New LiveRecorder for Java Enables Software Failure Replay

New LiveRecorder for Java Enables Software Failure Replay

LiveRecorder for Java is a newly released application for software failure replay. The LiveRecorder application records all the code execution steps of the application.

LiveRecorder for Java is a newly released application for software failure replay. It enables developers to record application failures and then replay them in IntelliJ to find the cause of the failure. It helps to reduce the debugging time, especially with intermittent failures.

The LiveRecorder application records all the code execution steps of the application. Underwater it means that X86 machine-level instructions are being recorded. The recording can be replayed, which is quite similar to debugging except it works on a recording instead of on a live application. This is especially helpful for debugging so-called intermittent failures that only occur sporadically. For instance, when an exception occurs because multiple threads access the same resource. Debugging intermittent failures on a live application is quite hard as you never know when they happen. With LiveRecorder a recording of a failure is made and then it can be debugged using the replay functionality.

LiveRecorder can be used to record application failures in any environment. However, the recording results in a slowdown of 2 to 5 times for most programs. The team is working on improving the performance, in the meantime, it's probably best to avoid running it on production. It's also possible to record failures in tests, integrations for build tools are available. This makes it possible to run LiveRecorder as part of a continuous delivery pipeline with, for instance, Jenkins.

The process is divided into three parts: recordingreplaying, and debugging in IntelliJ. The record and replay applications need to run on Linux, IntelliJ can run on any platform.

An agent is used to record the instructions of the application:

-XX:-Inline -XX:TieredStopAtLevel=1 -XX:UseAVX=2 -Dsun.zip.disableMemoryMapping=true -agentpath:/path/to/lr4j-record-1.0.so=save_on=always

There are various configuration options available, for instance, to configure the recording's filename.

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