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Apache Ant Tasks for JMX Access

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I wanted to invoke JMX operations from the Ant tasks. However finding usable ant tasks library as well as the usage was rather tricky. So let me share my experience to make things easier for others.

Ant tasks for JMX operations

I decided to follow Tomcat documentation and used ant tasks distributed with tomcat.

Just for the record the usage is not restricted to Tomcat deployed JMX mBeans. For me it worked for java process accessible via JConsole via Remote connection.

Retrieving the library

  1. As I wanted to get the latest version I used maven central repository “search by classname” feature and searched for:org.apache.catalina.ant.jmx.JMXAccessorTask (see the query)
  2. afterwards I went for the tomcat 8 jar file (called tomcat-catalina-ant-8.0.8.jar)
  3. and just copyied the latest available to my $ANT_HOME/lib dir.


I didn’t have a chance (or motivation?) to check all the tasks available, the full list of tasks available can be seen in the zipped file: org/apache/catalina/ant/jmx/antlib.xml, following were present for me:


out of these, I gave following a try:


For the demonstration purposes I’m using Glassfish 4.0.

Example: Listing JMX MBeans

Let’s assume we want to retrieve the MBean by name (namely: java.lang:type=Memory). Please note username and password were not required for access (otherwise they should be specified via respective properties).

Noteworthy here is the resultproperty, which could hold array from which we could get a name. So having in ant build script:

<typedefname="jmxQuery"classname="org.apache.catalina.ant.jmx.JMXAccessorQueryTask"/><jmxQueryhost="localhost"port="8686"echo="true"name="java.lang:type=Memory"resultproperty="memory"/><echo>Retrieved MBeans count: ${memory.Length}</echo><echo>The 1.st one has name: ${memory.0.Name}</echo>

results for me in following output:

[jmxQuery] memory.Length=1[jmxQuery] memory.0.Name=java.lang:type=Memory[echo]RetrievedMBeans count:1[echo]The1.st one has name: java.lang:type=Memory

Example: Invoking operation via JMX

Here is a 2 step approach required:

  1. connect to remote server via JMX and afterwards
  2. invoke the operation on the particular MBean.

For demonstration purposes, let’s assume we want to call garbage collection (via invoking operation: gc() on MBean named: java.lang:type=Memory)

Sample ant build file chunk does the job (please note ref property value that has to be the same across these 2 tasks):

<typedefname="jmxOpen"classname="org.apache.catalina.ant.jmx.JMXAccessorTask"/><typedefname="jmxInvoke"classname="org.apache.catalina.ant.jmx.JMXAccessorInvokeTask"/><jmxOpenhost="localhost"port="8686"ref="glassfish"failOnError="true"/><jmxInvokename="java.lang:type=Memory"operation="gc"echo="true"delimiter=" "failOnError="true"ref="glassfish"/>

Further information

For more details, I recommend reading the official Tomcat documentation as well asJavadocs.

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Published at DZone with permission of Peter Butkovic, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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