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How much heap can I reserve for JVM? Error when allocation very much heap

Raymond Schanks
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When I call a 1.6 Java program (under WinXP) with a command like:

java -Xms5m -Xmx1200m -jar myapp.jar

Then I get errors like:

Error occurred during initialization of VM
Could not reserve enough space for object heap
Could not create the Java virtual machine.

Why ? I have 2 GB physical memory.
Even if I would allocate more heap than physical memory then JVM should use the swap file
to put the additional heap on hard disc.

Am I right?

How can I avoid the errors above (of cause without decreasing the value) ?


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