Troubleshooting

While preparing a configuration for processing your code, you may bump into a few problems. The following sections discuss some common issues and solutions:

Problems while processing

Unexpected observations after processing

Problems while converting to Android Dalvik bytecode

Problems while preverifying for Java Micro Edition

Problems at run-time

Problems while processing

ProGuard may print out some notes and non-fatal warnings:
Note: can't find dynamically referenced class ...
ProGuard can't find a class or interface that your code is accessing by means of introspection. You should consider adding the jar that contains this class.
Note: ... calls '(...)Class.forName(variable).newInstance()'
ProGuard lists all class casts of dynamically created class instances, like "(MyClass)Class.forName(variable).newInstance()". Depending on your application, you may need to keep the mentioned classes with an option like "-keep class MyClass", or their implementations with an option like "-keep class * implements MyClass". You can switch off these notes by specifying the -dontnote option.
Note: ... accesses a field/method '...' dynamically
ProGuard lists a number of constructs like ".getField("myField")". Depending on your application, you may need to figure out where the mentioned class members are defined and keep them with an option like "-keep class MyClass { MyFieldType myField; }". Otherwise, ProGuard might remove or obfuscate the class members, since it can't know which ones they are exactly. It does list possible candidates, for your information. You can switch off these notes by specifying the -dontnote option.
Note: the configuration refers to the unknown class '...'
Your configuration refers to the name of a class that is not present in the program jars or library jars. You should check whether the name is correct. Notably, you should make sure that you always specify fully-qualified names, not forgetting the package names.
Note: the configuration keeps the entry point '...', but not the descriptor class '...'
Your configuration contains a -keep option to preserve the given method (or field), but no -keep option for the given class that is an argument type or return type in the method's descriptor. You may then want to keep the class too. Otherwise, ProGuard will obfuscate its name, thus changing the method's signature. The method might then become unfindable as an entry point, e.g. if it is part of a public API. You can switch off these notes by specifying the -dontnote option.
Note: the configuration doesn't specify which class members to keep for class '...'
Your configuration contains a -keepclassmembers/-keepclasseswithmembers option to preserve fields or methods in the given class, but it doesn't specify which fields or methods. This way, the option simply won't have any effect. You probably want to specify one or more fields or methods, as usual between curly braces. You can specify all fields or methods with a wildcard "*;". You should also consider if you just need the more common -keep option, which preserves all specified classes and class members. The overview of all keep options can help. You can switch off these notes by specifying the -dontnote option.
Note: duplicate definition of program/library class
Your program jars or library jars contain multiple definitions of the listed classes. ProGuard continues processing as usual, only considering the first definitions. The warning may be an indication of some problem though, so it's advisable to remove the duplicates. A convenient way to do so is by specifying filters on the input jars or library jars. You can switch off these notes by specifying the -dontnote option.

android The standard Android build process automatically specifies the input jars for you. There may not be an easy way to filter them to remove these notes. You could remove the duplicate classes manually from your libraries. You should never explicitly specify the input jars yourself (with -injars or -libraryjars), since you'll then get duplicate definitions. You should also not add libraries to your application that are already part of the Android run-time (notably org.w3c.dom, org.xml.sax, org.xmlpull.v1, org.apache.commons.logging.Log, org.apache.http, and org.json). They are possibly inconsistent, and the run-time libraries would get precedence anyway.

Warning: can't write resource ... Duplicate zip entry
Your input jars contain multiple resource files with the same name. ProGuard continues copying the resource files as usual, skipping any files with previously used names. Once more, the warning may be an indication of some problem though, so it's advisable to remove the duplicates. A convenient way to do so is by specifying filters on the input jars. There is no option to switch off these warnings.

android The standard Android build process automatically specifies the input jars for you. There may not be an easy way to filter them to remove these warnings. You could remove the duplicate resource files manually from the input and the libraries.

