Tutorial :To prevent a memory leak, the JDBC Driver has been forcibly unregistered


I am getting this message when I run my web application. It runs fine but I get this message during shutdown.

SEVERE: A web application registered the JBDC driver [oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver] but failed to unregister it when the web application was stopped. To prevent a memory leak, the JDBC Driver has been forcibly unregistered.

Any help appreciated.


Since version 6.0.24, Tomcat ships with a memory leak detection feature, which in turn can lead to this kind of warning messages when there's a JDBC 4.0 compatible driver in the webapp's /WEB-INF/lib which auto-registers itself during webapp's startup using the ServiceLoader API, but which did not auto-deregister itself during webapp's shutdown. This message is purely informal, Tomcat has already taken the memory leak prevention action accordingly.

What can you do?

  1. Ignore those warnings. Tomcat is doing its job right. The actual bug is in someone else's code (the JDBC driver in question), not in yours. Be happy that Tomcat did its job properly and wait until the JDBC driver vendor get it fixed so that you can upgrade the driver. On the other hand, you aren't supposed to drop a JDBC driver in webapp's /WEB-INF/lib, but only in server's /lib. If you still keep it in webapp's /WEB-INF/lib, then you should manually register and deregister it using a ServletContextListener.

  2. Downgrade to Tomcat 6.0.23 or older so that you will not be bothered with those warnings. But it will silently keep leaking memory. Not sure if that's good to know after all. Those kind of memory leaks are one of the major causes behind OutOfMemoryError issues during Tomcat hotdeployments.

  3. Move the JDBC driver to Tomcat's /lib folder and have a connection pooled datasource to manage the driver. Note that Tomcat's builtin DBCP does not deregister drivers properly on close. See also bug DBCP-322 which is closed as WONTFIX. You would rather like to replace DBCP by another connection pool which is doing its job better then DBCP. For example HikariCP, BoneCP, or perhaps Tomcat JDBC Pool.


In your servlet context listener contextDestroyed() method, manually deregister the drivers:

        // This manually deregisters JDBC driver, which prevents Tomcat 7 from complaining about memory leaks wrto this class          Enumeration<Driver> drivers = DriverManager.getDrivers();          while (drivers.hasMoreElements()) {              Driver driver = drivers.nextElement();              try {                  DriverManager.deregisterDriver(driver);                  LOG.log(Level.INFO, String.format("deregistering jdbc driver: %s", driver));              } catch (SQLException e) {                  LOG.log(Level.SEVERE, String.format("Error deregistering driver %s", driver), e);              }            }  


Although Tomcat does forcibly deregister the JDBC driver for you, it is nonetheless good practice to clean up all resources created by your webapp on context destruction in case you move to another servlet container which doesn't do the memory leak prevention checks that Tomcat does.

However, the methodology of blanket driver deregistration is dangerous. Some drivers returned by the DriverManager.getDrivers() method may have been loaded by the parent ClassLoader (i.e., the servlet container's classloader) not the webapp context's ClassLoader (e.g., they may be in the container's lib folder, not the webapp's, and therefore shared across the whole container). Deregistering these will affect any other webapps which may be using them (or even the container itself).

Therefore, one should check that the ClassLoader for each driver is the webapp's ClassLoader before deregistering it. So, in your ContextListener's contextDestroyed() method:

public final void contextDestroyed(ServletContextEvent sce) {      // ... First close any background tasks which may be using the DB ...      // ... Then close any DB connection pools ...        // Now deregister JDBC drivers in this context's ClassLoader:      // Get the webapp's ClassLoader      ClassLoader cl = Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader();      // Loop through all drivers      Enumeration<Driver> drivers = DriverManager.getDrivers();      while (drivers.hasMoreElements()) {          Driver driver = drivers.nextElement();          if (driver.getClass().getClassLoader() == cl) {              // This driver was registered by the webapp's ClassLoader, so deregister it:              try {                  log.info("Deregistering JDBC driver {}", driver);                  DriverManager.deregisterDriver(driver);              } catch (SQLException ex) {                  log.error("Error deregistering JDBC driver {}", driver, ex);              }          } else {              // driver was not registered by the webapp's ClassLoader and may be in use elsewhere              log.trace("Not deregistering JDBC driver {} as it does not belong to this webapp's ClassLoader", driver);          }      }  }  


I see this issue come up a lot. Yes, Tomcat 7 does automatically deregister it, but it that REALLY taking control of your code and a good coding practice? Surely YOU want to know that you have all the correct code in place to close all your objects, shut down database connection pool threads, and get rid of all warnings. I certainly do.

This is how I do it.

