The Dreaded PermGen Error

Joshua Riffle jriffle at
Mon Nov 11 11:23:39 EST 2013

We have been getting this error from time to time with our Shibboleth
Identity Provider in Tomcat 6 and before you reply to this thread...

1) Yes I know this is caused by a memory leak and can be 'mitigated' by
increasing the max permgen size:

2) Or better yet possibly resolved in Tomcat 7:

-- What I don't know and would LOVE input on is:

1) How do you detect or prevent the evil PermGen error beforehand? My
understanding is increasing the MaxPermGenSize is only delaying the
inevitable memory leak build up.

2) Better yet: Best practices? What have you already done in your
architecture to avoid or defeat this kind of issue?

Joshua Riffle
Software Engineer
*Azusa Pacific University*
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