ProGuard may terminate when it encounters parsing errors or I/O errors, or some more serious warnings:

Warning: can't find superclass or interface
Warning: can't find referenced class
A class in one of your program jars or library jars is referring to a class or interface that is missing from the input. The warning lists both the referencing class(es) and the missing referenced class(es). There can be a few reasons, with their own solutions:

  1. If the missing class is referenced from your own code, you may have forgotten to specify an essential library. Just like when compiling all code from scratch, you must specify all libraries that the code is referencing, directly or indirectly. If the library should be processed and included in the output, you should specify it with -injars, otherwise you should specify it with -libraryjars.

    For example, if ProGuard complains that it can't find a java.lang class, you have to make sure that you are specifying the run-time library of your platform. For JSE, these are typically packaged in lib/rt.jar (vm.jar for IBM's JVM, and classes.jar in MacOS X). Other platforms like JME and Android have their own run-time libraries. The examples section provides more details for the various platforms.

    If ProGuard still complains that it can't find a javax.crypto class, you probably still have to specify jce.jar, next to the more common rt.jar.

  2. If the missing class is referenced from a pre-compiled third-party library, and your original code runs fine without it, then the missing dependency doesn't seem to hurt. The cleanest solution is to filter out the referencing class or classes from the input, with a filter like "-libraryjars mylibrary.jar(!somepackage/SomeUnusedReferencingClass.class)". ProGuard will then skip this class entirely in the input, and it will not bump into the problem of its missing reference. However, you may then have to filter out other classes that are in turn referencing the removed class. In practice, this works best if you can filter out entire unused packages at once, with a wildcard filter like "-libraryjars mylibrary.jar(!someunusedpackage/**)".

  3. If you don't feel like filtering out the problematic classes, you can try your luck with the -ignorewarnings option, or even the -dontwarn option. Only use these options if you really know what you're doing though.

android The standard Android build process automatically specifies the input jars for you. Unfortunately, many pre-compiled third-party libraries refer to other libraries that are not actually used and therefore not present. This works fine in debug builds, but in release builds, ProGuard expects all libraries, so it can perform a proper static analysis. For example, if ProGuard complains that it can't find a java.awt class, then some library that you are using is referring to java.awt. This is a bit shady, since Android doesn't have this package at all, but if your application works anyway, you can let ProGuard accept it with "-dontwarn java.awt.**", for instance.

If the missing class is an Android run-time class, you should make sure that you are building against an Android run-time that is sufficiently recent. You may need to change the build target in your project.properties file or build.gradle file to that recent version. You can still specify a different minSdkVersion and a different targetSdkVersion in your AndroidManifest.xml file.

Error: Can't find any super classes of ... (not even immediate super class ...)
Error: Can't find common super class of ... and ...
It seems like you tried to avoid the warnings from the previous paragraph by specifying -ignorewarnings or -dontwarn, but it didn't work out. ProGuard's optimization step and preverification step really need the missing classes to make sense of the code. Preferably, you would solve the problem by adding the missing library, as discussed. If you're sure the class that references the missing class isn't used either, you could also try filtering it out from the input, by adding a filter to the corresponding -injars option: "-injars myapplication.jar(!somepackage/SomeUnusedClass.class)". As a final solution, you could switch off optimization (-dontoptimize) and preverification (-dontpreverify).
Warning: can't find referenced field/method '...' in program class ...
A program class is referring to a field or a method that is missing from another program class. The warning lists both the referencing class and the missing referenced class member. Your compiled class files are most likely inconsistent. Possibly, some class file didn't get recompiled properly, or some class file was left behind after its source file was removed. Try removing all compiled class files and rebuilding your project.
Warning: can't find referenced field/method '...' in library class ...
A program class is referring to a field or a method that is missing from a library class. The warning lists both the referencing class and the missing referenced class member. Your compiled class files are inconsistent with the libraries. You may need to recompile the class files, or otherwise upgrade the libraries to consistent versions.

android If you're developing for Android and ProGuard complains that it can't find a method that is only available in a recent version of the Android run-time, you should change the build target in your project.properties file or build.gradle file to that recent version. You can still specify a different minSdkVersion and a different targetSdkVersion in your AndroidManifest.xml file.

