Oracle Solaris Modular Debugger Guide

Buffer States

The functional domain of the kernel memory allocator is the set of buffers of virtual memory that make up the kernel heap. These buffers are grouped together into sets of uniform size and purpose, known as caches. Each cache contains a set of buffers. Some of these buffers are currently free, which means that they have not yet been allocated to any client of the allocator. The remaining buffers are allocated, which means that a pointer to that buffer has been provided to a client of the allocator. If no client of the allocator holds a pointer to an allocated buffer, this buffer is said to be leaked, because it cannot be freed. Leaked buffers indicate incorrect code that is wasting kernel resources.