Memory management

Memory allocation functions

The file flint.h defines functions flint_malloc, flint_realloc, flint_calloc and flint_free. They have the same interface as the standard library functions, but may perform additional error checking.

By default the memory allocation functions wrap the system’s malloc, realloc, calloc and free. The user can override this behaviour by calling __flint_set_memory_functions passing the malloc, realloc, calloc and free function pointers as parameters (see flint.h for the exact prototype). The current memory functions can be returned in a similar manner by calling __flint_get_memory_functions passing the address of pointers in which the function pointers can be stored.

Memory allocated with flint_malloc must be freed with flint_free and not with free.

Global caches and cleanup

FLINT may cache some data (such as allocated integers and tables of prime numbers) to speed up various computations. If FLINT is built in threadsafe mode, most caches are thread-local (some are always global and shared among the threads).

Data cached by the current thread can be freed by calling the flint_cleanup() function. The user can register additional cleanup functions to be invoked by flint_cleanup() by passing a pointer to a function with signature void cleanup_function(void) to flint_register_cleanup_function().

The user should call flint_cleanup_master() exactly once right before exiting a program. This cleans up all caches in all threads and should result in a clean output with tools like valgrind if there are no memory leaks.

Temporary allocation

FLINT allows for temporary allocation of memory using alloca to allocate on the stack if the allocation is small enough.

The following program demonstrates how to use this facility to allocate two different arrays.

#include <gmp.h>
#include "flint.h"

void myfun(void)
   /* other variable declarations */
   mp_ptr a, b;

   /* arbitrary code */

   TMP_START; /* we are about to do some allocation */

   /* arbitrary code */

   a = TMP_ALLOC(32*sizeof(mp_limb_t));
   b = TMP_ALLOC(64*sizeof(mp_limb_t));

   /* arbitrary code */

   TMP_END; /* cleans up a and b */

   /* arbitrary code */

It is very important to note that temporary allocations should not be made in recursive functions or in loop bodies, as many small allocations on the stack can exhaust the stack causing a stack overflow.