Compile and Using MariaDB with AddressSanitizer (ASAN)

What is AddressSantitizer (ASAN)

AddressSanitizer (aka ASan) is a memory error detector for C/C++. It finds a lot of the same things as valgrind, but with a lot less overhead.

  • Use after free (dangling pointer dereference)
  • Heap buffer overflow
  • Stack buffer overflow
  • Global buffer overflow
  • Use after return
  • Use after scope
  • Initialization order bugs
  • Memory leaks

To use ASAN you need a gcc version that supports ASAN. gcc 4.8.5 and up are known to work.

How to Compile MariaDB for ASAN

ASAN is supported in MariaDB 10.1 and up.

You can use one of the two following build commands:

cmake . -DWITH_ASAN=ON

or from MariaDB 10.2 and up:


Running an ASAN Build

To run mysqld with instrumentation you have to set the ASAN_OPTIONS environment variable before starting mysqld. Either in your shell or in your mysqld_safe script.

export ASAN_OPTIONS=abort_on_error=1:leak_check_at_exit=0

The above command will abort mysqld if any errors are found, which is good for debugging. If you set abort_on_error=0 all errors are logged to your error log file (mysqld.err).

Other Things

A side effect of using ASAN builds is that you will not get any core file if your server crashes.

See Also


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