Developing OpenJDK Mission Control

The last blog (about Fetching and Building OpenJDK Mission Control) earned me questions on how to get the source into Eclipse to start playing around with it. This blog post will assume that you have first successfully completed the steps in the Fetching and Building OpenJDK Mission Control blog post.

Getting Eclipse

First of all you should download the latest version of Eclipse. JMC is an RCP application, and thus, the easiest way to make changes to it, is to use the Eclipse IDE.

There are various Eclipse bundles out there. Get (at least) the Eclipse IDE for Eclipse Committers. It adds some useful things, like PDE (the Plugin Development Environment), Git, the Marketplace client and more. You can also use the Eclipse IDE for Java Enterprise Developers.

You will need an Eclipse 2018-12 or later!

To get to the screen where you can select another packaging than the standard, click on the Download Packages link on the Eclipse download page.

Install it, start it and create a new workspace for your JMC work. Creating a new workspace is as easy as picking a new name when starting up your Eclipse in the dialog asking for a directory for the workspace:

Installing JDKs

Since you’ve already built JMC outside of the IDE, you already have a JDK 8. You probably also want to have a JDK 11 set up in your Eclipse.

Download and install a JDK11, then open Window | Preferences and then select Java / Installed JREs. Add your favourite JKD 8 and JDK 11 JDKs (Add…) and then use Java / Installed JREs / Execution Environments to set them as defaults for the JDK 8 and JDK 11 execution environments.

Note to JMC lovers:

You may want to ensure that a JDK is used to run your Eclipse, and not a jre. A JDK is needed for JMC to find the tools.jar, where the classes required for JMC to discover locally running JVMs are located. Simply add the –vm flag in your eclipse.ini file, and point it to your JDK:


Setting installed JREs:


Setting execution environments:


Okay, we now have our JDKs set up. Next step is to set up a user library for things that JMC will need from the JDK. This is directly from the JMC readme:

If importing the application projects, make sure you create a user library (Preferences | Java/Build Path/User Libraries) named JMC_JDK, and add (Add External JARs…) the following JARs from a JDK 8 (u40 or above) to the User Library: tools.jar (/lib/tools.jar), jconsole.jar (/lib/jconsole.jar), jfxswt.jar (/jre/lib/jfxswt.jar), and finally the jfxrt.jar (/jre/lib/ext/jfxrt.jar).

Creating the user library:


Adding the jars:


Now we need to check a few things…


Is the Jetty server from the previous blog up and running?

If yes, go ahead and open up the target file available under releng/platform-definitions/platform-definition-photon (File | Open File). You should see something like this:


Click the Set as Active Target Platform link in the upper right corner.

Now there is one final preparation for the import – we need to turn of certain Maven settings. Go to the preferences, and select Maven / Errors/Warnings. Set Plugin execution not covered by lifecycle configuration to Ignore, and also Out-of-date project configuration to Ignore


Now the preparations are done, and we can start importing the projects. Woho!

Importing the Projects

First we will have to import the core projects, since they are built separately from the rest. Select File | Import… and select Maven / Existing Maven Project.

Click next, and browse into the jmc/core folder. Select all the core projects and import them. (You may want to skip the top level poms.)

Next select File | Import… and select Maven / Existing Maven Project again, but this time from the root:

Again, you may want to skip the top level poms (/pom.xml, application/pom.xml etc), and the uitests (at least until we fix so that the jemmy dependency can be downloaded from Maven Central).

Next we will import the project which contains the launchers. Select File | Import… and then select Existing Projects into Workspace. Find the configuration/ide/eclipse folder and click Ok.


After importing that project, we can now launch JMC from within Eclipse:


Or run it in debug mode:


Configuring Development Settings

If you don’t plan on submitting any changes, then this step is optional. The team use shared settings for formatter and macros. Go to the preferences and then to Java / Code Style / Formatter. Then click Import… and select the configuration/ide/eclipse/formatting/formatting.xml. You should now have the Mission Control formatting settings active:



If you have the spotbugs plug-in installed, you should also import the spotbugs excludes (configuration/spotbugs/spotbugs-exclude.xml). There is also a common dictionary (configuration/ide/eclipse/dictionary/dictionary.txt) and templates (configuration/ide/eclipse/templates/JMC templates.xml) which you may find useful.

