Comp111: Operating Systems
Classroom Exercise 10
Memory Management
Fall 2017

group member 1: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 2: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 3: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 4: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 5: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 6: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 7: ____________________________ linux login: ______________
group member 8: ____________________________ linux login: ______________

In class we have studied the buddy system for memory resource management. Let's do some simulation to make sure we understand it. In your simulations, please assume that:

  1. no less than 16 bytes can be allocated via malloc (e.g., ia32).
  2. the block storage descriptor is 16 bytes, physically located before the bytes to be used, so that the usable memory starts at the descriptor address+16.
  3. the block storage descriptor has two 8-byte fields: E.g., if size is 5, then
  4. malloc only calls sbrk in units of 8192 bytes, i.e., the call is of the form sbrk(n*8192) for n a positive integer.
(This is roughly the implementation of "BSD malloc".)
  1. Exactly how much memory is allocated to me if I ask for 800 bytes from malloc? Exactly how much memory is added to the heap?
  2. Describe exactly what happens when one calls
    int *foo = (int *)malloc(100*sizeof(int)); 
    as the first malloc of a program. Assume that sizeof(int) is 8 (e.g., on

  3. Describe exactly what happens when one (subsequently) calls free(foo).

  4. Describe exactly what happens when one subsequently calls
    int *bar = (int *)malloc(10*sizeof(int)); 
    Is foo's memory reused? Why or why not?

  5. (Advanced) A very common programming error is to write something equivalent to:
    int *cat = (int *) malloc(sizeof(int)); 
    int *dog = (int *) malloc(sizeof(int)); 
    free(dog); // segmentation fault: core dumped
    Assuming that ints are 8 bytes, why might this cause a segmentation fault (in some linuxes) when calling free(dog)?

  6. (Advanced) Malloc doesn't use the buddy system for things larger than a page (8192 bytes = 213). So why do we allocate 8 bytes to store a number between 5 and 13? It would seem that this number would take a total of 4 bits = 1/2 of a byte.