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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
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5.5.2 Valid-address (A) bits

Notice that the previous subsection describes how the validity of values is established and maintained without having to say whether the program does or does not have the right to access any particular memory location. We now consider the latter question.

As described above, every bit in memory or in the CPU has an associated valid-value (V) bit. In addition, all bytes in memory, but not in the CPU, have an associated valid-address (A) bit. This indicates whether or not the program can legitimately read or write that location. It does not give any indication of the validity or the data at that location--that's the job of the V bits--only whether or not the location may be accessed.

Every time your program reads or writes memory, Memcheck checks the A bits associated with the address. If any of them indicate an invalid address, an error is emitted. Note that the reads and writes themselves do not change the A bits, only consult them.

So how do the A bits get set/cleared? Like this:

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