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README

This is a KDE tool to assist with malloc debugging using glibc's "mtrace"
functionality. Unfortunately the mtrace that is part of current (9/9/2000)
glibc versions only logs the return-address of the malloc/free call.
The file mtrace.c in this directory logs a complete backtrace upon malloc/
free.

THIS PROGRAM DEPENDS ON GLIBC! It does not pretend to be portable.

Howto use:

Install the libktrace.so shared library, the ktrace.h header file, the
and kde.excludes file and the kmtrace processing tool with:

	make install

There are two ways to activate memory usage loggings by ktrace  :

1) The LD_PRELOAD way

This way, you can debug any application without having to recompile it,
but you'll have to debug also the memory allocated by KApplication and
friends.

You can activate malloc logging by starting yourApplication as:

	MALLOC_TRACE=/tmp/ktrace.out LD_PRELOAD=$KDEDIR/lib/libktrace.so yourApplication

2) The manual way

Take the KDE application that you want to investigate and add

	#include <ktrace.h>

Add as first statement in main():

	ktrace();

Add ktrace_s.a to the LDADD line in your Makefile.am like:

	kicker_LDADD = kicker.la /opt/kde/lib/libktrace_s.a

Note that the static library is used.
You can now activate malloc logging by starting yourApplication as:

	MALLOC_TRACE=/tmp/ktrace.out yourApplication

This will generate a huge log in /tmp/ktrace.out.

You can process this log with:

        kmtrace /tmp/ktrace.out > ktrace.parsed

By default the trace-output is stored in the current directory
as "ktrace.out". kmtrace also searches it there, so you don't need
to add any commandline options.  

TIPS
====

* If you can't be bothered with the stuff that KApplication allocates for you
you might want to put the ktrace() call after the KApplication constructor.
This will lead to a lot of warnings like: 

	Freeing unalloacted memory: 0x08056108

Which are harmless, it just means that the memory was allocated before you
turned the tracing on. Note that you cannot use this if you're using
LD_PRELOAD to use ktrace.

* To filter out harmless allocations out of the output file you can specify
with the --exclude option a file with symbols to exclude from output. If a 
backtrace contains a symbol that starts with any of the symbols in this file, 
this backtrace / leaked block is not shown in the output.

In the file kde.exclude some example symbols are listed. Usage example:

	kmtrace /tmp/malloc.trace > /tmp/malloc.parsed

* Be aware that the reported symbols may not be accurate under all 
circumstances. E.g. consider the following backtrace:

   0x405879c1 /lib/libdl.so.2(dlerror+0x1b1)
   0x405873b3 /lib/libdl.so.2(dlopen+0x33)
   0x4053c0b2 /ext/kde2.0/lib/libkdecore.so.3(QXmlSimpleReader::reportParseErro
   0x4053c74b /ext/kde2.0/lib/libkdecore.so.3(lt_dlexit+0x24b)
   0x4053c894 /ext/kde2.0/lib/libkdecore.so.3(lt_dlexit+0x394)
   0x4053dd49 /ext/kde2.0/lib/libkdecore.so.3(lt_dlopen+0x899)

The QXmlSimpleReader is obviously wrong here. 

* You can use the --tree option to kmtrace to specify a file to print a tree
of the allocations. You can also use --treedepth and --treethreshold options
to hide subtrees that are deeper than the specified depth or allocated less
than the given memory amount.

* The advantage of using libktrace_s.a (the static library) is that you can
put calls to ktrace() and kuntrace() around a block of code that
interests you. Only allocations and deallocations between the first call
to ktrace() and the first call to kuntrace() will be logged.


Have fun.

Waldo Bastian
bastian@kde.org

kmtrace.cpp by Waldo Bastian <bastian@kde.org>
ktrace.c by Waldo Bastian <bastian@kde.org> based on mtrace.c
mtrace.c by Mike Haertel <mike@ai.mit.edu>
mtrace.c patched by Andi Kleen <ak@suse.de>
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