talloc: talloc_set_memlimit causes all reallocs to fail when used on pools. talloc_set_memlimit not enforced correctly on pools.

Arran Cudbard-Bell a.cudbardb at freeradius.org
Fri Oct 16 19:51:39 UTC 2020

> On Oct 16, 2020, at 2:44 PM, Jeremy Allison <jra at samba.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 01:59:11PM -0500, Arran Cudbard-Bell via samba-technical wrote:
>> Reviewing the talloc code shows provisions (and test cases) for applying memlimits to pools, unfortunately in practice, memlimit functionality on pools seems fairly broken.
>> #include <talloc.h>
>> #include <stdio.h>
>> int main(int argc, char **argv)
>> {
>>       TALLOC_CTX *pool = talloc_pool(NULL, 1024);
>>       TALLOC_CTX *chunk, *fail_chunk;
>>       if (pool) {
>>               printf("Pool allocated\n");
>>       } else {
>>               printf("Pool allocation failed\n");
>>       }
>>       if (talloc_set_memlimit(pool, 512) < 0) {
>>               printf("talloc_set_memlimit failed\n");
>>       } else {
>>              printf("talloc_set_memlimit success\n");
>>       }
> OK, looking at this more closely, I think this is
> a fundemental misunderstanding of what a talloc_pool
> is.
> A talloc_pool() is pre-allocated memory, that can
> then be further divided without having to call
> into malloc.

Yes, we use them for slab allocation and for creating read only regions of memory with mprotect.  We have a special wrapper that ensures the first child allocated in the pool is page aligned.

When we do this, we don't want to allow allocations to occur outside of the pool so set a memlimit on the pool.  I know this is a really weird use case, but it's ended up being quite a useful debugging tool.

> It's ALREADY allocated memory, so setting a memlimit size
> smaller than the pool size makes no sense - once you've
> done that all allocations should fail.

In addition to preventing allocations outside of the pool, It would still be useful to be able to apply limits to pools so that a pool passed into a function cannot be entirely consumed by allocations by that function. i.e. if you want to reserve some space in the pool.


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