Oracle® Solaris 11.2 Tunable Parameters Reference Manual

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Updated: December 2014

Kernel Memory Allocator

The Oracle Solaris kernel memory allocator distributes chunks of memory for use by clients inside the kernel. The allocator creates a number of caches of varying size for use by its clients. Clients can also request the allocator to create a cache for use by that client (for example, to allocate structures of a particular size). Statistics about each cache that the allocator manages can be seen by using the kstat -c kmem_cache command.

Occasionally, systems might panic because of memory corruption. The kernel memory allocator supports a debugging interface (a set of flags), that performs various integrity checks on the buffers. The kernel memory allocator also collects information on the allocators. The integrity checks provide the opportunity to detect errors closer to where they actually occurred. The collected information provides additional data for support people when they try to ascertain the reason for the panic.

Use of the flags incurs additional overhead and memory usage during system operations. The flags should only be used when a memory corruption problem is suspected.