compiler crash with eheap_alloc error compiling an erlang module with R13B04

Rick Pettit <>
Tue Mar 23 22:24:38 CET 2010

I am having some trouble compiling a particular erlang module for R13B04.

This particular module was coded back in the days of R11B, and has
compiled and run fine on a number of erlang releases since then, including
an earlier release of R13B (R13B03).

Having grabbed and built the latest R13B04 release, I am having trouble
compiling this particular module (many other modules in this same system
compile with no problem on R13B04, just not this one).

When I try to compile this module, the compiler seems to hang for a very
long time--minutes actually. Eventually it crashes with the following

  Crash dump was written to: erl_crash.dump
  eheap_alloc: Cannot allocate 1781763260 bytes of memory (of type "heap").
  Abort (core dumped)

The problem is completely reproducible--this particular module just
doesn't want to compile. But again, it compiles and runs fine on a number
of previous erlang releases, and has run reliably in production for
*years* now.

I would share the contents of the file with this list, but need to clear
that with work first.

In the meantime, can anyone shed some light on what might possibly be
going on here? Is there anything I can look for in my code that might
cause this?


P.S. The exact compiler invocation which is crashing is pretty simple and
looks like:

prompt> erlc -I /usr/pkg/.../somelib/include -bbeam -o../ebin foo.erl

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