Sungju's Slow Life

Personal journal

Are malloc() and free() functions thread-safe?

Recently, someone asked me why he can’t allocated enough memory with a lot of thread functions.

At first, I just tried to explain that there is no problem in Linux kernel or malloc() functions. But, when double checked his code, I found that he used malloc() without any safeguard. Yeah, no synchronization around malloc(). Sigh.

malloc() and free() functions are use static data structures which can cause the synchronization problem in multi-threaded application. They are not thread-safe. You will be better to make your own function to allocate and deallocate for memory and put some synchronization code into that functions. That will be helpful.

There are some web documents that talk about malloc() and free(). One of them is this:

Additional Note: In RHEL products, they use ptmalloc() which is thread-safe version of malloc(). So, it does not make any problem within thread application by itself.

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About Me

A software engineer who loves any technologies that makes life easier. That’s why I love Linux and Mac at the same time.


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