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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.

socketRead0 – Fast thread

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Universal Java Thread Dump Analyzer

Threads stuck in

What does java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API do? Why is it showing up frequently in several

thread dumps? Why is it reported in thread dump analysis tools like fastThread.io? Is it something that I
need to be concerned about? What are the potential solutions to this problem? Let’s find answers to these

What does SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API do?

https://blog.fastthread.io/2018/09/02/threads-stuck-in-java-net-socketinputstream-socketread0/ 1/7
7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

It’s always easy to remember new concepts through real life analogies. Say suppose you are calling your
wife or girlfriend on the phone. Once call gets connected, if she is in happy/good mood immediately you
will get response “Hello Honey (or darling or sweetie), How are you?”. :-). If your call got connected when
she is in middle of doing some work (say she is in her office, picking up kids, Gym…) there might be delay
in her response to say “Hello Honey (or darling or sweetie) ….”. Suppose your call got connected when she
is in angry/bad mood then response can be unpredictable. God only knows. You might get response after
several seconds/minutes (or even call can get hanged up :-). So, the time you are waiting since the moment
call got connected until the moment you hang-up the call is basically socketRead0() API. (Thanks to
Douglas Spath from IBM for giving this beautiful example to explain this SocketRead0() API.)

Your application might be interfacing with multiple remote applications through various protocol likes:
SOAP, REST, HTTP, HTTPS, JDBC, RMI… all connections goes through JDK java.net layer to perform
lower TCP-IP/Socket operations. In this layer, SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API is used to read and
receive the data the remote application. Some remote applications may respond immediately, some might
take time to respond, some application may not respond at all. Until your application reads the response
data completely, your application thread will be stuck in this java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0()

Sample Thread dump stacktrace

Below are some sample stacktrace that shows the threads that are stuck in
‘SocketInputStream.socketRead0’ API. You can notice irrespective of the protocol threads to get stuck on
SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API.

"RMI TCP Connection(2)-192.xxx.xx.xx" daemon prio=6 tid=0x000000000a3e8800

nid=0x158e50 runnable [0x000000000adbe000]
java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE
at java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0(Native Method)
at java.net.SocketInputStream.read(Unknown Source)
at java.net.SocketInputStream.read(Unknown Source)
at java.io.BufferedInputStream.fill(Unknown Source)
at java.io.BufferedInputStream.read(Unknown Source)
- locked (0x00000007ad784010) (a java.io.BufferedInputStream)
at java.io.FilterInputStream.read(Unknown Source)
at sun.rmi.transport.tcp.TCPTransport.handleMessages(Unknown Source)
at sun.rmi.transport.tcp.TCPTransport$ConnectionHandler.run0(Unknown Source)
at sun.rmi.transport.tcp.TCPTransport$ConnectionHandler.run(Unknown Source)
at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(Unknown Source)
at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$Worker.run(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)

Fig: RMI thread stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API

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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

"Thread-18" id=48 idx=0x9c tid=11696 prio=5 alive, in native, daemon

at jrockit/net/SocketNativeIO.readBytesPinned(Ljava/io/FileDescriptor;
[BIII)I(Native Method)
at jrockit/net/SocketNativeIO.socketRead(SocketNativeIO.java:32)
at java/net/SocketInputStream.socketRead0(Ljava/io/FileDescriptor;
at java/net/SocketInputStream.read(SocketInputStream.java:129)
at java/net/SocketInputStream.read(SocketInputStream.java:182)
at oracle/ons/InputBuffer.getNextString(InputBuffer.java:137)
at oracle/ons/ReceiverThread.run(ReceiverThread.java:295)
at jrockit/vm/RNI.c2java(JJJJJ)V(Native Method)

Fig: Oracle Database connection stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API

"AMQP Connection 192.xx.xxx.xxx:5672" prio=5 RUNNABLE

java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0(Native Method)

Fig: RabbitMQ stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API

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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

"Thread-2012" id=218 idx=0x09c tid=196 prio=10 alive, in native, daemon

java.lang.Thread.State: RUNNABLE
at java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0(Native Method)
at java.net.SocketInputStream.read(SocketInputStream.java:140)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.z.b(z.java:199)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.z.c(z.java:289)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.z.c(z.java:402)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.z.v(z.java:1170)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.cb.b(cb.java:40)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.q.a(q.java:32)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.t4.sb.i(sb.java:135)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.yn.gb(yn.java:2066)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.zn.pc(zn.java:3446)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.zn.b(zn.java:4236)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.zn.fc(zn.java:2670)
at com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.zn.execute(zn.java:2654)
at com.mycompany.myapp.MyClass.executeDatabaseQuery(MyClass.java:123)

Fig: IBM DB2 statement execution stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API


If you a thread gets stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0 API and doesn’t recover from it for a longer
period, then customer whoever originated the transaction will not see any response in his screen. It can
puzzle, confuse the user. If multiple threads get stuck in SocketInputStream.socketRead0 API and doesn’t
recover for a longer period it can pose serious availability concerns to your application.