Adding (and Launching with) Some Custom Plug-in

The flame graph view may be included in JMC at some point. If so, then there will probably be some other plug-in somewhere that will serve as an example.

First install Git. If you, on the command line, can run git –version, you’re all set.

Next go to your git folder (or wherever you keep your git projects) and clone the jmc-flame-view repo:

git clone

Next go to Eclipse and do File | Import…, and select Existing Projects into Workspace. Select your jmc-flame-view folder, and click Finish:


Next we need a launcher which includes this new feature. Go to the org.openjdk.jmc.eclipseonfig project and open the launchers folder. Copy and paste the JMC RCP plug-ins.launch file. Name the copy something.


Click the run dropdown and select Run Configurations….


Select your new launcher, and click the Plug-ins tab. Add the new Flame Graph feature:


Click Apply and Run. Mission Control will start, with your new plug-in available. In the started JMC, go to Window | Show View | Other…. Select Mission Control / Flame Graph in the Show View dialog. Open a Flight Recording, and click on something that would yield an aggregated stack trace, such as something in the Method Profiling page, or a class in the Memory page – you should now see a Flame Graph of your selection.


This blog post explained, in some detail, how to import the OpenJDK Mission Control project into Eclipse, and how to set up the workspace to work on the code. It also explained how to run the code with an additional plug-in from a separate repo.

As always, please let me know if I forgot to mention something (except for the agent, which I will deal with in a separate post)!

10 Responses to "Developing OpenJDK Mission Control"

  1. Russell says:

    When I try to launch JMC with or without the flamegraph plugin enabled, I get a ton of logging, ending with this, and it fails to open.

    !ENTRY org.eclipse.osgi 4 0 2019-01-09 15:06:32.558
    !MESSAGE Application error
    !STACK 1
    java.lang.RuntimeException: No application id has been found.
    at org.eclipse.core.runtime.internal.adaptor.EclipseAppLauncher.runApplication(
    at org.eclipse.core.runtime.internal.adaptor.EclipseAppLauncher.start(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
    at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(
    at java.base/jdk.internal.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(
    at java.base/java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(
    at org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.invokeFramework(
    at org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.basicRun(
    at org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.main(

  2. Marcus says:

    Hmm. On which platform? From within Eclipse? Did you go through all of the steps? Does everything compile?

  3. Russell says:

    Sorry for the late response, I expected an email for replies. MacOS 10.12.6. From inside Eclipse. I repeated the process a couple times to make sure I went through all the steps. It did compile.

  4. Alex Blewitt says:

    Are there plans to add the flame graph view to JMC directly, rather than as an external tutorial for adding support? Seems like it would be quite handy.

  5. Marcus says:

    Yep, as soon as I find some time I’ll contribute it to OpenJDK Mission Control. 🙂 There are a few things to consider, listed as issues in my repo:

    I was thinking of first handling them before integrating, but perhaps I should just add an optional plug-in for now, and open issues on it that can be handled within the JMC project.

  6. Mike Lee says:

    Thanks for making this. It is very helpful.

    I have a question about how can I build JMC with flamegraph as a package that I can share to my teammate, rather than ask all the developers go through the process and run within eclipse. Do I need to add jmc-flame-view somewhere within jmc.core pom.xml?

  7. Marcus says:

    You should be able to take the built flamegraph plug-in and just drop it into the dropins folder of JMC. I haven’t tried it though. Another variant is to host the update site somewhere, and add a line for the update site to the JMC builds. That, of course, would require the developers to use your particular builds. The final variant is to use JMC builds from a vendor that is also publishing the update sites. With a little luck Oracle will release their binary builds of JMC plus the update sites, and then everyone can just install it like before from within the JMC builds.

    It is likely that Adopt OpenJDK will also be hosting the update sites, and then you should be able to use Adopt OpenJDK builds of JMC to access the built update sites directly from JMC without any extra effort.

  8. Rafe says:

    There are issues with the dropins folder:
    I’m coming up against this now – and am seeing if I can code my way out of this corner.

  9. Marcus says:

    Thank you for confirming that this is still an issue, and thank you for looking into a solution!

  10. Rafe says:

    No problems Marcus,
    See where I plan on putting any details on either a workaround or a fix.

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