Debug Memory Manager
The debug memory manager is used primarily to find incorrect heap usage by an application. It is not optimized for performance and might negatively affect the performance of the application. However, it is valuable in determination of incorrect heap usage.
Memory management errors are sometimes caused by writing past the end of an allocated buffer. Symptoms do not arise until much later when the memory that was overwritten (typically belonging to another allocation) is referenced and no longer contains the expected data.
The debug memory manager allows detection of memory overwrites, memory over reads, duplicate frees, and reuse of freed memory. Memory problems detected by the debug memory manager result in one of two behaviors:
- If the problem is detected at the point that the incorrect usage occurs, an MCH exception message (typically an MCH0601, MCH3402, or MCH6801) is generated. In this case, the error message typically stops the application.
- If the problem is not detected until later, after the incorrect usage has already occurred, a C2M1212 message is generated. In this case, the message does not typically stop the application.
- First, it uses restricted access memory pages. A memory page with restricted access is placed before and after each allocation. Each memory block is aligned on a 16 byte boundary and placed as close to the end of a page as possible. Since memory protection is only allowed on a page boundary, this alignment allows the best detection of memory overwrites and memory over reads. Any read or write from one of the restricted access memory pages immediately results in an MCH exception.
- Second, it uses padding bytes before and after each allocation. A few bytes immediately before each allocation are initialized at allocation time to a preset byte pattern. Any padding bytes following the allocation required to round the allocation size to a multiple of 16 bytes are initialized at allocation time to a preset byte pattern. When the allocation is freed, all the padding bytes are verified to ensure that they still contain the expected preset byte pattern. If any of the padding bytes have been modified, the debug memory manager generates a C2M1212 message with reason code X'80000000', indicating this fact.
A large amount of extra memory is required for each allocation request. The extra memory is due to the following:
- A memory page before the allocation (single-level store version only)
- A memory page after the allocation
- A header on each allocation
- Alignment of each block of memory on a 16 byte boundary
size = ROUND((PAGESIZE * 2) + n + 16, PAGESIZE)
For example, an allocation of size 37 with a page size of 4096 bytes requires a size of ROUND(8192 + 37 + 16, 4096), which is equal to 12,288 bytes.
The total amount of memory required for an allocation of size n in the teraspace version is:
size = ROUND(PAGESIZE + n + 16, PAGESIZE)
For example, an allocation of size 37 with a page size of 4096 bytes requires a size of ROUND(4096 + 37 + 16, 4096), which is equal to 8,192 bytes.
Memory blocks deallocated with the
are returned to the system. The page protection attributes are set
so that any further read or write access to that memory block generates
an MCH exception.
- A new block of the requested size is allocated.
- The data is moved from the original block to the new block.
- The original block is returned with the
- The new block is returned to the caller.
Enabling the debug memory manager
To enable the debug memory manager with the default settings, QIBM_MALLOC_TYPE=DEBUG needs to be specified. To enable the debug memory manager with user-specified configuration options, set QIBM_MALLOC_DEBUG_OPTIONS=options where options is a blank delimited list of one or more configuration options.
If the QIBM_MALLOC_TYPE=DEBUG environment variable is specified
_C_Quickpool_Init() function is called, the
environment variable settings take precedence over the
_C_Quickpool_Init() function returns a -1
value indicating that an alternate heap manager has been enabled.
The following configuration options are available:
This option can be used to specify that each byte of allocated memory is initialized to the given value. The value N represents an integer in the range of 0 to 255.
This option is not enabled by default.
This option can be used to specify that each byte of freed memory is initialized to the given value. The value N represents an integer in the range of 0 to 255.
This option is not enabled by default.
Any number of options can be specified and they can be specified in any order. Blanks are the only valid delimiters for separating configuration options. Each configuration option should only be specified once. If a configuration option is specified more than once, only the final instance applies. If a configuration option is specified with an invalid value, the configuration option is ignored.
ADDENVVAR ENVVAR(QIBM_MALLOC_DEBUG_OPTIONS) LEVEL(*JOB) REPLACE(*YES) VALUE('') ADDENVVAR ENVVAR(QIBM_MALLOC_DEBUG_OPTIONS) LEVEL(*JOB) REPLACE(*YES) VALUE('MALLOC_INIT:255 FREE_INIT:0')
The first example represents the default configuration values. The second example illustrates all options being specified.
There are no functions available to enable or specify configuration options for the debug memory manager. Use the environment variable support to enable or specify configuration options.
- Use the debug memory manager to debug single applications or small
groups of applications at the same time.
The debug memory manager is not appropriate for full-time, constant, or system-wide use. Although it is designed for minimal performance impact upon the application being debugged, significant negative impact on overall system throughput can result if it is used on a system-wide basis. It might cause significant system problems, such as excessive use of the system auxiliary storage pool (ASP).
- The debug memory manager consumes significantly more memory than
the default memory manager. As a result, the debug memory manager
might not be appropriate for use in some debugging situations.
Because the allocations require two memory pages or more of extra memory per allocation, applications that issue many small allocation requests see their memory usage increase dramatically. These programs might encounter new failures as memory allocation requests are denied due to a lack of memory. These failures are not necessarily errors in the application being debugged and they are not errors in the debug memory manager.
Single-level store versions are limited to slightly less than 4 GB for the maximum amount of allocated heap storage. The debug memory manager allocates a minimum of three pages per allocation, which allows for less than 350,000 outstanding heap allocations (with a page size of 4096 bytes).
- The single-level store version of the debug memory manager does each allocation in a separate 16 MB segment which can cause the system to use temporary addresses more rapidly.