A small note on how we use valgrind

valgrind is a suite of tools for debugging and profiling programs.
We use it for debugging and profiling Linux executable files.

Despite the fact that it can do a whole lot of stuff, usually we use it as follows (when we do not forget) to test our applications for memory leaks:

valgrind --show-leak-kinds=all --leak-check=full $application $application_arguments;

The options we chose are the following:

  • --show-leak-kinds=all It will show all leaks (definite, indirect, possible, reachable) in the full leak search (see next bullet)
  • --leak-check=full this option instructs valgrind to search for memory leaks when the client program finishes.
    Each individual leak will be shown in detail and be counted as an error.

These options are extremely useful as they will catch a lot of little leaks that you might have missed (e.g. closing a file, freeing some memory, …)

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