Alternatively, you may get away with ignoring the inconsistency with the options -ignorewarnings or even -dontwarn. For instance, you can specify "-dontwarn mypackage.MyInconsistentClass".

Finally, should your program classes reside in the same packages as library classes and should they refer to their package visible class members, then you should also specify the -dontskipnonpubliclibraryclassmembers option.

Warning: can't find enclosing class/method
If there are unresolved references to classes that are defined inside methods in your input, once more, your compiled class files are most likely inconsistent. Possibly, some class file didn't get recompiled properly, or some class file was left behind after its source file was removed. Try removing all compiled class files and rebuilding your project.
Warning: library class ... depends on program class ...
If any of your library classes depend on your program classes, by extending, implementing or just referencing them, your processed code will generally be unusable. Program classes can depend on library classes, but not the other way around. Program classes are processed, while library classes always remain unchanged. It is therefore impossible to adapt references from library classes to program classes, for instance if the program classes are renamed. You should define a clean separation between program code (specified with -injars) and library code (specified with -libraryjars), and try again.

android In Android development, sloppy libraries may contain duplicates of classes that are already present in the Android run-time (notably org.w3c.dom, org.xml.sax, org.xmlpull.v1, org.apache.commons.logging.Log, org.apache.http, and org.json). You must remove these classes from your libraries, since they are possibly inconsistent, and the run-time libraries would get precedence anyway.

Warning: class file ... unexpectedly contains class ...
The given class file contains a definition for the given class, but the directory name of the file doesn't correspond to the package name of the class. ProGuard will accept the class definition, but the current implementation will not write out the processed version. Please make sure your input classes are packaged correctly. Notably, class files that are in the WEB-INF/classes directory in a war should be packaged in a jar and put in the WEB-INF/lib directory. If you don't mind these classes not being written to the output, you can specify the -ignorewarnings option, or even the -dontwarn option.
Warning: ... is not being kept as ..., but remapped to ...
There is a conflict between a -keep option in the configuration, and the mapping file, in the obfuscation step. The given class name or class member name can't be kept by its original name, as specified in the configuration, but it has to be mapped to the other given name, as specified in the mapping file. You should adapt your configuration or your mapping file to remove the conflict. Alternatively, if you're sure the renaming won't hurt, you can specify the -ignorewarnings option, or even the -dontwarn option.
Warning: field/method ... can't be mapped to ...
There is a conflict between some new program code and the mapping file, in the obfuscation step. The given class member can't be mapped to the given name, because it would conflict with another class member that is already being mapped to the same name. This can happen if you are performing incremental obfuscation, applying an obfuscation mapping file from an initial obfuscation step. For instance, some new class may have been added that extends two existing classes, introducing a conflict in the name space of its class members. If you're sure the class member receiving another name than the one specified won't hurt, you can specify the -ignorewarnings option, or even the -dontwarn option. Note that you should always use the -useuniqueclassmembernames option in the initial obfuscation step, in order to reduce the risk of conflicts.
Error: Unsupported class version number
You are trying to process class files compiled for a recent version of Java that your copy of ProGuard doesn't support yet. You should check on-line if there is a more recent release.
Error: You have to specify '-keep' options
You either forgot to specify -keep options, or you mistyped the class names. ProGuard has to know exactly what you want to keep: an application, an applet, a servlet, a midlet,..., or any combination of these. Without the proper seed specifications, ProGuard would shrink, optimize, or obfuscate all class files away.
Error: Expecting class path separator ';' before 'Files\Java\...' (in Windows)
If the path of your run-time jar contains spaces, like in "Program Files", you have to enclose it with single or double quotes, as explained in the section on file names. This is actually true for all file names containing special characters, on all platforms.
Error: Can't read [.../lib/rt.jar] (No such file or directory) (in MacOS X)
In MacOS X, the run-time classes may be in a different place than on most other platforms. You'll then have to adapt your configuration, replacing the path <java.home>/lib/rt.jar by <java.home>/../Classes/classes.jar.
Error: Can't read ...
ProGuard can't read the specified file or directory. Double-check that the name is correct in your configuration, that the file is readable, and that it is not corrupt. An additional message "Unexpected end of ZLIB input stream" suggests that the file is truncated. You should then make sure that the file is complete on disk when ProGuard starts (asynchronous copying? unflushed buffer or cache?), and that it is not somehow overwritten by ProGuard's own output.
Error: Can't write ...
ProGuard can't write the specified file or directory. Double-check that the name is correct in your configuration and that the file is writable.
Internal problem starting the ProGuard GUI (Cannot write XdndAware property) (in Linux)
In Linux, at least with Java 6, the GUI may not start properly, due to Sun Bug #7027598. The work-around at this time is to specify the JVM option -DsuppressSwingDropSupport=true when running the GUI.

