> 11-07 15:19:19.876: I/art(24118): Late-enabling -Xcheck:jni
KitKat ART does this...
> 11-07 12:12:01.205: W/monodroid-gc(4591): JNI weak global refs are broken on Android with the ART runtime.
> 11-07 12:12:01.205: W/monodroid-gc(4591): Trying to use java.lang.WeakReference instead, but this may fail as well.
> 11-07 12:12:01.205: W/monodroid-gc(4591): App stability may be compromised.
> 11-07 12:12:01.205: W/monodroid-gc(4591): See: https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=63929
While Lollipop does this...
11-07 15:19:20.000: I/monodroid-gc(24118): environment supports jni NewWeakGlobalRef
Otherwise, I don't reliably see any logs from ART on either OS version... yet the KitKat ART keeps the GREFs low.
On KitKat ART, if I attached the java heap tracing, the stats update automatically (they update when a GC occurs).
On Lollipop, if I attached the java heap tracing, the stats never update (presumably this means a GC isn't called).
I assume the reason the two behave dramatically differently is that they are using two different weak reference techniques. Maybe some other new Lollipop GC features/implementation details mean the NewWeakGlobalRef technique doesn't work???
OK, got a winner here I think. This is so ludicrous...
JavaSystem.Gc() => No GC
Java.Lang.Runtime.GetRuntime().Gc() => Performs an explicit GC.
That seems utterly insane to me, but it shows in the log with the second form, but not the first.
Apparently this is so sort of effort to avoid running a GC if there was recently some finalization...
Changed v KitKat
Xamarin can you please provide an update? Thanks.
T.J.: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Fixed in monodroid/42fb5811 and monodroid-4.20-series/812ca135.
This should be included in the forthcoming Xamarin.Android 4.20 beta.
This fix has been released to the Beta channel.