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Valgrind 3.3 - Advanced Debugging and Profiling for GNU/Linux applications
by J. Seward, N. Nethercote, J. Weidendorfer and the Valgrind Development Team
Paperback (6"x9"), 164 pages
ISBN 0954612051
RRP £12.95 ($19.95)

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8.1 Heap profiling

Massif is a heap profiler. It measures how much heap memory your program uses. This includes both the useful space, and the extra bytes allocated for book-keeping purposes and alignment purposes. It can also measure the size of your program's stack(s), although it does not do so by default.

Heap profiling can help you reduce the amount of memory your program uses. On modern machines with virtual memory, this provides the following benefits:

Also, there are certain space leaks that aren't detected by traditional leak-checkers, such as Memcheck's. That's because the memory isn't ever actually lost--a pointer remains to it--but it's not in use. Programs that have leaks like this can unnecessarily increase the amount of memory they are using over time. Massif can help identify these leaks.

Importantly, Massif tells you not only how much heap memory your program is using, it also gives very detailed information that indicates which parts of your program are responsible for allocating the heap memory.

ISBN 0954612051Valgrind 3.3 - Advanced Debugging and Profiling for GNU/Linux applicationsSee the print edition