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3.2.3.7 Malloc Tunable Parameters

You can adjust some parameters for dynamic memory allocation with the mallopt function. This function is the general SVID/XPG interface, defined in malloc.h.

Function: int mallopt (int param, int value)

Preliminary: | MT-Unsafe init const:mallopt | AS-Unsafe init lock | AC-Unsafe init lock | See POSIX Safety Concepts.

When calling mallopt, the param argument specifies the parameter to be set, and value the new value to be set. Possible choices for param, as defined in malloc.h, are:

M_MMAP_MAX

The maximum number of chunks to allocate with mmap. Setting this to zero disables all use of mmap.

The default value of this parameter is 65536.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_MMAP_MAX_ to the desired value.

M_MMAP_THRESHOLD

All chunks larger than this value are allocated outside the normal heap, using the mmap system call. This way it is guaranteed that the memory for these chunks can be returned to the system on free. Note that requests smaller than this threshold might still be allocated via mmap.

If this parameter is not set, the default value is set as 128 KiB and the threshold is adjusted dynamically to suit the allocation patterns of the program. If the parameter is set, the dynamic adjustment is disabled and the value is set statically to the input value.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_MMAP_THRESHOLD_ to the desired value.

M_PERTURB

If non-zero, memory blocks are filled with values depending on some low order bits of this parameter when they are allocated (except when allocated by calloc) and freed. This can be used to debug the use of uninitialized or freed heap memory. Note that this option does not guarantee that the freed block will have any specific values. It only guarantees that the content the block had before it was freed will be overwritten.

The default value of this parameter is 0.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_PERTURB_ to the desired value.

M_TOP_PAD

This parameter determines the amount of extra memory to obtain from the system when an arena needs to be extended. It also specifies the number of bytes to retain when shrinking an arena. This provides the necessary hysteresis in heap size such that excessive amounts of system calls can be avoided.

The default value of this parameter is 0.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_TOP_PAD_ to the desired value.

M_TRIM_THRESHOLD

This is the minimum size (in bytes) of the top-most, releasable chunk that will trigger a system call in order to return memory to the system.

If this parameter is not set, the default value is set as 128 KiB and the threshold is adjusted dynamically to suit the allocation patterns of the program. If the parameter is set, the dynamic adjustment is disabled and the value is set statically to the provided input.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_TRIM_THRESHOLD_ to the desired value.

M_ARENA_TEST

This parameter specifies the number of arenas that can be created before the test on the limit to the number of arenas is conducted. The value is ignored if M_ARENA_MAX is set.

The default value of this parameter is 2 on 32-bit systems and 8 on 64-bit systems.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_ARENA_TEST to the desired value.

M_ARENA_MAX

This parameter sets the number of arenas to use regardless of the number of cores in the system.

The default value of this tunable is 0, meaning that the limit on the number of arenas is determined by the number of CPU cores online. For 32-bit systems the limit is twice the number of cores online and on 64-bit systems, it is eight times the number of cores online. Note that the default value is not derived from the default value of M_ARENA_TEST and is computed independently.

This parameter can also be set for the process at startup by setting the environment variable MALLOC_ARENA_MAX to the desired value.


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