Finding Memory leaks in C++ on solaris Unix

There are lot of ways where one can identify memory leaks and lots of blogs and materieals
are available to help a designer to identify the same.

Some say using dbx and others say use mdb or gdb. I agree that all those tools will be useful, but it takes a lot of effort for understanding as well as putting it to work takes some time.

I have thought to break the legacy rules and do something new with the knowledge that
I have on various tools of solaris. So I thought of giving it a try to use tools like
dtrace, perl, ps command etc along with c++.

Putting this toll to action is an effort less job.

I am happy to have created a tool which I think would be very use for any solaris unix programmer.
This tool will give the list of all memory leaks of a process running in the background.

It uses dtrace to identify the memory allocations,
It uses the ps command to identify the memory used by a process.
It uses perl to filter and generate reports of meory leaks.

Main functionalities of this tool are:

  • Generate a report which contains actual physical memory used by the process, Virtual memory used, % of cpu used and %memory used.
  • Generate a report which contains all the memory leaks of the process due to inefficient coding techniques.
  • Generate a separate report for each and every process.

I have tested this on:
SunOS 5.10 Generic_147440-27 sun4u sparc SUNW,SPARC-Enterprise

Thanks to Frederic, I have taken part of his logic written in his blog:

You can download the zip file from the link here:

The file name is cpuleaks.gz.
Unzip this file using gzip -d cpuleaks.gz and you can place it on any server and give the execute permissions and run this process as a root user(dtrace can be run only using root access on my server. If dtrace can be used by a user other than root, well and fine).

Execution of the process should be as below:

cpuleaks <comma separated pid list> -st <time interval for mem usage>
ex: cpuleaks 1234,2341 -st 2

This above command will give 4 files as output after either the processes 1234,2341 complete or if you press CTRL +C(an interrupt signal).

  • .leaks report will have the list of all memory leaks
  • .cpumem report will have the memory usage of the process for every interval passed as an argument to the cpuleaks binary.