Memory Issues with Oracle WebLogic Smart Update

Oracle WebLogic Smart Updater splash screen

If you need to update Oracle WebLogic 10.3.6 on Solaris / UNIX / Linux with a security patch or service pack, you will likely find yourself using the Oracle Smart Update program. 

This program, which is run by executing the script bsu.sh, is usually found in the utils/bsu folder underneath the BEA Home folder. For example, if your BEA Home folder is “/u01/app/bea64/middleware”, you would change directory to “/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu”, and execute bsu.sh, after uploading the required patch files to the cache_dir directory.

{user@server:/:}# cd /u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu
{user@server:/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu:}# ./bsu.sh

Officially, this is how you would execute the program. Except that, for whatever reason, it seems that this script has not provided nearly enough memory for the program to run. Unfortunately, you will likely not find this out for almost an hour, while you get the splash screen above and your server attempts to run the program.

One Eternity Later

After the interminable wait is up, your program has crashed, and you finish pulling what’s left of your hair out, you can begin to troubleshoot the problem. Or, hopefully, you will have found this post before trying any of this!

Let’s look at the source of the problem. Literally.

{user@server:/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu:}# cat bsu.sh
#!/bin/sh
JAVA_HOME="/usr/jdk/instances/jdk1.8.0"
MEM_ARGS="-Xms256m -Xmx512m"
"$JAVA_HOME/bin/java" ${MEM_ARGS} -jar patch-client.jar $*
{user@server:/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu:}#

See that MEM_ARGS variable? This isn’t 1999 anymore, so let’s change the memory allocation, shall we? Oh, I should mention that if you’re still using a 32-bit version of Java, you’ll be constrained by that pesky 2 GB limit and will have to adjust accordingly.

Let’s see how much memory we have. I’m running Solaris, so this is what I ran:

{user@server:/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu:}# prtconf | grep Memory
prtconf: devinfo facility not available
Memory size: 131072 Megabytes
{user@server:/u01/app/bea64/middleware/utils/bsu:}#

Also, I ran “java -d64” just to ensure that I am indeed running a 64-bit JVM.

Using everyone’s favorite editor (vi, of course), I increased the JVM memory allocations and saved the script as a new file: bsumem.sh.

#!/bin/sh
JAVA_HOME="/usr/jdk/instances/jdk1.8.0"
MEM_ARGS="-Xms32255m -Xmx64510m"
"$JAVA_HOME/bin/java" ${MEM_ARGS} -jar patch-client.jar $*

After saving the file, I executed it: “./bsumem.sh”

Oracle Smart Update loading...

At this point, go pop some popcorn and watch an episode of something on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Don’t worry, the program will still be loading when you finish. (You might actually want to check every 15 minutes or so just to make sure that no other errors crashed the app!)

Once your show is over, you can come back and if you held your mouth right when executing the last command, the program will be ready to load the patch. Or you may have to wait another 15-20 minutes, but it should be relatively soon.

I have yet to figure out why this program takes so long to run, though from what I’ve read, it’s a common – if not universal – experience. 

Don’t Put Spaces in Java Install Path!

Oracle Weblogic Server 12c logo

So you’ve decided you want to install Oracle Middleware Weblogic Server on Windows, but you haven’t installed the Java JDK yet. Are you thinking about installing it somewhere like “C:\Program Files\Java\jdk…”?

Do not pass GO, do not collect $200, go directly to Oracle installation jail! For whatever reason, Oracle – who also happens to own Java – has made their Weblogic Configuration Wizard completely unfriendly to any spaces being present in the Java installation path. If you don’t heed my advice, you’ll likely end up with the error message
“C:\Program is not recognized as an internal or external command…”
or something like it.

Either choose the default location for installing Java, or if you must put it on a different drive than C, only change the drive letter. This will prevent a great amount of frustration!

Java VM Issues While Installing Eclipse Neon on macOS Sierra

unsuitable JVM

When installing the Eclipse IDE, one must be running a version of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that is compatible with the version of Eclipse that is being installed.

I was trying to install Eclipse Neon on macOS Sierra, which is the most recent major release. Sierra ships with Java, but not the version which is required by Neon, which is 1.8.

As a result, upon trying to install Eclipse Neon, you will likely see a box that looks like this (except it will say 1.8 rather than 1.7):

unsuitable JVM

Though there are multiple ways to upgrade Java on the Mac, it seems getting it from Oracle is the only one that works from what I’ve seen.

To upgrade the JVM on macOS to 1.8, go to the Oracle Java SE Runtime Environment downloads page and get the file for Mac; I prefer getting the dmg package file:

Java SE downloads page

Install the Java SE package like any other Mac application and Eclipse can then be installed.

Accessing the Google Foobar Challenges on Chrome

Google Foobar challenge prompt

Last night I was Googling Python lambda functions and a strange thing happened. The Google search results window broke open near the top and a single line of white text appeared on a black background asking if I wanted to take a test, next to a link to google.com/foobar.

Google Foobar challenge prompt

After clicking on the link, I was able to login and got a shell prompt.

For some reason, some letters could be typed, but others had no effect. Initially, I was using Chrome as my browser. On Safari, I found that I could type anything there.

Ironically, Chrome’s malware defenses affect the functionality of this page. If you want to use Chrome to do the Foobar challenges, you must uncheck the “Enable phishing and malware protection” under Advanced Settings in Chrome. Some other ad blocking or malware-related extensions may also need to be turned off if this doesn’t fix the problem.