Knowledge Base

Retired: Changing your Garbage Collection Method to G1

This is already the default Garbage Collector in Neo4j 2.3+. This guide is only intended for previous versions.

When to Use G1:

By default, Neo4j versions 2.2 and earlier use Concurrent Mark and Sweep (CMS) for garbage collection. Customers with large heaps or who are seeing unacceptable garbage collection pauses with the default method should give G1 (Garbage 1st) a try.

G1 trades off a little throughput in the application to ensure the Full GC pauses are predictable and short. It compacts objects on the heap as it runs to avoid the long Full GC associated with CSM.

When setting G1, it is important to consider your target GC pause duration. We recommend that you leave it at the default (200ms) to start with but increase it if you see too many GCs over one to two seconds. For example, you might try 400ms, then 600ms, until you find the right balance. The setting for the target pause is:

Add this line to conf/neo4j-wrapper.conf if you wish to change the default setting.

Making the Switch to G1:

Edit conf/neo4j-wrapper.conf and change:

# JVM Parameters
G1 should only be used with latest Java 7 or Java 8 releases.