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NAME

       mcheck, mcheck_check_all, mcheck_pedantic, mprobe - heap consistency checking

SYNOPSIS

       #include <mcheck.h>

       int mcheck(void (*abortfunc)(enum mcheck_status mstatus));

       int mcheck_pedantic(void (*abortfunc)(enum mcheck_status mstatus));

       void mcheck_check_all(void);

       enum mcheck_status mprobe(void *ptr);

DESCRIPTION

       The  mcheck()  function  installs  a  set  of  debugging hooks for the malloc(3) family of
       memory-allocation functions.  These hooks cause certain consistency checks to be performed
       on  the  state  of  the  heap.  The checks can detect application errors such as freeing a
       block of memory more  than  once  or  corrupting  the  bookkeeping  data  structures  that
       immediately precede a block of allocated memory.

       To  be  effective, the mcheck() function must be called before the first call to malloc(3)
       or a related function.  In cases where this is difficult to ensure,  linking  the  program
       with -lmcheck inserts an implicit call to mcheck() (with a NULL argument) before the first
       call to a memory-allocation function.

       The mcheck_pedantic() function  is  similar  to  mcheck(),  but  performs  checks  on  all
       allocated  blocks  whenever one of the memory-allocation functions is called.  This can be
       very slow!

       The mcheck_check_all() function causes an immediate check on all allocated  blocks.   This
       call is effective only if mcheck() is called beforehand.

       If  the  system detects an inconsistency in the heap, the caller-supplied function pointed
       to by abortfunc is invoked with a single argument, mstatus, that indicates  what  type  of
       inconsistency  was  detected.   If  abortfunc  is NULL, a default function prints an error
       message on stderr and calls abort(3).

       The mprobe() function performs a consistency  check  on  the  block  of  allocated  memory
       pointed  to by ptr.  The mcheck() function should be called beforehand (otherwise mprobe()
       returns MCHECK_DISABLED).

       The following list describes the values returned by mprobe()  or  passed  as  the  mstatus
       argument when abortfunc is invoked:

       MCHECK_DISABLED (mprobe() only)
              mcheck()  was  not  called  before the first memory allocation function was called.
              Consistency checking is not possible.

       MCHECK_OK (mprobe() only)
              No inconsistency detected.

       MCHECK_HEAD
              Memory preceding an allocated block was clobbered.

       MCHECK_TAIL
              Memory following an allocated block was clobbered.

       MCHECK_FREE
              A block of memory was freed twice.

RETURN VALUE

       mcheck() and mcheck_pedantic() return 0 on success, or -1 on error.

VERSIONS

       The mcheck_pedantic() and mcheck_check_all() functions are available since glibc 2.2.  The
       mcheck() and mprobe() functions are present since at least glibc 2.0

ATTRIBUTES

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

       ┌─────────────────────────────┬───────────────┬───────────────────────┐
       │InterfaceAttributeValue                 │
       ├─────────────────────────────┼───────────────┼───────────────────────┤
       │mcheck(), mcheck_pedantic(), │ Thread safety │ MT-Unsafe race:mcheck │
       │mcheck_check_all(), mprobe() │               │ const:malloc_hooks    │
       └─────────────────────────────┴───────────────┴───────────────────────┘

CONFORMING TO

       These functions are GNU extensions.

NOTES

       Linking  a  program  with  -lmcheck  and  using  the  MALLOC_CHECK_  environment  variable
       (described in mallopt(3)) cause the same kinds of  errors  to  be  detected.   But,  using
       MALLOC_CHECK_ does not require the application to be relinked.

EXAMPLE

       The  program  below  calls  mcheck() with a NULL argument and then frees the same block of
       memory twice.  The following shell session demonstrates  what  happens  when  running  the
       program:

           $ ./a.out
           About to free

           About to free a second time
           block freed twice
           Aborted (core dumped)

   Program source

       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <mcheck.h>

       int
       main(int argc, char *argv[])
       {
           char *p;

           if (mcheck(NULL) != 0) {
               fprintf(stderr, "mcheck() failed\n");

               exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
           }

           p = malloc(1000);

           fprintf(stderr, "About to free\n");
           free(p);
           fprintf(stderr, "\nAbout to free a second time\n");
           free(p);

           exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
       }

SEE ALSO

       malloc(3), mallopt(3), mtrace(3)

COLOPHON

       This  page  is  part of release 5.01 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of  this  page,  can  be
       found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.