nginx array utility pool usage

Ravi Chunduru ravivsn at
Fri Jan 17 03:16:50 UTC 2014

Hi Maxim,
  I understand on array overflow nginx creates a new memory block. That is
perfectly alright.

Say I have a Pool and array is allocated from the first memory block and it
happend such a way that array elements end at pool->d.last.

Now, say the pool is used for some other purposes such a way that
pool->current is now pointing to a different memory block say '2'

And if we want to allocate a few more array elements, nginx has to use
second memory block. Now the elements are moved to second memory block.

At this stage, if any new element is requested that results in overflow,
nginx does the below checks

       if ((u_char *) a->elts + size == p->d.last

            && p->d.last + a->size <= p->d.end)

In the above code, p->d.last was actually pointing to the end of first
memory block but not second memory block.    Hence *even though there is
memory available in second memory block* it will go ahead and create a new
memory block. This will repeat on each overflow.

And, the code in ngx_array_destroy() will actually set the
pointer(p->d.last) wrongly once there is a overflow. This is a critical
First memory block would have say 'n' elements but after overflow number of
elements become 2 times of n.
Lets say after second overflow, I destroyed the array, then p->d.last will
be set backwards by 2 times in the first memory block. But, in actuality it
was size 'n'.

Nginx never faces that situation because, once a memory block is set to
'failed', it wont be used for allocation any more. But, if the 'failed'
count is less than 4 then we may have issue and also pool destroy may have
potential issues.

Sorry for long email, but I wanted to explain that in detail.


On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 6:40 PM, Maxim Dounin <mdounin at> wrote:

> Hello!
> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 06:22:58PM -0800, Ravi Chunduru wrote:
> > Hi Nginx experts,
> >   Thanks for the prompt reply to my earlier email on ngx_reset_pool()
> >
> > Now, I am looking into ngx_array.c. I found an issue ngx_array_push().
> Here
> > are the details.
> > nginx will check if number of elements is equal to capacity of the array.
> > If there is no space in the memory block, it allocates a new memory block
> > with twice the size of array and copies over the elements. So far so
> good.
> > Assume that pool utility got entirely new memory block then a->pool is
> not
> > updated with that of  'pool->current'.
> >
> > I got an assumption from the code that a->pool is always the memory block
> > that has the array elements by seeing the code in ngx_array_push(),
> > ngx_array_push_n() or ngx_array_destroy() where checks were always done
> > with pool pointer in array.
> >
> > Functionalities issues would come up once there is an array overflow. I
> > think for every new push of element after first crossing/overflow of the
> > capacity, nginx will keep on creating new array. Thus it results in
> wastage
> > of memory.
> >
> > Please let me know if its a issue or correct my understanding.
> That's expected behaviour.  Arrays are implemented in a way that
> allocates additional memory on overflows, and it's expected to
> happen.  There is a ngx_list_t structure to be used if such
> additional memory allocations are undesired.  Optimization of
> allocations which uses pool internals is just an optimization and
> it's not expected to always succeed.
> --
> Maxim Dounin
> _______________________________________________
> nginx-devel mailing list
> nginx-devel at

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the nginx-devel mailing list