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Valgrind finds memory-management problems by checking all reads and writes of memory are checked, and intercepting all calls to malloc/new/free/delete. As a result, Valgrind can detect problems like the use of uninitialised memory, reading/writing memory after it has been free'd, reading/writing off the end of malloc'd blocks, reading/writing inappropriate areas on the stack, memory leaks, and passing of uninitialised and/or unaddressible memory to system calls. Valgrind tracks each byte of memory with nine status bits: one tracks addressibility, and the other eight validity. As a result, it can detect the use of single uninitialised bits, and does not report spurious errors on bitfield operations. Valgrind debugs almost any dynamically-linked ELF x86 executable without modification or recompilation.


User manual available in HTML format from


Download version 1.4.0 (stable)
released on 24 March 2005


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LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
GPLv2Janet Casey3 July 2002

Leaders and contributors

Daniel Berlin Contributor
Dirk Mueller Contributor
Michael Matz Contributor
Nicholas Nethercote Contributor
Simon Hausmann Contributor
Julian Seward Maintainer

Resources and communication

Audience Resource type URI
Help Mailing List Info/Archive
Developer Mailing List Info/Archive
Support Mailing List Info/Archive
Bug Tracking E-mail

Software prerequisites

Kind Description
Weak prerequisite gdb

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 11 May 2005.


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