Step 1: Register a Listener


<listener>      <listener-class>com.mysite.MySpecialListener</listener-class>  </listener>  

Step 2: Implement the Listener


public class MySpecialListener implements ServletContextListener {        @Override      public void contextInitialized(ServletContextEvent sce) {          // On Application Startup, please…            // Usually I'll make a singleton in here, set up my pool, etc.      }        @Override      public void contextDestroyed(ServletContextEvent sce) {          // On Application Shutdown, please…            // 1. Go fetch that DataSource          Context initContext = new InitialContext();          Context envContext  = (Context)initContext.lookup("java:/comp/env");          DataSource datasource = (DataSource)envContext.lookup("jdbc/database");            // 2. Deregister Driver          try {              java.sql.Driver mySqlDriver = DriverManager.getDriver("jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/");              DriverManager.deregisterDriver(mySqlDriver);          } catch (SQLException ex) {              logger.info("Could not deregister driver:".concat(ex.getMessage()));          }             // 3. For added safety, remove the reference to dataSource for GC to enjoy.          dataSource = null;      }    }  

Please feel free to comment and/or add...


This is purely driver registration/deregistration issue in mysql`s driver or tomcats webapp-classloader. Copy mysql driver into tomcats lib folder (so its loaded by jvm directly, not by tomcat), and message will be gone. That makes mysql jdbc driver to be unloaded only at JVM shutdown, and noone cares about memory leaks then.


If you are getting this message from a Maven built war change the scope of the JDBC driver to provided, and put a copy of it in the lib directory. Like this:

<dependency>    <groupId>mysql</groupId>    <artifactId>mysql-connector-java</artifactId>    <version>5.1.18</version>    <!-- put a copy in /usr/share/tomcat7/lib -->    <scope>provided</scope>  </dependency>  


Solution for per-app deployments

This is a listener I wrote to solve the problem: it autodetects if the driver has registered itself and acts accordingly.it

Important: it is meant to be used ONLY when the driver jar is deployed in WEB-INF/lib, not in the Tomcat /lib, as many suggest, so that each application can take care of its own driver and run on a untouched Tomcat. That is the way it should be IMHO.

Just configure the listener in your web.xml before any other and enjoy.

add near the top of web.xml:

<listener>      <listener-class>utils.db.OjdbcDriverRegistrationListener</listener-class>      </listener>  

save as utils/db/OjdbcDriverRegistrationListener.java:

package utils.db;    import java.sql.Driver;  import java.sql.DriverManager;  import java.sql.SQLException;  import java.util.Enumeration;    import javax.servlet.ServletContextEvent;  import javax.servlet.ServletContextListener;    import oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver;    import org.slf4j.Logger;  import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;    /**   * Registers and unregisters the Oracle JDBC driver.   *    * Use only when the ojdbc jar is deployed inside the webapp (not as an   * appserver lib)   */  public class OjdbcDriverRegistrationListener implements ServletContextListener {        private static final Logger LOG = LoggerFactory              .getLogger(OjdbcDriverRegistrationListener.class);        private Driver driver = null;        /**       * Registers the Oracle JDBC driver       */      @Override      public void contextInitialized(ServletContextEvent servletContextEvent) {          this.driver = new OracleDriver(); // load and instantiate the class          boolean skipRegistration = false;          Enumeration<Driver> drivers = DriverManager.getDrivers();          while (drivers.hasMoreElements()) {              Driver driver = drivers.nextElement();              if (driver instanceof OracleDriver) {                  OracleDriver alreadyRegistered = (OracleDriver) driver;                  if (alreadyRegistered.getClass() == this.driver.getClass()) {                      // same class in the VM already registered itself                      skipRegistration = true;                      this.driver = alreadyRegistered;                      break;                  }              }          }            try {              if (!skipRegistration) {                  DriverManager.registerDriver(driver);              } else {                  LOG.debug("driver was registered automatically");              }              LOG.info(String.format("registered jdbc driver: %s v%d.%d", driver,                      driver.getMajorVersion(), driver.getMinorVersion()));          } catch (SQLException e) {              LOG.error(                      "Error registering oracle driver: " +                               "database connectivity might be unavailable!",                      e);              throw new RuntimeException(e);          }      }        /**       * Deregisters JDBC driver       *        * Prevents Tomcat 7 from complaining about memory leaks.       */      @Override      public void contextDestroyed(ServletContextEvent servletContextEvent) {          if (this.driver != null) {              try {                  DriverManager.deregisterDriver(driver);                  LOG.info(String.format("deregistering jdbc driver: %s", driver));              } catch (SQLException e) {                  LOG.warn(                          String.format("Error deregistering driver %s", driver),                          e);              }              this.driver = null;          } else {              LOG.warn("No driver to deregister");          }        }    }  


I will add to this something I found on the Spring forums. If you move your JDBC driver jar to the tomcat lib folder, instead of deploying it with your webapp, the warning seems to disappear. I can confirm that this worked for me



I found that implementing a simple destroy() method to de-register any JDBC drivers works nicely.

/**   * Destroys the servlet cleanly by unloading JDBC drivers.   *    * @see javax.servlet.GenericServlet#destroy()   */  public void destroy() {      String prefix = getClass().getSimpleName() +" destroy() ";      ServletContext ctx = getServletContext();      try {          Enumeration<Driver> drivers = DriverManager.getDrivers();          while(drivers.hasMoreElements()) {              DriverManager.deregisterDriver(drivers.nextElement());          }      } catch(Exception e) {          ctx.log(prefix + "Exception caught while deregistering JDBC drivers", e);      }      ctx.log(prefix + "complete");  }  


I was having a similar problem, but additionally I was getting a Java Heap Space error anytime I modified/saved JSP pages with Tomcat server running, therefore the context were not fully recharged.

