Mmap vs brk


By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. The dark mode beta is finally here. Change your preferences any time. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. Question 2: Does the process allocate memory on heap when start for future use?

Or the compiler change the time point to allocate? Otherwise, why? The default value of the parameter is kb on my systembut in my testing program I used 1Mb, so mmap was chosen, when I changed requested memory to 32kb, I saw brk would be used. It's perhaps a bit clearer that sbrk wouldn't change.

The memory given to us by malloc is being mapped into a wildly different location. You could also use strace on Linux to see what system calls are made, and find out that malloc is using mmap to perform the allocation.

If you use malloc in your code, it will call brk at the beginning, allocated 0x bytes from the heap, that's the address you printed, so the Question 1: the following mallocs requirements can be meet from the pre-allocated space, so these mallocs actually did't call brk, it is a optimization in malloc.

sbrk() — Change space allocation

If next time you want to malloc size beyond that boundary, a new brk will be called if not large than the mmap threshold. There are other possibilities, too. In particular, mmapbeing a core part of the standard library, is not itself limited to standard library functions; it can make use of operating-system-specific interfaces.

Learn more. Does malloc use brk or mmap? Ask Question. Asked 4 years, 10 months ago. Active 12 months ago. Viewed 11k times. Here is the output: 9b 9b 9b Question 2: Does the process allocate memory on heap when start for future use? Detailed info of the parameter could be found in man page for mallopt.


Eric Wang Eric Wang JS1 Yes, that solved the issue, can you give an explaination, I am new to linux programming You need the prototype for sbrk which is in unistd. Without a prototype, the compiler assumes that unknown functions return int.

JS1 Yeah, I thought sbrk was declared in stdlib. EricWang: It would give a warning if you compiled with -Wall assuming you're using gcc or clang. You should always compile with -Wall. Active Oldest Votes. Jay Kominek Jay Kominek 7, 1 1 gold badge 28 28 silver badges 50 50 bronze badges.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Code Review Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for peer programmer code reviews.

It only takes a minute to sign up. I recoded malloc by using brk and sbrk.

mmap vs brk

I just want some "reviews" to see if it is possible to improve my code to make it faster and better. This memory management implementation maintains a single doubly-linked list of memory blocks. The main causes of the performance problems are as follows:. Allocated blocks are not removed from the list, so malloc has to uselessly examine all the allocated blocks each time it is called. When free is called, the whole list might need to be traversed in order to find the block containing the freed memory.

The result is that every memory operation might need to look at all the memory blocks. Any program using this implementation therefore runs in quadratic time or worse. Don't update the global pointer, use a local variable to remember the position in the list. Remove blocks from the list when they are allocated and insert them when freed.

Thus making the list into a free block chain. There's no segregation of blocks, so no quick way of finding a free block of the requested size. The list structures are large six wordsso a program that allocates many small objects will suffer from internal fragmentation. Presumably the intention is to align size up to the next multiple of 4.

But you should make that clear with a comment. Where does the number 4 come from? A constant like this needs a name. Presumably it's the maximum required alignment for any object that might be allocated with mallocso you need something like:.

It's unlikely that the alignment requirement is actually 4. On x, longdoubleand pointer types should be 8-byte aligned.

To make the code portable, you probably want something like:. In addition:. The behaviour of brk and sbrk is unspecified if an application also uses any other memory functions such as mallocmmapfree.

Other functions may use these other memory functions silently.Each process in bit mode Linux has a 4GB block of memory addresses. If it is a single thread process, then arena 0 is the only arena malloc needs to deal with. For multi-threaded process, most likely there will be more than one arena so lock contention on the arena could be eased. A free list of arenas will be maintained, whenever a thread needs to allocate memory, it fetches a arena from the list and release it back once done.

mmap vs brk

A new arena is created when the thread finds the list is empty and the total number of existing arenas is less than the maximum allowed number which is define as below, n is the number of CPU core for the syste. Enough for talking and it is time to examine a real example.

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Here we have a two-thread program. In the child thread, it allocates eight 64kbytes of memory chunks. Main thread waits for child thread to finish the allocation, then allocates one 4Mbytes of memory chunk.

Arena 0: system bytesin use bytes Why there is gap between them? One more thing is that main thread requested bytes, while arena 0 in use byes isthe extra bytes are mainly overhead of malloc management. In glibc malloc, once a thread has chosen an arena, it will stick with it until it fails to acquire it from the free list next time in which case most likely another thread is using the same arena.

The max mmap regions shows the direct mmap request other than through arena. It also comes with some management overhead and page size alignment constraint.

Arena 1 memory distribution is more complex and tricky since it involves multiple mmap requests, alignment and malloc internal memory protection flags setting. Hopefully we could gain more in-depth understanding about it in future. Pingback: Malloc, brk, mmap and multithreading draft ToBeDone. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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It is the size of direct mmap request. Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email Address never made public. Post to Cancel. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy.A lot of us in India learn OS concepts from textbooks. The concepts really go directly from the textbooks into examination papers for most, including me.

