Skip to content
This repository has been archived by the owner on Mar 22, 2023. It is now read-only.


Repository files navigation

libvmem and libvmmalloc: malloc-like volatile allocations

Build Status Build status Build status Release version Coverage Status

⚠️ Discontinuation of the project

The libvmem and libvmmalloc libraries will no longer be maintained by Intel.

  • Intel has ceased development and contributions including, but not limited to, maintenance, bug fixes, new releases, or updates, to this project.
  • Intel no longer accepts patches to this project.
  • If you have an ongoing need to use this project, are interested in independently developing it, or would like to maintain patches for the open source software community, please create your own fork of this project.
  • You will find more information here.


libvmem and libvmmalloc are a couple of libraries for using persistent memory for malloc-like volatile uses. They have historically been a part of PMDK despite being solely for volatile uses.

Both of these libraries are considered code-complete and mature. You may want consider using memkind instead in code that benefits from extra features like NUMA awareness. Since memkind version 1.12, it includes "memtier" which can be used as a LD_PRELOAD interposer to unmodified binaries — thus reaching feature parity with vmmalloc on Linux.

For the above reason, we decided to not do the work of adapting vmem to glibc 2.34 memory allocation changes. On the other hand, there are Linux distributions based on glibc ≤2.33 supported well into 2030s, and memkind supports neither FreeBSD nor Windows

To install vmem libraries, either install pre-built packages, which we build for every stable release, or clone the tree and build it yourself. Pre-built packages can be found in popular Linux distribution package repositories, or you can check out our recent stable releases on our github release page. Specific installation instructions are outlined below.


  1. Libraries
  2. Getting Started
  3. Version Conventions
  4. Pre-Built Packages for Windows
  5. Dependencies
  6. Building vmem on Linux or FreeBSD
  7. Building vmem on Windows
  8. Experimental Packages
  9. Contact Us


Available Libraries:

  • libvmem: turns a pool of persistent memory into a volatile memory pool, similar to the system heap but kept separate and with its own malloc-style API.

  • libvmmalloc1: transparently converts all the dynamic memory allocations into persistent memory allocations.

Currently these libraries only work on 64-bit Linux, Windows2, and 64-bit FreeBSD 11+. For information on how these libraries are licensed, see our LICENSE file.

1 Not supported on Windows.

2 VMEM for Windows is feature complete, but not yet considered production quality.

Pre-Built Packages for Windows

(Not yet available.)

The recommended and easiest way to install VMEM on Windows iswill be to use Microsoft vcpkg. Vcpkg is an open source tool and ecosystem created for library management.

To install the latest VMEM release and link it to your Visual Studio solution you first need to clone and set up vcpkg on your machine as described on the vcpkg github page in Quick Start section.

In brief:

	> git clone
	> cd vcpkg
	> .\bootstrap-vcpkg.bat
	> .\vcpkg integrate install
	> .\vcpkg install vmem:x64-windows

The last command can take a while - it is VMEM building and installation time.

After a successful completion of all of the above steps, the libraries are ready to be used in Visual Studio and no additional configuration is required. Just open VS with your already existing project or create a new one (remember to use platform x64) and then include headers to project as you always do.


Required packages for each supported OS are listed below.


You will need to install the following required packages on the build system:

  • autoconf
  • pkg-config
  • glibc ≤ 2.33



  • autoconf
  • bash
  • binutils
  • coreutils
  • e2fsprogs-libuuid
  • gmake
  • libunwind
  • ncurses4
  • pkgconf

4 The pkg version of ncurses is required for proper operation; the base version included in FreeBSD is not sufficient.

Building vmem on Linux or FreeBSD

To build from source, clone this tree:

	$ git clone
	$ cd vmem

For a stable version, checkout a release tag as follows. Otherwise skip this step to build the latest development release.

	$ git checkout tags/1.7

Once the build system is setup, vmem and vmmalloc are built using the make command at the top level:

	$ make

For FreeBSD, use gmake rather than make.

By default, all code is built with the -Werror flag, which fails the whole build when the compiler emits any warning. This is very useful during development, but can be annoying in deployment. If you want to disable -Werror, use the EXTRA_CFLAGS variable:

	$ make EXTRA_CFLAGS="-Wno-error"


	$ make EXTRA_CFLAGS="-Wno-error=$(type-of-warning)"

Make Options

There are many options that follow make. If you want to invoke make with the same variables multiple times, you can create a file in the top level directory and put all variables there. For example:

	$ cat
	EXTRA_CFLAGS_RELEASE = -ggdb -fno-omit-frame-pointer
	PATH += :$HOME/valgrind/bin

This feature is intended to be used only by developers and it may not work for all variables. Please do not file bug reports about it. Just fix it and make a PR.