My versions were Apache Tomcat 6.0.29 and JDK 6u12.

Upgrading JDK to 6u21 as suggested in References section of URL http://wiki.apache.org/tomcat/MemoryLeakProtection solved the Java Heap Space problem (context now reloads OK) although JDBC Driver error still appears.


To prevent this memory leak, simply deregister the driver on context shutdown.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  <project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0"           xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"           xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">      <modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>        <groupId>com.mywebsite</groupId>      <artifactId>emusicstore</artifactId>      <version>1.0-SNAPSHOT</version>        <build>          <plugins>              <plugin>                  <groupId>org.apache.maven.plugins</groupId>                  <artifactId>maven-compiler-plugin</artifactId>                  <version>3.7.0</version>                  <configuration>                      <source>1.9</source>                      <target>1.9</target>                  </configuration>              </plugin>          </plugins>      </build>        <dependencies>          <!-- ... -->            <dependency>              <groupId>org.hibernate</groupId>              <artifactId>hibernate-core</artifactId>              <version>4.0.1.Final</version>          </dependency>            <dependency>              <groupId>org.hibernate.javax.persistence</groupId>              <artifactId>hibernate-jpa-2.0-api</artifactId>              <version>1.0.1.Final</version>          </dependency>            <!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/mysql/mysql-connector-java -->          <dependency>              <groupId>mysql</groupId>              <artifactId>mysql-connector-java</artifactId>              <version>8.0.11</version>          </dependency>            <!-- https://mvnrepository.com/artifact/javax.servlet/servlet-api -->          <dependency>              <groupId>javax.servlet</groupId>              <artifactId>servlet-api</artifactId>              <version>2.5</version>              <scope>provided</scope>          </dependency>      </dependencies>    </project>  


package com.emusicstore.utils;    import com.mysql.cj.jdbc.AbandonedConnectionCleanupThread;    import javax.servlet.ServletContextEvent;  import javax.servlet.ServletContextListener;  import java.sql.Driver;  import java.sql.DriverManager;  import java.sql.SQLException;  import java.util.Enumeration;    public class MyWebAppContextListener implements ServletContextListener {        @Override      public void contextInitialized(ServletContextEvent servletContextEvent) {          System.out.println("************** Starting up! **************");      }        @Override      public void contextDestroyed(ServletContextEvent servletContextEvent) {          System.out.println("************** Shutting down! **************");          System.out.println("Destroying Context...");          System.out.println("Calling MySQL AbandonedConnectionCleanupThread checkedShutdown");          AbandonedConnectionCleanupThread.checkedShutdown();            ClassLoader cl = Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader();            Enumeration<Driver> drivers = DriverManager.getDrivers();          while (drivers.hasMoreElements()) {              Driver driver = drivers.nextElement();                if (driver.getClass().getClassLoader() == cl) {                  try {                      System.out.println("Deregistering JDBC driver {}");                      DriverManager.deregisterDriver(driver);                    } catch (SQLException ex) {                      System.out.println("Error deregistering JDBC driver {}");                      ex.printStackTrace();                  }              } else {                  System.out.println("Not deregistering JDBC driver {} as it does not belong to this webapp's ClassLoader");              }          }      }    }  


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>  <web-app xmlns="http://xmlns.jcp.org/xml/ns/javaee"           xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"           xsi:schemaLocation="http://xmlns.jcp.org/xml/ns/javaee                               http://xmlns.jcp.org/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_4_0.xsd"           version="4.0">        <listener>          <listener-class>com.emusicstore.utils.MyWebAppContextListener</listener-class>      </listener>    <!-- ... -->    </web-app>  

Source that inspired me for this bug fix.


I found the same issue with Tomcat version 6.026.

I used the Mysql JDBC.jar in WebAPP Library as well as in TOMCAT Lib.

To fix the above by removing the Jar from the TOMCAT lib folder.

So what I understand is that TOMCAT is handling the JDBC memory leak properly. But if the MYSQL Jdbc jar is duplicated in WebApp and Tomcat Lib, Tomcat will only be able to handle the jar present in the Tomcat Lib folder.


I have faced this problem when I was deploying my Grails application on AWS. This is matter of JDBC default driver org.h2 driver . As you can see this in the Datasource.groovy inside your configuration folder . As you can see below :

dataSource {      pooled = true      jmxExport = true      driverClassName = "org.h2.Driver"   // make this one comment      username = "sa"      password = ""  }  

Comment those lines wherever there is mentioned org.h2.Driver in the datasource.groovy file , if you are not using that database . Otherwise you have to download that database jar file .

Thanks .


Removing the app (tomcat6) solves it. The conf files are preserved. It breaks itself somehow. I am not really sure how it does it.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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