AddressSanitizer is a fast memory error detector. It consists of a compiler instrumentation module and a run-time library. The tool can detect the following types of bugs: Typical slowdown introduced by AddressSanitizer is 2x.

How to build

Follow the clang build instructions.
Note: CMake build does not work yet. See bug 12272.


Simply compile and link your program with -faddress-sanitizer flag.
To get a reasonable performance add -O1 or higher.
To get nicer stack traces in error messages add -fno-omit-frame-pointer.
To get perfect stack traces you may need to disable inlining (just use -O1) and tail call elimination (-fno-optimize-sibling-calls).
% cat
int main(int argc, char **argv) {
  int *array = new int[100];
  delete [] array;
  return array[argc];  // BOOM
% clang -O1 -g -faddress-sanitizer -fno-omit-frame-pointer
If a bug is detected, the program will print an error message to stderr and exit with a non-zero exit code. Currently, AddressSanitizer does not symbolize its output, so you may need to use a separate script to symbolize the result offline (this will be fixed in future).
% ./a.out 2> log
% projects/compiler-rt/lib/asan/scripts/ / < log | c++filt
==9442== ERROR: AddressSanitizer heap-use-after-free on address 0x7f7ddab8c084 at pc 0x403c8c bp 0x7fff87fb82d0 sp 0x7fff87fb82c8
READ of size 4 at 0x7f7ddab8c084 thread T0
    #0 0x403c8c in main
    #1 0x7f7ddabcac4d in __libc_start_main ??:0
0x7f7ddab8c084 is located 4 bytes inside of 400-byte region [0x7f7ddab8c080,0x7f7ddab8c210)
freed by thread T0 here:
    #0 0x404704 in operator delete[](void*) ??:0
    #1 0x403c53 in main
    #2 0x7f7ddabcac4d in __libc_start_main ??:0
previously allocated by thread T0 here:
    #0 0x404544 in operator new[](unsigned long) ??:0
    #1 0x403c43 in main
    #2 0x7f7ddabcac4d in __libc_start_main ??:0
==9442== ABORTING


In some cases one may need to execute different code depending on whether AddressSanitizer is enabled. __has_feature can be used for this purpose.
#if defined(__has_feature) && __has_feature(address_sanitizer)
  code that runs only under AddressSanitizer
  code that does not run under AddressSanitizer

Supported Platforms

AddressSanitizer is supported on Support for Linux i386/ARM and MacOS 10.7 is in progress (it may work, but is not guaranteed too).


Current Status

AddressSanitizer is fully functional on supported platforms in LLVM head. However, the test suite is not fully integrated yet and we lack the testing process (buildbots).

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