Fixing hibernate “Cannot release connection” exception using DBCP and MySQL.

November 21, 2011 by Michael

Every 8 hours i got a Hibernate exception “Cannot release connection” within a Java application using Hibernate, Apache DBCP on Tomcat:

org.hibernate.exception.GenericJDBCException: Cannot release connection
    at org.hibernate.exception.SQLStateConverter.handledNonSpecificException(
    at org.hibernate.exception.SQLStateConverter.convert(
    at org.hibernate.exception.JDBCExceptionHelper.convert(
    at org.hibernate.exception.JDBCExceptionHelper.convert(
Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: Already closed.

Not only that the messages polluted my inbox, the exception was visible to the enduser, resulting in a HTTP 500 error. An older blog post i found suggested dismissing DBCP and using c3p0, a solution that i’m not quite found of. At least, the post helped to reproduce the problem within my development setup. The underlying problem was indeed the MySQL wait_timeout.

There’s quite a long documentation on the Tomcat JDBC Connection Pool. Although the Tomcat team recommends their own solution since Tomcat 7, i still wanted to go with DBCP.

The relevant keywords are “testOnBorrow”, “testOnReturn”, “testWhileIdle”, “validationQuery” and “timeBetweenEvictionRunsMillis”. The first 3 are boolean values. If set to true, the query given as validationQuery is executed on borrowing a connection from the pool, on returning or when idling. The first option is not an option on production use as the query is executed before each call. Although “Select 1” is probably very fast, i just don’t want to have. Also: The problem is an invalidated, idle connection so i set testWhileIdle to true. And what happened? Nothing! The problem stayed. So there is the last option timeBetweenEvictionRunsMillis which should, according to the docs, default to 5 seconds but it doesn’t. The documentation is wrong. It’s under zero, so the eviction thread that tests idle connections never run. I’ve tweeted the tomcat team, but there was no reaction.

So the correct configuration for a DBCP pool database source is:

	validationQuery="Select 1"

This way the eviction thread runs every 30 minutes, testing idle connections with the query “Select 1” and removing them from the pool. The timeBetweenEvictionRunsMillis should not be to low. It should be adapted to the configured MySQL wait_timeout.

One comment

  1. Thomas wrote:

    the validation query depends on the used database engine:
    for more details:

    Posted on December 10, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Permalink
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