Tutorial valgrind

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Lets start talking about the What happen to the RAM when you execute your program.

Measure the memory

the command free will show you the free memory in the system

vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ whatis free
free (1) - Display amount of free and used memory in the system

and with the flag --si and -h you can get a better representation, --si will show you GigaBytes instead Gigibytes and the flag -h include the symbols

vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ free --si -h
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 501M 205M 295M 372K 18M 72M
-/+ buffers/cache: 114M 386M
Swap: 0B 0B 0B

In this example I has 295 MegaBytes as free memory.

And we are going to include the command watch which refresh the value every 2 secs by defaults

vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ watch free --si -h

I recommend to use a multiplexor terminal. like tmux.

If I payed for 512MB I’m going to use 512MB

The program is an infinity memory allocation (malloc) loop

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
int main(void)
{
int *p;
while(1)
{
p = malloc(128);
printf("%ld\n", (long)p);
}
return (0);
}

What happened? the memory increase its position. The OS killed the program? and it restore the memory free after kill it.

Well Let me explain what happened to the memory.

The HEAP

the Heap is a space in the memory RAM where a programmer allocate memory manually

visual representation of a heap overflow()

What is Valgrind?

How to install Valgrind?

for ubuntu 14.04, the easiest way is with the apt program

vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ sudo apt install valgrind -y
.
.
.
vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ valgrind --version
valgrind-3.10.1

Let’s try this code

mypid

This is the process id, every program executed is a process, and every process has it’s id.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <unistd.h>
int main(void)
{
printf("%ld, %s\n", (long)getpid());
return (0);
}

Malloc

Let’s Borrow some memory

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
int main(void)
{
char *msg = malloc(10);
printf("%ld, %s\n", (long)getpid(), msg);
return (0);
}
valgrind show lost memory

if you use the flag --leak-check=full

diff with/without leak-ckeck=full

let’s include this flag as a default in the configuration file that can be found in the ~/.valgrindrc this is an example

vagrant@vagrant-ubuntu-trusty-64:~$ cat .valgrindrc 
--leak-check=full

let’s fix it

If i include the free command at end it would be the ouput

no error output

let’s create and writing error and copy a literal string into msg

As you can see the program is trying to write 10 bytes into a 9 bytes allocated memory and the error set us in the line 11

Let’s create an read error

As you can see we are trying to access to the position 11

the next step is joing the valgrind with the debugger. This is easy, you only need to include the flag --vgdb-error=0

let’s join the three errors, write, read and memory lost

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
int main(void)
{
char *msg = malloc(8);
strcpy(msg, "Holberton");
msg[0] = 'R';
printf("%ld, %s\n", (long)getpid(), msg);
free(msg);
return (0);
}

Configuration Files

Differnt types of error

Memcheck: Still Reachable