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Derick Rethans' Blog: Valgrinding shared modules

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 9 August 2011.
PHPDeveloper

In the process of some development he's been doing on various shared modules for PHP, Derick Rethans stumbled across an issue with using Valgrind to test his code:

While testing whether I correctly free all memory with Valgrind, I ran into the issue where I couldn't see the stack frames of where the memory leaks occurred in the extensions, and once I even ran into a Valgrind bug. The reason why Valgrind could not show the function names belonging to the stack frames is because PHP had already unloaded the shared extensions from memory.

A work-around he found was compiling the modules, but he wanted something "more correct" and less of a hassle. As a result he added a check for the ZEND_DONT_UNLOAD_MODULES environment flag to the PHP core to handles this case specifically. He includes a snippet of example code showing the Valgrind results with and without the flag.