Whether you’re a coding enthusiast or someone who is considering making a career as a Coder, you must have come across the term ‘Garbage Collection in Java’ at some point while learning Java programming language. Let’s understand its meaning and application.
Garbage collection in Java or Java GC, in layman’s terms, refers to the technique used by the Java garbage collector to reclaim the unused runtime memory automatically. Whether they are using C, C++, or Java, programmers need to create and destroy objects to run a program successfully. However, programmers usually neglect object destruction. This can lead to OutOfMemoryErrors, which can cause a program to stop abruptly while running as there will be no sufficient memory available to create new objects. Thus, the need for garbage collection in Java, or in any programming language becomes pertinent.
Luckily, in Java, programmers don’t have to worry about unwanted objects. Here, the objects are created in the heap space when the programs run on Java Virtual Machine or a JVM. Heap space is a small portion of the memory dedicated to running the Java program on the JVM. A garbage collector automatically carries out the process of collecting garbage, i.e, unwanted objects, and destroys them.
In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions related to Garbage Collection in Java –
Let’s get started!
As mentioned, the GC method in Java is automatically carried out by a garbage collector. It performs the operation of destroying or cleaning unwanted objects by employing Java GC to work on mark-and-sweep algorithms. A mark-and-sweep garbage collection algorithm in Java has to carry out two operations. First, it has to mark or identify unwanted objects. Second, it has to reclaim the heap space used by unwanted objects by sweeping or destroying them. To be able to explain garbage collection in Java, you’ll need to learn the various types of garbage collectors in Java first.
There are four different types of garbage collection in Java. They are:
You can choose any of the different types of garbage collectors in Java, depending on your need for garbage collection in Java.
As a programmer, it is important to understand the best practices for garbage collection, even though the process doesn’t require a programmer to execute commands. The best practice to adopt when it comes to the GC method in Java is to set flags on the JVM. Flags can be used to adjust the garbage collector (CMS, G1 garbage collector, etc.), the size of the heap space, and its initial and maximum value.
We hope this blog helped you understand the concept of automatic garbage collection in Java. If you are interested in learning more about software development, you can check out our holistic Master Certificate Program in Full Stack Development.