Category : C Source Code
Archive   : DMAKE38B.ZIP
Filename : _README

Output of file : _README contained in archive : DMAKE38B.ZIP
# (c) Copyright 1990 Conor P. Cahill. (uunet!virtech!cpcahil)
# You may copy, distribute, and use this software as long as this
# copyright statement is not removed.

This package is a collection of routines which are a drop-in replacement
for the malloc(3), memory(3), string(3), and bstring(3) library functions.

The purpose of these programs is to aid the development and/or debugging
of programs using these functions by providing a high level of consistancy
checking whenever a malloc pointer is used. Due to this increased
level of consistancy checking, these functions have a considerably larger
overhead than the standard functions, but the extra checking should be
well worth it in a development environment.

To use these functions all you need to do is compile the library and
include it on your loader command line. You do not need to recompile
your code, only a relink is necessary.

Features of this library:

1. The malloced area returned from each call to malloc is filled with
non-null bytes. This should catch any use of uninitialized malloc
area. The fill pattern for malloced area is 0x01.

2. When free is called numerous validity checks are made on the
pointer it is passed. In addition, the data in the malloc block
beyound the size requested on the initial malloc is checked to
verify that it is still filled with the original fill characters.

This is usefull for catching things like:

ptr = malloc(5);
ptr[5] = '\0';

* You should not that this will be caught when it is
* freed not when it is done

And finally, the freed block is filled with a different fill pattern
so that you can easily determine if you are still using free'd space.
The fill pattern for free'd areas is 0x02.

This is usefull for catching things like:

ptr = malloc(20);

bptr = ptr+10;

/* do something usefule with bptr */


* now try to do something useful with bptr, it should
* be trashed enough that it would cause real problems
* and when you went to debug the problem it would be
* filled with 0x02's and you would then know to look
* for something free'ing what bptr points to.

3. Whenever a bstring(3)/string(3)/memory(3) function is called, it's
parameters are checked as follows:

If they point somewhere in the malloc arena
If the operation goes beyond requested malloc space
call malloc_warning()

This is usefull for catching things like:

ptr = malloc(5);

4. Malloc_warning() and malloc_fatal() are used when an error condition
is detected. If the error is severe, malloc_fatal is called.
Malloc_warning is used otherwise. The decision about what is fatal
and what is a warning was made somewhat arbitrarily.

Warning messages include:

Calling free with a bad pointer
Calling a bstring/string/memory (3) function which will go beyond
the end of a malloc block (Note that the library function is
not modified to refuse the operation. If malloc warnings are
in the default IGNORE case, the operation will continue and
at some point cause a real problem).

Fatal errors are:

Detectable corruption to the malloc chain.

5. The operations to perform when an error is detected are specified at
run time by the use of environment variables.

MALLOC_WARN - specifies the warning error message handling
MALLOC_FATAL - specifies the fatal error handling

When one of these error conditions occur you will get an error
message and the handler will execute based upon what setting
is in the environment variables. Currently understood settings
are as follows:

0 - continue operations
1 - drop core and exit
2 - just exit
3 - drop core, but continue executing. Core files will
be placed into core.[PID].[counter] i.e: core.00123.001
128 - dump malloc chain and continue
129 - dump malloc chain, dump core, and exit
130 - dump malloc chain, exit
131 - dump malloc chain, dump core, continue processing

There is an additional environment variable MALLOC_ERRFILE which
is used to indicate the name of the file for error message output.

For example, to set up the session to generate a core file for
every malloc warning, to drop core and exit on a malloc fatal, and
to log all messages to the file "malloc_log" do the following:



6. The function malloc_dump() is available to dump the malloc chain whenever
you might want. It's only argument is a file descriptor to use to write
the data. Review the code if you need to know what data is printed.

  3 Responses to “Category : C Source Code
Archive   : DMAKE38B.ZIP
Filename : _README

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: