[erlang-patches] fix 64-bit related memory management bugs

Henrik Nord <>
Mon Aug 15 11:22:09 CEST 2011

On 08/13/2011 10:13 PM, Richard Carlsson wrote:
> We discovered that if a single Erlang process tried to grow above 32 
> GB (i.e., more 64-bit words than can be counted by a 32-bit number), 
> the VM failed to find the next larger heap size, even though there 
> were plenty more heap sizes left to pick from and even though we had a 
> lot more memory available on the machine. (Obviously, this is only 
> applicable on 64-bit Erlang.)
> It turned out to be due to some 'int' variables in the heap resizing 
> parts of erl_gc.c not being properly updated to 'Uint' or 'Sint'. Once 
> that was fixed, I got segfaults instead as soon as the heap got larger 
> than 2^32 words, due to even more 'int' declarations in the same file, 
> but now in the GC code.
> After fixing this as well, I successfully ran an Erlang node in which 
> a single Erlang process had a heap so large that I'm not at liberty to 
> divulge the exact size, but I think the scientific term is 
> "humongous", and I'm confident that there are no further immediate 
> problems with very very large individual process heaps.
> A patch against R14B03 is here:
>   https://github.com/richcarl/otp/tree/r14-gc-fix
> and here's another against R13B04:
>   https://github.com/richcarl/otp/tree/r13-gc-fix
>     /Richard
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Thank you for the contribution, we will try to graduate as soon as possible.

/Henrik Nord Erlang/OTP

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