Should ProGuard crash while processing your application:

OutOfMemoryError
You can try increasing the heap size of the Java virtual machine, with the usual -Xmx option: You can also reduce the amount of memory that ProGuard needs by removing unnecessary library jars from your configuration, or by filtering out unused library packages and classes.
StackOverflowError
This error might occur when processing a large code base on Windows (surprisingly, not so easily on Linux). In theory, increasing the stack size of the Java virtual machine (with the usual -Xss option) should help too. In practice however, the -Xss setting doesn't have any effect on the main thread, due to Sun Bug #4362291. As a result, this solution will only work when running ProGuard in a different thread, e.g. from its GUI.
Unexpected error
ProGuard has encountered an unexpected condition, typically in the optimization step. It may or may not recover. You should be able to avoid it using the -dontoptimize option. In any case, please report the problem, preferably with the simplest example that causes ProGuard to crash.
Otherwise...
Maybe your class files are corrupt. See if recompiling them and trying again helps. If not, please report the problem, preferably with the simplest example that causes ProGuard to crash.

Unexpected observations after processing

If ProGuard seems to run fine, but your processed code doesn't look right, there might be a couple of reasons:
Disappearing classes
If you are working on Windows and it looks like some classes have disappeared from your output, you should make sure you're not writing your output class files to a directory (or unpacking the output jar). On platforms with case-insensitive file systems, such as Windows, unpacking tools often let class files with similar lower-case and upper-case names overwrite each other. If you really can't switch to a different operating system, you could consider using ProGuard's -dontusemixedcaseclassnames option.

Also, you should make sure your class files are in directories that correspond to their package names. ProGuard will read misplaced class files, but it will currently not write their processed versions. Notably, class files that are in the WEB-INF/classes directory in a war should be packaged in a jar and put in the WEB-INF/lib directory.

Classes or class members not being kept
If ProGuard is not keeping the right classes or class members, make sure you are using fully qualified class names. If the package name of some class is missing, ProGuard won't match the elements that you might be expecting. It may help to double-check for typos too. You can use the -printseeds option to see which elements are being kept exactly.

If you are using marker interfaces to keep other classes, the marker interfaces themselves are probably being removed in the shrinking step. You should therefore always explicitly keep any marker interfaces, with an option like "-keep interface MyMarkerInterface".

Similarly, if you are keeping classes based on annotations, you may have to avoid that the annotation classes themselves are removed in the shrinking step. You should package the annotation classes as a library, or explicitly keep them in your program code with an option like "-keep @interface *".

Variable names not being obfuscated
If the names of the local variables and parameters in your obfuscated code don't look obfuscated, because they suspiciously resemble the names of their types, it's probably because the decompiler that you are using is coming up with those names. ProGuard's obfuscation step does remove the original names entirely, unless you explicitly keep the LocalVariableTable or LocalVariableTypeTable attributes.