Here with we are outlining few potential solutions to address this problem:

1. Instrument timeout se ings

1.1. JVM Network se ings

1.2. setSoTimeout

1.3. JDBC

1.4. Oracle JDBC

1.5. Websphere

1.6. Axis2

2. Validate Network connectivity

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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

3. Work with remote application

4. Non-blocking HTTP client

# 1. Instrument timeout settings

Most applications don’t set appropriate timeout se ings to recover from SocketInputStream.socketRead0,
thus they end up stuck in this API for a prolonged period. Se ing appropriate timeout is a great self-
defensive mechanism that every application should do. Here are few timeout se ings you can apply to
your application as you may see the fit:

1.1. JVM Network settings

You can pass these two powerful timeout networking properties that can be globally applicable to all
protocol handlers that uses java.net.URLConnection:


sun.net.client.defaultConnectTimeout specifies the timeout (in milliseconds) to establish the connection

to the host. For example, for h p connections it is the timeout when establishing the connection to the h p
server. For ftp connection it is the timeout when establishing the connection to ftp servers.

sun.net.client.defaultReadTimeout specifies the timeout (in milliseconds) when reading from input
stream when a connection is established to a resource.

More details about JVM network se ings can be found here.

1.2. setSoTimeout

If you are directly programming with Sockets, you may consider se ing the timeout on the socket by
invoking the setSoTimeout() API.

To this API you can pass the timeout value in milliseconds. If remote application doesn’t respond back
within the specified timeout period, java.net.SocketTimeoutException will be thrown. This exception will
free-up the thread, allowing it to work on other calls. Note: If timeout value is passed as 0, then it’s
interpreted as an infinite timeout, it means thread will never timeout.

1.3. JDBC

If you are using JDBC (Java DataBase Connectivity) to connect, you may consider se ing the timeout
value using the setQueryTimeout() API.
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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

This API will set the number of seconds the JDBC driver will wait for ge ing results from database. If the
limit is exceeded, SQLTimeoutException is thrown. JDBC driver applies this limit to the execute,
executeQuery() and executeUpdate() methods. By default, there is no limit on the amount of time allowed
for a running statement to complete.

1.4. Oracle JDBC

If you are connecting with Oracle database and seeing lot of threads stuck on
SocketInputStream.socketRead0() API, you may consider passing -Doracle.jdbc.ReadTimeout system

You need to pass above argument during application startup. Value needs to be specified in milliseconds.

1.5. Websphere

If your application happens to be running on IBM Websphere, you can consider se ing following

a. Administrator can set the webSphereDefaultQueryTimeout data source custom property.

b. A second property, syncQueryTimeoutWithTransactionTimeout, can also be set as a data source

custom property. With this set, WebSphere will calculate the time remaining before the transaction times
out (if running within a global transaction) and set the query timeout to this value automatically.

1.6. Axis2

You can also set the “readTimeout” property in the HTTP Transport Policy Set for the Web Service client
or set “timeout” on the org.apache.axis2.context.MessageContext in the application code.

# 2. Validate Network connectivity

Threads not recovering from SocketInputStream.socketRead0 API can also originate because of issues in
network connectivity or load balancers. We have seen in the past sometimes remote application may not be
issuing appropriate ACK or FIN packets. You might have to engage network engineers or cloud hosting
providers support team to troubleshoot the issue.

On your end, you may use TCP/IP tracing tools such as Wireshark to see packets sent in the network
between you and the remote application. It can help you to narrow whether if the problem is on your side
of the network or on the other side of the network.

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7/14/2019 Threads stuck in java.net.SocketInputStream.socketRead0 – Fast thread

# 3. Work with remote application

Sometimes it could be quite possible that transactions might be slowing down because of performance
problems in the remote application. In those circumstances, you need to bring it to remote application’s
awareness of the slow down and work with them to fix the problem.

# 4. Non-blocking HTTP client

You can also consider using non-blocking HTTP client libraries like Grizzly or Ne y which do not have
blocking operations to hang a thread. But this solution is more a strategic solution, which involves code
changes & thorough testing.

Note, this a comprehensive list but maybe not be a complete list of potential solutions. If you have
additional solutions and timeout se ings that you would like to add to this blog, please drop us a note in
the below feedback section. We will be glad to update this blog with your recommendation(s).

Ram Lakshmanan

artist + rebel + engineer.

September 2, 2018
Educational - Best Practises, Thread dump pa erns, Trouble Shooting

Socketinputstream, Thread dump analyzer


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