mtrace man page on Gentoo

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MTRACE(3)		   Linux Programmer's Manual		     MTRACE(3)

NAME
       mtrace, muntrace - malloc tracing

SYNOPSIS
       #include <mcheck.h>

       void mtrace(void);

       void muntrace(void);

DESCRIPTION
       The mtrace() function installs hook functions for the memory-allocation
       functions (malloc(3), realloc(3)	 memalign(3),  free(3)).   These  hook
       functions  record tracing information about memory allocation and deal‐
       location.  The tracing information can be used to discover memory leaks
       and attempts to free nonallocated memory in a program.

       The  muntrace()	function  disables  the	 hook  functions  installed by
       mtrace(), so that tracing information is no  longer  recorded  for  the
       memory-allocation  functions.   If  no hook functions were successfully
       installed by mtrace(), muntrace() does nothing.

       When mtrace() is called, it checks the value of the  environment	 vari‐
       able MALLOC_TRACE, which should contain the pathname of a file in which
       the tracing information is to be recorded.  If the pathname is success‐
       fully opened, it is truncated to zero length.

       If  MALLOC_TRACE is not set, or the pathname it specifies is invalid or
       not writable, then no hook functions are installed, and mtrace() has no
       effect.	 In  set-user-ID  and  set-group-ID  programs, MALLOC_TRACE is
       ignored, and mtrace() has no effect.

CONFORMING TO
       These functions are GNU extensions.

NOTES
       In normal usage, mtrace() is called once at the start of execution of a
       program, and muntrace() is never called.

       The  tracing  output  produced after a call to mtrace() is textual, but
       not designed to be human readable.  The GNU C library provides  a  Perl
       script,	mtrace(1),  that  interprets the trace log and produces human-
       readable output.	 For best results, the traced program should  be  com‐
       piled  with  debugging  enabled,	 so  that  line-number	information is
       recorded in the executable.

       The tracing performed by mtrace() incurs a performance penalty (if MAL‐
       LOC_TRACE points to a valid, writable pathname).

BUGS
       The  line-number	 information  produced by mtrace(1) is not always pre‐
       cise: the line number references may refer to the previous or following
       (nonblank) line of the source code.

EXAMPLE
       The  shell  session below demonstrates the use of the mtrace() function
       and the mtrace(1) command in a program that has	memory	leaks  at  two
       different locations.  The demonstration uses the following program:

	   $ cat t_mtrace.c
	   #include <mcheck.h>
	   #include <stdlib.h>
	   #include <stdio.h>

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

	       mtrace();

	       for (j = 0; j < 2; j++)
		   malloc(100);		   /* Never freed--a memory leak */

	       calloc(16, 16);		   /* Never freed--a memory leak */
	       exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
	   }

       When we run the program as follows, we see that mtrace() diagnosed mem‐
       ory leaks at two different locations in the program:

	   $ cc -g t_mtrace.c -o t_mtrace
	   $ export MALLOC_TRACE=/tmp/t
	   $ ./t_mtrace
	   $ mtrace ./t_mtrace $MALLOC_TRACE
	   Memory not freed:
	   -----------------
	      Address	  Size	   Caller
	   0x084c9378	  0x64	at /home/cecilia/t_mtrace.c:12
	   0x084c93e0	  0x64	at /home/cecilia/t_mtrace.c:12
	   0x084c9448	 0x100	at /home/cecilia/t_mtrace.c:16

       The first two messages about unfreed memory correspond to the two  mal‐
       loc(3) calls inside the for loop.  The final message corresponds to the
       call to calloc(3) (which in turn calls malloc(3)).

SEE ALSO
       mtrace(1), malloc(3), malloc_hook(3), mcheck(3)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.63 of the Linux  man-pages  project.   A
       description  of	the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU				  2012-04-18			     MTRACE(3)
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