Linux Applications Debugging Techniques/Heap corruption
Electric Fence is still the reference for dealing with heap corruption, even if not maintined for a while. RedHat ships a version that can be used as an interposition library.
Drawback: might not work with code that uses mmap() to allocate memory.
Duma is a fork of Electric Fence.
man (3) malloc: Recent versions of Linux libc (later than 5.4.23) and GNU libc (2.x) include a malloc implementation which is tunable via environment variables. When MALLOC_CHECK_ is set, a special (less efficient) implementation is used which is designed to be tolerant against simple errors, such as double calls of free() with the same argument, or overruns of a single byte (off-by-one bugs). Not all such errors can be protected against, however, and memory leaks can result. If MALLOC_CHECK_ is set to 0, any detected heap corruption is silently ignored and an error message is not generated; if set to 1, the error message is printed on stderr, but the program is not aborted; if set to 2, abort() is called immediately, but the error message is not generated; if set to 3, the error message is printed on stderr and program is aborted. This can be useful because otherwise a crash may happen much later, and the true cause for the problem is then very hard to track down.Last modified on 2 April 2012, at 20:03