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A simple interface to mmap for writing and reading binary data
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LICENSE Add Appveyor badge [skip ci] Sep 6, 2016

Lua-mmapfile - A simple interface to mmap

Unix Build Status Windows Build status Coverage Status

1. What?

mmapfile uses mmap on unix and MapViewOfFile on Windows to provide a way of quickly storing and loading data that's already in some kind of in-memory binary format.

create creates a new file and maps new memory to that file. You can then write to the memory to write to the file.

open opens an existing file and maps its contents to memory, returning a pointer to the memory and the length of the file.

close syncs memory to the file, closes the file, and deletes the mapping between the memory and the file.

malloc maps anonymous memory (not mapped to a file), and so acts like malloc. The advantage is that we can get memory above 4G, but the BIG disadvantage is that mmap is not a high-perfomance allocator. Only use this infrequently for big blocks of memory. It's a nasty hack.

free frees memory mmapped by malloc

The "gc" variants of create, open and malloc (gccreate, gcopen and gcmalloc) set up a garbage collection callback for the pointer so that the file is correctly closed when the pointer is no longer referenced. Not appropriate if you might be storing the pointer in C, referencing it from unmanaged memory, or casting it to another type!

All memory is mapped above 4G to try to keep away from the memory space LuaJIT uses.

2. How?

local ffi = require"ffi"

ffi.cdef"struct test { int a; double b; };"

local mmapfile = require"mmapfile"

local ptr1 = mmapfile.gccreate("mmapfile-test", 1, "struct test")
ptr1.a = 1
ptr1.b = 1.5
ptr1 = nil

local ptr2, size = mmapfile.gcopen("mmapfile-test", "struct test")
assert(size == 1)
assert(ptr2.a == 1)
assert(ptr2.b == 1.5)

For more details make doc or ldoc lua --all.

3. Requirements

4. Issues

  • Should probably have an option for directly mapping existing memory, but I don't know enough about page boundaries.
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