How to set Sonarqube Compute Engine Java memory parameters with Environment Variables

  • I’m using Sonarqube 8.2 Docker image

  • I have been receiving java heap errors when users tryo to check in large projects like this:
    java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Java heap space
    at java.base/java.lang.StringCoding.encodeUTF8_UTF16(Unknown Source)
    at java.base/java.lang.StringCoding.encodeUTF8(Unknown Source)
    at java.base/java.lang.StringCoding.encode(Unknown Source)
    at java.base/java.lang.String.getBytes(Unknown Source)
    at org.sonar.core.hash.SourceHashComputer.addLine(
    at org.sonar.ce.task.projectanalysis.source.FileSourceDataComputer.compute(
    at org.sonar.ce.task.projectanalysis.source.PersistFileSourcesStep$FileSourceVisitor.visitFile(

  • I want to Increase the Compute engine Java heap memory from the default 512MB to 1GB using environment variables on the docker run command line.

  • I tried by adding the environment variable to the Docker Run Command like this:
    and it did not do anything to the heap space.
    How exactly should I specify the JVM memory using the environment variable? I also saw @ceDefaultHeapSize@ referenced in the documentation, but not sure what this is?


Welcome to the community!

According to the docs it looks like you need a -e flag instead of -env…?


Thanks for the reply Ann. Actually it seems the markdown munged my two dashes “–” into one. I did indeed use “–env” (which is equivalent to “-e”).

Hi @robfocht,

ceDefaultHeapSize is 512MB. This is indeed a copy-paste issue in our doc, we will need to fix it. FYI, you can see all default values in /opt/sonarqube/conf/ You can use the following command to see it:

docker exec [CONTAINER_ID] -it cat /opt/sonarqube/conf/

SONAR_CE_JAVAADDITIONALOPTS is for specifying any Java options, except memory. This is what is meant by the phrase:

Same as previous property, but allows to not repeat all other settings like -Xmx

I agree this might not be the simplest way to phrase that particular bit of info :sweat_smile: . But basically, setting memory arguments in SONAR_CE_JAVAADDITIONALOPTS will result in a call that looks something like this:

-Djava.awt.headless=true -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 (...) -Xmx512m -Xms128m -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Xmx1G -Xms1G

Notice the duplicate -Xmx and -Xms options. This is why it doesn’t work. Only the defaults are taken into account, because they come first.

However, if you use SONAR_CE_JAVAOPTS instead, it will work. Example:

docker run --rm --env SONAR_CE_JAVAOPTS="-Xmx1G -Xms1G" -p 9000:9000 sonarqube:8.2-community

You should see a line like this in your Docker logs:

INFO  app[][o.s.a.ProcessLauncherImpl] Launch process[[key='ce', ipcIndex=3, logFilenamePrefix=ce]] from [/opt/sonarqube]: /usr/local/openjdk-11/bin/java (...defaults you cannot override) -Xmx1G -Xms1G

This is the way to set memory for the CE using Docker. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the help and the clarification. Adding the environment variable as you mentioned worked.

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