Problems while converting to Android Dalvik bytecode

If ProGuard seems to run fine, but the dx tool in the Android SDK subsequently fails with an error:
SimException: local variable type mismatch
This error indicates that ProGuard's optimization step has not been able to maintain the correct debug information about local variables. This can happen if some code is optimized radically. Possible work-arounds: let the java compiler not produce debug information (-g:none), or let ProGuard's obfuscation step remove the debug information again (by not keeping the attributes LocalVariableTable and LocalVariableTypeTable with -keepattributes), or otherwise just disable optimization (-dontoptimize).
Conversion to Dalvik format failed with error 1
This error may have various causes, but if dx is tripping over some code processed by ProGuard, you should make sure that you are using the latest version of ProGuard. You can just copy the ProGuard jars to android-sdk/tools/proguard/lib. If that doesn't help, please report the problem, preferably with the simplest example that still brings out the error.

Problems while preverifying for Java Micro Edition

If ProGuard seems to run fine, but the external preverifier subsequently produces errors, it's usually for a single reason:
InvalidClassException, class loading error, or verification error
If you get any such message from the preverifier, you are probably working on a platform with a case-insensitive file system, such as Windows. The preverify tool always unpacks the jars, so class files with similar lower-case and upper-case names overwrite each other. You can use ProGuard's -dontusemixedcaseclassnames option to work around this problem.

If the above doesn't help, there is probably a bug in the optimization step of ProGuard. Make sure you are using the latest version. You should be able to work around the problem by using the -dontoptimize option. You can check the bug database to see if it is a known problem (often with a fix). Otherwise, please report it, preferably with the simplest example on which you can find ProGuard to fail.

Note that it is no longer necessary to use an external preverifier. With the -microedition option, ProGuard will preverify the class files for Java Micro Edition.

Problems at run-time

If ProGuard runs fine, but your processed application doesn't work, there might be several reasons:
Stack traces without class names or line numbers
If your stack traces don't contain any class names or lines numbers, even though you are keeping the proper attributes, make sure this debugging information is present in your compiled code to start with. Notably the Ant javac task has debugging information switched off by default.
NoClassDefFoundError
Your class path is probably incorrect. It should at least contain all library jars and, of course, your processed program jar.
ClassNotFoundException
Your code is probably calling Class.forName, trying to create the missing class dynamically. ProGuard can only detect constant name arguments, like Class.forName("mypackage.MyClass"). For variable name arguments like Class.forName(someClass), you have to keep all possible classes using the appropriate -keep option, e.g. "-keep class mypackage.MyClass" or "-keep class * implements mypackage.MyInterface".
NoSuchFieldException
Your code is probably calling something like myClass.getField, trying to find some field dynamically. Since ProGuard can't always detect this automatically, you have to keep the missing field in using the appropriate -keep option, e.g. "-keepclassmembers class mypackage.MyClass { int myField; }".
NoSuchMethodException
Your code is probably calling something like myClass.getMethod, trying to find some method dynamically. Since ProGuard can't always detect this automatically, you have to keep the missing method in using the appropriate -keep option, e.g. "-keepclassmembers class mypackage.MyClass { void myMethod(); }".

More specifically, if the method reported as missing is values or valueOf, you probably have to keep some methods related to enumerations.

MissingResourceException or NullPointerException
Your processed code may be unable to find some resource files. ProGuard simply copies resource files over from the input jars to the output jars. Their names and contents remain unchanged, unless you specify the options -adaptresourcefilenames and/or -adaptresourcefilecontents.

Furthermore, directory entries in jar files aren't copied, unless you specify the option -keepdirectories. Note that Sun advises against calling Class.getResource() for directories (Sun Bug #4761949).

