memory leak

(redirected from Memory leaks)

memory leak

A leak in a program's dynamic store allocation logic that causes it to fail to reclaim memory in the heap after it has finished using it, eventually causing the program to fail due to lack of memory.

These problems were severe on older machines with small, fixed-size address spaces, and special "leak detection" tools were written to diagnose them.

The introduction of virtual memory made memory leaks a less serious problem, although if you run out of virtual memory, it means you've got a *real* leak!

See aliasing bug.

memory leak

A condition caused by a program that does not free up the extra memory it allocates. In programming languages, such as C/C++, the programmer can dynamically allocate additional memory to hold data and variables that are required for the moment, but not used throughout the program. When those memory areas are no longer needed, the programmer must remember to deallocate them.

When memory is allocated, but not deallocated, a memory leak occurs (the memory has leaked out of the computer). If too many memory leaks occur, they can usurp all of memory and bring everything to a halt or slow the processing considerably. In other environments, such as Java, the operating system allocates and deallocates memory automatically. Specifically allocating and deallocating memory, while error prone (in case one forgets to deallocate), allows the programmer more control over the computer's resources. See garbage collection.
References in periodicals archive ?
The updates were directed towards fixing up of issues regarding stability, memory leaks, numerous bugs and other glitches.
Further, because it is a runtime tool, ZVM reports memory errors and memory leaks with 100% accuracy and zero false positives.
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Memory leaks are in essence programming errors, but very hard to avoid during application development.
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Now, with an integrated solution that requires no changes to my code, I have found multiple memory leaks in a matter of minutes.
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Designed to be an integrated part of the software development process, MemoryScape allows developers, build engineers and quality assurance engineers to monitor heap memory, view memory usage, locate memory leaks, track memory events and show corrupted memory while an application is running.
The memory debugging support built-in to TotalView allows users to watch for memory leaks, monitor the amount of memory a program uses, and track how it allocates and frees memory so that developers are able to stop execution, check for problems, test fixes, and then continue debugging.
Designed to be an integrated part of the software development process, MemoryScape allows development teams to watch for memory leaks and monitor memory usage while an application is running.
See Appendix A at the endof this article for helpful hints on resolving memory leaks.
Installing MemTurbo across a network may reduce support calls from users who may be running many applications and whose computers are prone to memory leaks.