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Memory debugger

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

Related Projects



Verified by

Verified on


Verified by

Janet Casey

Verified on

3 July 2002

Leaders and contributors

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

Resources and communication

AudienceResource typeURI
HelpMailing List Info/Archive
DeveloperMailing List Info/Archive
SupportMailing List Info/Archive
Debian (Ref)

Software prerequisites

Weak prerequisitegdb

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 28 February 2018.


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