Time to disable BIND 9 custom malloc by default?

Evan Hunt each at isc.org
Fri Apr 11 16:23:37 UTC 2014

On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:52:20AM +0200, Shane Kerr wrote:
> BIND 9 also has it's own memory handler, which is also on by default
> IIRC. Perhaps it is time to consider disabling this?

I agree with Paul's analysis: there might be a performance benefit, but
it isn't necessary for security; it might even be counterproductive.
The principle advantage of BIND's isc_mem functions (from my perspective
as a developer at any rate) is how easy they make it to diagnose and
locate memory leaks, use-after-free conditions and the like, and the
separation of memory contexts with individually defined limits.

One of the projects on my "when I get around to it" list is to write an
alternate isc_mem implementation that's just a straight pass-through to the
system malloc(), make it selectable as a configure option, and find out how
much faster it would really be.  I don't think I'd want to make it the
default unless the speedup was really substantial.

Evan Hunt -- each at isc.org
Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.

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