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Re: mallinfo(3) man page for review


Thank you for taking the time to look at this.

On Sun, May 6, 2012 at 9:25 AM, KOSAKI Motohiro
<> wrote:
> Hi
> On Fri, May 4, 2012 at 8:08 PM, Michael Kerrisk (man-pages)
> <> wrote:
>> I've written the man page page below to document glibc's mallinfo(3).
>> Review comments welcome!
>> Cheers,
>> Michael
> I don't find any issue. a few nit are below.
>> .TP 10
>> .I arena
>> The total amount of memory allocated by means other than
>> .BR mmap (2)
>> (i.e., memory allocated on the heap).
>> This figure includes both in-use blocks and blocks on the free list.
>> .TP
>> .I ordblks
>> The number of ordinary (i.e., non-fastbin) free blocks.
>> .TP
>> .I smblks
>> The number of fastbin free blocks (see
>> .BR mallopt (3)).
> It would be nice if a meaning of fastbin was described here.
> It is allocation cache (for increasing cpu cache hit ratio) from
> point of bird view.

In the new mallopt(3) that is part of the next man-pages release,
there is this text on fastbins:

       M_MXFAST (since glibc 2.3)
              Set the upper limit for memory allocation requests  that
              are  satisfied  using "fastbins".  (The measurement unit
              for this parameter  is  bytes.)   Fastbins  are  storage
              areas that hold deallocated blocks of memory of the same
              size without merging adjacent free  blocks.   Subsequent
              reallocation  of  blocks of the same size can be handled
              very quickly by allocating from  the  fastbin,  although
              memory fragmentation and the overall memory footprint of
              the program can increase.  The default  value  for  this
              parameter  is  64*sizeof(size_t)/4  (i.e.,  64 on 32-bit
              architectures).  The range for this parameter  is  0  to
              80*sizeof(size_t)/4.  Setting M_MXFAST to 0 disables the
              use of fastbins.

Probably this is sufficient?

>> .TP
>> .I hblks
>> The number of blocks currently allocated using
>> .BR mmap (2).
> It would be nice if glibc malloc try to allocate memory by using mmap directly
> if size is greater than MMAP_THRESHOLD.
> Also nice if refer mallopt and MMAP_THRESHOLD.

Good idea. I added:

(See the discussion of
.BR mallopt (3).)

In the new mallopt(3) page, there is then this text:

              For allocations greater than or equal to the limit specâ
              ified  (in bytes) by M_MMAP_THRESHOLD that can't be satâ
              isfied from the free list, the  memory-allocation  funcâ
              tions  employ  mmap(2) instead of increasing the program
              break using sbrk(2).

              Allocating memory  using  mmap(2)  has  the  significant
              advantage that the allocated memory blocks can always be
              independently released back to  the  system.   (By  conâ
              trast,  the  heap can be trimmed only if memory is freed
              at the top end.)  On the other hand, there are some disâ
              advantages  to  the use of mmap(2): deallocated space is
              not placed on the free list for reuse by  later  allocaâ
              tions;  memory may be wasted because mmap(2) allocations
              must be page-aligned; and the kernel  must  perform  the
              expensive  task  of  zeroing  out  memory  allocated via
              mmap(2).  Balancing these factors  leads  to  a  default
              setting of 128*1024 for the M_MMAP_THRESHOLD parameter.

              The  lower  limit  for  this  parameter is 0.  The upper
              limit is DEFAULT_MMAP_THRESHOLD_MAX: 512*1024 on  32-bit
              systems or 4*1024*1024*sizeof(long) on 64-bit systems.

              Note:  Nowadays,  glibc uses a dynamic mmap threshold by
              default.   The  initial  value  of  the   threshold   is
              128*1024,  but  when  blocks  larger  than  the  current
              threshold and less than or equal to DEFAULT_MMAP_THRESHâ
              OLD_MAX  are freed, the threshold is adjusted upwards to
              the size of the freed block.  When dynamic mmap  threshâ
              olding is in effect, the threshold for trimming the heap
              is also dynamically adjusted to  be  twice  the  dynamic
              mmap  threshold.  Dynamic adjustment of the mmap threshâ
              old  is  disabled  if  any  of   the   M_TRIM_THRESHOLD,
              M_TOP_PAD, M_MMAP_THRESHOLD, or M_MMAP_MAX parameters is



Michael Kerrisk
Linux man-pages maintainer;
Author of "The Linux Programming Interface";

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