Some of us aren't interested since all we care about is getting a well paying job while others find goofing around to be a more attractive alternative.

Either way, very few really get it. Recently there was a very interesting case I hit upon, which got me wondering how memory allocation was managed by the workhorse of memory allocation, the malloc function.

The malloc function is implemented in the glibc library for Linux and also for other Unix systems if you want. Its major responsibility along with its friends, free, mallopt, etc. One is using the brk system call and the other is by using the mmap system call. So which one should glibc use to allocate memory? The answer is, both. What malloc does is that it uses brk to allocate memory for small requests and mmap for large requests.

So what is the difference between mmap and brk you ask? Well, every process has a block of contiguous memory called the data area. The brk system call simply increases one end of the data area and hence increases size, allocating memory to the process. To free, all it does is decrease the same end of the data area. This operation is quite fast most of the time. On the other hand, the mmap system call picks up a completely different portion of memory and maps it into the address space of the process, so that the process can see it.

Additionally, the mmap call also has to put zeroes in the entire memory area it is about to allocate so that it does not end up leaking information of some old process to this one.

This makes mmap quite slow.

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So why have mmap at all if it is so slow? The reason is the inherent limitation that brk has due to the fact that it only grows one way and is always contiguous. Take a case where I allocate 10 objects using brk and then free the one that I had allocated first. Despite the fact that the location is now free, it cannot be given back to the OS since it is locked by the other 9 objects. One way that malloc works around this is by trying to reuse these free spaces. But what if the size of the object I am about to allocate next is larger than any of these freed "holes"?

Those holes remain and the process ends up using more memory than it really needs. This is "internal fragmentation". So to minimize the effect of this internal fragmentation, glibc limits allocation of small objects to brk. Larger objects are allocated with mmap. A threshold was set at KB, so objects smaller than it are allocated using brk and anything larger is allocated using mmap.

The assumption is that smaller object requests would come more often, so the little fragmentation is worth the improvement in speed. Oh, and as for the reuse of the memory holes, it does the "best fit algorithm" -- remember that phrase?

If it finds that you are allocating larger objects and freeing them soon, it will then increase the threshold, expecting you to allocate larger objects and free them more often. There is of course an upper limit of 32 MB to this. This is quite awesome since it speeds up malloc quite a bit. But it obviously comes with the price of potentially larger memory holes.

There is so much more to this, like the actual details of the way accounting of the brk'ed memory is done, obstacks, arenas.

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mmap vs brk

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Simple Shared Memory in C (mmap)

Image source: The Motley Fool. Stock Advisor launched in February of Remember Me? Thread: What are the differences between "brk " and "mmap "? What are the differences between "brk " and "mmap "?

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I am confused by the differences between "brk " and "mmap ". My understanding is that both are used by malloc to increase the boundary ot heap.

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Then why there are 2 different ways? Originally Posted by meili Thank you. I can understand brkbut what if brk reaches the boundary of the top of a heap 4G memory? Also, how does mmap allocate memory by mapping?

What is the source of the mapped memory? My friend told me that mmap maps kernal memory to user, but I really doubt him. Is he right? Originally Posted by brewbuck. It's just an implementation detail you shouldn't have to worry about. Moved to Linux Programming since that is the most related forum. Originally Posted by Bjarne Stroustrup I get maybe two dozen requests for help with some sort of programming or design problem every day. Most have more sense than to send me hundreds of lines of code.

If they do, I ask them to find the smallest example that exhibits the problem and send me that. Mostly, they then find the error themselves. Why don't we use mmap in the first place? We know that brk has a disadvantage that: if the block at the top of heap is not freed, the heap size can not be reduced, even if the top block is only ONE BYTE.In the original Unix system, brk and sbrk were the only ways in which applications could acquire additional data space; later versions allowed this to also be done using the mmap call.

The brk and sbrk calls dynamically change the amount of space allocated for the data segment of the calling process. The change is made by resetting the program break of the process, which determines the maximum space that can be allocated. The program break is the address of the first location beyond the current end of the data region. The amount of available space increases as the break value increases. The available space is initialized to a value of zero, unless the break is lowered and then increased, as it may reuse the same pages in some unspecified way.

The break value can be automatically rounded up to a size appropriate for the memory management architecture. Set increment parameter to zero to fetch the current value of the program break.

Upon successful completion, the brk subroutine returns a value of 0, and the sbrk subroutine returns the prior value of the program break if the available space is increased then this prior value also points to the start of the new area.

Not every Unix-like system entertains the concept of having the user control the data segment. The Mac OS X implementation of sbrk is an emulation, and has a maximum allocation of 4 megabytes.

On first call an area of exactly this large is allocated to hold the simulated segment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards.

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