Built-in tests: can be compiled and ran with different compiler. To do this, you must provide the CC and CXX variables. These variables are independent and setting CC=clang does not set CXX=clang++. For example:

	$ make CC=clang CXX=clang++

Once make completes, all the libraries and examples are built. You can play with the library within the build tree, or install it locally on your machine. For information about running different types of tests, please refer to the src/test/README.

Installing the library is convenient since it installs man pages and libraries in the standard system locations:

	(as root...)
	# make install

To install this library into other locations, you can use the prefix variable, e.g.:

	$ make install prefix=/usr/local

This will install files to /usr/local/lib, /usr/local/include /usr/local/share/man.

Prepare library for packaging can be done using the DESTDIR variable, e.g.:

	$ make install DESTDIR=/tmp

This will install files to /tmp/usr/lib, /tmp/usr/include /tmp/usr/share/man.

Man pages (groff files) are generated as part of the install rule. To generate the documentation separately, run:

	$ make doc

This call requires the following dependencies: pandoc. Pandoc is provided by the hs-pandoc package on FreeBSD.

Install copy of source tree can be done by specifying the path where you want it installed.

	$ make source DESTDIR=some_path

For this example, it will be installed at $(DESTDIR).

Build rpm packages on rpm-based distributions is done by:

	$ make rpm

To build rpm packages without running tests:


This requires rpmbuild to be installed.

Build dpkg packages on Debian-based distributions is done by:

	$ make dpkg

To build dpkg packages without running tests:

	$ make BUILD_PACKAGE_CHECK=n dpkg

This requires devscripts to be installed.

Testing Libraries on Linux and FreeBSD

Before running the tests, you may need to prepare a test configuration file (src/test/ Please see the available configuration settings in the example file src/test/

To build and run the unit tests:

	$ make check

To run a specific subset of tests, run for example:

	$ make check TEST_BUILD=debug

To modify the timeout which is available for check type tests, run:

	$ make check TEST_TIME=1m

This will set the timeout to 1 minute.

Please refer to the src/test/README for more details on how to run different types of tests.

Memory Management Tools

The VMEM libraries support standard Valgrind DRD, Helgrind and Memcheck, as well as a PM-aware version of Valgrind (not yet available for FreeBSD). By default, support for all tools is enabled. If you wish to disable it, supply the compiler with VG_<TOOL>_ENABLED flag set to 0, for example:


VALGRIND_ENABLED flag, when set to 0, disables all Valgrind tools (drd, helgrind, memcheck and pmemcheck).

The SANITIZE flag allows the libraries to be tested with various sanitizers. For example, to test the libraries with AddressSanitizer and UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer, run:

	$ make SANITIZE=address,undefined clobber check

The address sanitizer is not supported for libvmmalloc on FreeBSD and will be ignored.

Building vmem on Windows

Clone the vmem tree and open the solution:

	> git clone
	> cd vmem/src
	> devenv VMEM.sln

Select the desired configuration (Debug or Release) and build the solution (i.e. by pressing Ctrl-Shift-B).

Testing Libraries on Windows

Before running the tests, you may need to prepare a test configuration file (src/test/testconfig.ps1). Please see the available configuration settings in the example file src/test/testconfig.ps1.example.

To run the unit tests, open the PowerShell console and type:

	> cd vmem/src/test

To run a specific subset of tests, run for example:

	> RUNTESTS.ps1 -b debug -t short

To run just one test, run for example:

	> RUNTESTS.ps1 -b debug -i pmem_is_pmem

To modify the timeout, run:

	> RUNTESTS.ps1 -o 3m

This will set the timeout to 3 minutes.

To display all the possible options, run:

	> RUNTESTS.ps1 -h

Please refer to the src/test/README for more details on how to run different types of tests.

Experimental Support for 64-bit non-x86 architectures

There's generally no architecture-specific parts anywhere in these libraries, but they have received no real testing outside of 64-bit x86.

Contact Us

If you read the blog post and still have some questions (especially about discontinuation of the project), please contact us using the dedicated e-mail: