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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I need to know when the finalize method is called in the JVM.

I created a test class which writes into a file when the finalize method is called by overriding it. It is not executed. Can anybody tell me the reason why it is not executing? According to the Javadoc which it would be worth reading , it is:. Called by the garbage collector on an object when garbage collection determines that there are no more references to the object. As Joachim pointed out, this may never happen in the life of a program if the object is always accessible.

Also, the garbage collector is not guaranteed to run at any specific time. In general, what I'm trying to say is finalize is probably not the best method to use in general unless there's something specific you need it for. The finalize method is called when an object is about to get garbage collected.

That can be at any time after it has become eligible for garbage collection. Note that it's entirely possible that an object never gets garbage collected and thus finalize is never called. This can happen when the object never becomes eligible for gc because it's reachable through the entire lifetime of the JVM or when no garbage collection actually runs between the time the object become eligible and the time the JVM stops running this often occurs with simple test programs. There are ways to tell the JVM to run finalize on objects that it wasn't called on yet, but using them isn't a good idea either the guarantees of that method aren't very strong either.

If you rely on finalize for the correct operation of your application, then you're doing something wrong. And that's exactly because the JVM doesn't guarantee that finalize is ever called on any object. This is a safety measure to ensure you do not inadvertently miss closing a resource used by the objects calling class.

The Java finalize method is not a destructor and should not be used to handle logic that your application depends on. The Java spec states there is no guarantee that the finalize method is called at all during the livetime of the application.

Finalizers are unpredictable, often dangerous, and generally unnecessary. The finalize method will be called after the GC detects that the object is no longer reachable, and before it actually reclaims the memory used by the object. If the GC doesn't run then finalize may never be called. Normally, the GC only runs when the JVM decides that there is likely to enough garbage to make it worthwhile.

It may take more than one GC cycle before the GC determines that a specific object is unreachable. Java GCs are typically "generational" collectors Once the GC detects an object is unreachable and finalizable, it is places on a finalization queue. Finalization typically occurs asynchronously with the normal GC.

The upshot is that it is unwise to rely on finalization to do things that have to be done in a definite time-frame. It is "best practice" not to use them at all. There should be a better i. The only legitimate use for finalization is to clean up resources associated with objects that have been lost by application code. Even then, you should try to write the application code so that it doesn't lose the objects in the first place.

Since there is an uncertainity in calling of finalize method by JVM not sure whether finalize which is overridden would be executed or not , for study purposes the better way to observe what happens when finalize is called, is to force the JVM to call garbage collection by command System.

Specifically, finalize is called when an object is no longer in use. But when we try to call it by creating new objects there is no certainty of its call. So for certainty we create a null object c which obviously has no future use, hence we see the object c 's finalize call. Note - Even after printing upto 70 and after which object b is not being used in the program, there is uncertainty that b is cleared or not by JVM since "Called finalize method in class Bike As you can see.

The following out put show the gc got executed first time when the class count is Having wrestled with finalizer methods lately in order to dispose connection pools during testing , I have to say that finalizer lacks many things. Finalize method is unreliable but can be used for one thing only. You can ensure that an object was closed or disposed before it was garbage collected making it possible to implement a fail safe if objects with a more complex life-cylce involving a end-of-life action are handled correctly.

That is the one reason I can think of that makes it worth in order to override it. An Object becomes eligible for Garbage collection or GC if its not reachable from any live threads or any static refrences in other words you can say that an object becomes eligible for garbage collection if its all references are null.

Cyclic dependencies are not counted as reference so if Object A has reference of object B and object B has reference of Object A and they don't have any other live reference then both Objects A and B will be eligible for Garbage collection. Generally an object becomes eligible for garbage collection in Java on following cases:. This method is called when the object becomes eligible for GC. There are many situations where the objects may not be garbage collected. Sometimes when it is destroyed, an object must make an action.

For example, if an object has a non-java resource such as a file handle or a font, you can verify that these resources are released before destroying an object. To manage such situations, java offers a mechanism called "finalizing". By finalizing it, you can define specific actions that occur when an object is about to be removed from the garbage collector.

To add a finalizer to a class simply define the finalize method. Java execution time calls this method whenever it is about to delete an object of that class. Within the finalize method you specify actions to be performed before destroying an object.

The garbage collector is periodically searched for objects that no longer refer to any running state or indirectly any other object with reference. Before an asset is released, the Java runtime calls the finalize method on the object.

The finalize method has the following general form:. With the protected keyword, access to finalize by code outside its class is prevented. It is important to understand that finalize is called just just before the garbage collection. It is not called when an object leaves the scope, for example.

It means you can not know when, or if, finalize will be executed. As a result, the program must provide other means to free system resources or other resources used by the object. You should not rely on finalize for normal running of the program. If the garbage collector fails to collect the object and tries to run it again, the method doesn't get called in the second time.

Just keep in mind that it might not get called and that it definitely won't be called twice. The finalize method could run zero or one time. In the following code, finalize method produces no output when we run it since the program exits before there is any need to run the garbage collector.

It is not called when an object goes out of scope. This means that you cannot know when or even if finalize will be executed. If your program end before garbage collector occur, then finalize will not execute.

Therefore, it should be used as backup procedure to ensure the proper handling of other resources, or for special use applications, not as the means that your program uses in its normal operation. There is no fixed time at which finalizers must be executed because time of execution depends on the Java Virtual Machine JVM. The only guarantee is that any finalizer method that executes will do so sometime after the associated object has become unreachable detected during the first cycle of garbage collection and sometime before the garbage collector reclaims the associated object's storage during the garbage collector's second cycle.

Execution of an object's finalizer may be delayed for an arbitrarily long time after the object becomes unreachable. Consequently, invoking time-critical functionality such as closing file handles in an object's finalize method is problematic. Learn more. When is the finalize method called in Java? Ask Question. Asked 10 years, 2 months ago. Active 6 months ago. Viewed k times. Chris Martin Active Oldest Votes. In general it's best not to rely on finalize to do any cleaning up etc.

According to the Javadoc which it would be worth reading , it is: Called by the garbage collector on an object when garbage collection determines that there are no more references to the object. Paul Bellora On other words just to clarify for future readers it is never called on the main class, as, when the main class closes, no garbage needs to be collected. The OS cleans up everything the app used anyway.

Zom-B your example is helpful for clarification, but just to be pedantic, presumably it could be called on the main class if the main class creates a non-daemon thread and then returns? So what are the situations where finalize would be useful? MarkJeronimus - Actually, that is irrelevant. And besides, the main class could be garbage collected before the application finishes; e.

In practice, a non-standard classloader would be required Joachim Sauer Joachim Sauer k 50 50 gold badges silver badges bronze badges. It's not a "life span" issue. You can put your program in an infinite loop for years , and if the garbage collector is not needed it will never run.


"Destructors, finalizers, and synchronization."

Dec 02, 17 min read. Jason Greene. A Java finalize method allows an object to take special cleanup actions before it is ultimately discarded by the garbage collector. Unfortunately, it is lesser-known that even such use cases are brittle and, without special precaution, can also fail. And contrary to popular belief PhantomReference , which is often cited as a good alternative to finalizers, suffers from the same fundamental problem. Garbage collectors can choose to hold-off cleaning up used objects until capacity becomes more limited or until certain execution characteristics, such as possible reduced load, indicate that an auspicious collection period has materialized.


Java's Finalizer Is Still There

While working with classes in Java , constructors are used for initializing the instance of a class. The memory is allocated for the object using the constructor but after the object life-cycle is finished and the object is no longer in use, the memory has to be deallocated and released. This is where destructor in Java comes into the picture. In this article, we will learn about destructors in Java, in the following order:. A destructor is a special method that gets called automatically as soon as the life-cycle of an object is finished.


The Fatal Flaw of Finalizers and Phantoms

HPL Keyword s : destructors; finalizers; threads; garbage collection Abstract: We compare two different facilities for running cleanup actions for objects that are about to reach the end of their life. They make it easier to implement cleanup actions for objects of well-known lifetime, especially in the presence of exceptions. Languages like Java, Modula-3, and C provide a different kind of "finalization" facility: Cleanup methods may be run when the garbage collector discovers a heap object to be otherwise inaccessible. We argue that these are fundamentally different, and potentially complementary, language facilities.


What is the use of Destructor in Java?

In computer science , a finalizer or finalize method is a special method that performs finalization , generally some form of cleanup. A finalizer is executed during object destruction , prior to the object being deallocated , and is complementary to an initializer , which is executed during object creation , following allocation. Finalizers are strongly discouraged by some, due to difficulty in proper use and the complexity they add, and alternatives are suggested instead, primarily the dispose pattern [1] — see problems with finalizers. The term "finalizer" is primarily used in object-oriented and functional languages that use garbage collection , of which the archetype is Smalltalk. In technical usage, "finalizer" may also be used to refer to destructors, as these also perform finalization, and some subtler distinctions are drawn — see terminology. The term "final" is also used to indicate a class that cannot be inherited ; this is unrelated. The terminology of "finalizer" and "finalization" versus "destructor" and "destruction" varies between authors and is sometimes unclear.

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