The malloc() and free() functins provide a simple general-purpose memory allocation package.
The malloc() function returns a pointer to a block of at least size bytes suitably aligned for any use.
The argument to free() is a pointer to a block previously allocated by malloc(). After free() is performed, this space is made available for further allocation, and its contents have been destroyed See mallopt() below for
a way to change this behavior. If ptr is a null pointer, no action occurs.
Undefined results occur if the space assigned by malloc() is overrun or if some random number is handed to free().
The realloc() function changes the size of the block pointed to by ptr to size bytes and returns a pointer to the (possibly moved) block. The contents are unchanged up to the lesser of the new and old sizes. If ptr is a null pointer, realloc() behaves like malloc() for the specified size. If size is 0 and ptr is not a null pointer, the object it points to is freed.
The calloc() function allocates space for an array of nelem elements of size elsize. The space is initialized to zeros.
The mallopt() function provides for control over the allocation algorithm. The available values for cmd are:
- Set maxfast to value. The algorithm allocates all blocks below the size of maxfast in large groups and then doles them
out very quickly. The default value for maxfast is 24.
- Set numlblks to value. The above mentioned ``large groups'' each contain numlblks blocks. numlblks
must be greater than 0. The default value for numlblks is 100.
- Set grain to value. The sizes of all blocks smaller than maxfast are considered to be rounded up to the nearest multiple of grain. grain must be greater than 0. The default value of grain is the smallest number of bytes that will allow alignment of any data type. Value will be rounded up to a multiple of the default when grain is
- Preserve data in a freed block until the next malloc(), realloc(), or calloc(). This option is provided only for compatibility with the old version of malloc(), and it is not recommended.
These values are defined in the <malloc.h> header.
The mallopt() function can be called repeatedly, but cannot be called after the first small block is allocated.
The mallinfo() function provides instrumentation describing space usage. It returns the mallinfo structure with the following members:
unsigned long arena; /* total space in arena */
unsigned long ordblks; /* number of ordinary blocks */
unsigned long smblks; /* number of small blocks */
unsigned long hblkhd; /* space in holding block headers */
unsigned long hblks; /* number of holding blocks */
unsigned long usmblks; /* space in small blocks in use */
unsigned long fsmblks; /* space in free small blocks */
unsigned long uordblks; /* space in ordinary blocks in use */
unsigned long fordblks; /* space in free ordinary blocks */
unsigned long keepcost; /* space penalty if keep option */
/* is used */
The mallinfo structure is defined in the <malloc.h> header.
Each of the allocation routines returns a pointer to space suitably aligned (after possible pointer coercion) for storage of any type of object.