Disappearing annotations
By default, the obfuscation step removes all annotations. If your application relies on annotations to function properly, you should explicitly keep them with -keepattributes *Annotation*.
Invalid or corrupt jarfile
You are probably starting your application with the java option -jar instead of the option -classpath. The java virtual machine returns with this error message if your jar doesn't contain a manifest file (META-INF/MANIFEST.MF), if the manifest file doesn't specify a main class (Main-Class: ...), or if the jar doesn't contain this main class. You should then make sure that the input jar contains a valid manifest file to start with, that this manifest file is the one that is copied (the first manifest file that is encountered), and that the main class is kept in your configuration,
InvalidJarIndexException: Invalid index
At least one of your processed jar files contains an index file META-INF/INDEX.LIST, listing all class files in the jar. ProGuard by default copies files like these unchanged. ProGuard may however remove or rename classes, thus invalidating the file. You should filter the index file out of the input (-injars in.jar(!META-INF/INDEX.LIST)) or update the file after having applied ProGuard (jar -i out.jar).
InvalidClassException, class loading error, or verification error (in Java Micro Edition)
If you get such an error in Java Micro Edition, you may have forgotten to specify the -microedition option, so the processed class files are preverified properly.
Error: No Such Field or Method, Error verifying method (in a Java Micro Edition emulator)
If you get such a message in a Motorola or Sony Ericsson phone emulator, it's because these emulators don't like packageless classes and/or overloaded fields and methods. You can work around it by not using the options -repackageclasses '' and -overloadaggressively. If you're using the JME WTK plugin, you can adapt the configuration proguard/wtk/default.pro that's inside the proguard.jar.
Failing midlets (on a Java Micro Edition device)
If your midlet runs in an emulator and on some devices, but not on some other devices, this is probably due to a bug in the latter devices. For some older Motorola and Nokia phones, you might try specifying the -useuniqueclassmembernames option. It avoids overloading class member names, which triggers a bug in their java virtual machine.

You might also try using the -dontusemixedcaseclassnames option. Even if the midlet has been properly processed and then preverified on a case-sensitive file system, the device itself might not like the mixed-case class names. Notably, the Nokia N-Gage emulator works fine, but the actual device seems to exhibit this problem.

Disappearing loops
If your code contains empty busy-waiting loops, ProGuard's optimization step may remove them. More specifically, this happens if a loop continuously checks the value of a non-volatile field that is changed in a different thread. The specifications of the Java Virtual Machine require that you always mark fields that are accessed across different threads without further synchronization as volatile. If this is not possible for some reason, you'll have to switch off optimization using the -dontoptimize option.
SecurityException: SHA1 digest error
You may have forgotten to sign your program jar after having processed it with ProGuard.
ClassCastException: class not an enum, or
IllegalArgumentException: class not an enum type
You should make sure you're preserving the special methods of enumeration types, which the run-time environment calls by introspection. The required options are shown in the examples.
ArrayStoreException: sun.reflect.annotation.EnumConstantNotPresentExceptionProxy
You are probably processing annotations involving enumerations. Again, you should make sure you're preserving the special methods of the enumeration type, as shown in the examples.
CompilerError: duplicate addition
You are probably compiling or running some code that has been obfuscated with the -overloadaggressively option. This option triggers a bug in sun.tools.java.MethodSet.add in Sun's JDK 1.2.2, which is used for (dynamic) compilation. You should then avoid this option.
ClassFormatError: repetitive field name/signature
You are probably processing some code that has been obfuscated before with the -overloadaggressively option. You should then use the same option again in the second processing round.
ClassFormatError: Invalid index in LocalVariableTable in class file
If you are keeping the LocalVariableTable or LocalVariableTypeTable attributes, ProGuard's optimizing step is sometimes unable to update them consistently. You should then let the obfuscation step remove these attributes or disable the optimization step.
NoSuchMethodError or AbstractMethodError
You should make sure you're not writing your output class files to a directory on a platform with a case-insensitive file system, such as Windows. Please refer to the section about disappearing classes for details.

Furthermore, you should check whether you have specified your program jars and library jars properly. Program classes can refer to library classes, but not the other way around.

If all of this seems ok, perhaps there's a bug in ProGuard (gasp!). If so, please report it, preferably with the simplest example on which you can find ProGuard to fail.

VerifyError
Verification errors when executing a program are almost certainly the result of a bug in the optimization step of ProGuard. Make sure you are using the latest version. You should be able to work around the problem by using the -dontoptimize option. You can check the bug database to see if it is a known problem (often with a fix). Otherwise, please report it, preferably with the simplest example on which ProGuard fails.

Copyright © 2002-2013 Eric Lafortune.