mailing list mirror (one of many)
 help / color / mirror / code / Atom feed
From: Jeff King <>
To: John Cai <>
Cc: git <>, Christian Couder <>
Subject: [PATCH 1/3] fsck: free tree buffers after walking unreachable objects
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2022 06:11:43 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

After calling fsck_walk(), a tree object struct may be left in the
parsed state, with the full tree contents available via tree->buffer.
It's the responsibility of the caller to free these when it's done with
the object to avoid having many trees allocated at once.

In a regular "git fsck", we hit fsck_walk() only from fsck_obj(), which
does call free_tree_buffer(). Likewise for "--connectivity-only", we see
most objects via traverse_one_object(), which makes a similar call.

The exception is in mark_unreachable_referents(). When using both
"--connectivity-only" and "--dangling" (the latter of which is the
default), we walk all of the unreachable objects, and there we forget to
free. Most cases would not notice this, because they don't have a lot of
unreachable objects, but you can make a pathological case like this:

  git clone --bare /path/to/linux.git repo.git
  cd repo.git
  rm packed-refs ;# now everything is unreachable!
  git fsck --connectivity-only

That ends up with peak heap usage ~18GB, which is (not coincidentally)
close to the size of all uncompressed trees in the repository. After
this patch, the peak heap is only ~2GB.

A few things to note:

  - it might seem like fsck_walk(), if it is parsing the trees, should
    be responsible for freeing them. But the situation is quite tricky.
    In the non-connectivity mode, after we call fsck_walk() we then
    proceed with fsck_object() which actually does the type-specific
    sanity checks on the object contents. We do pass our own separate
    buffer to fsck_object(), but there's a catch: our earlier call to
    parse_object_buffer() may have attached that buffer to the object
    struct! So by freeing it, we leave the rest of the code with a
    dangling pointer.

    Likewise, the call to fsck_walk() in index-pack is subtle. It
    attaches a buffer to the tree object that must not be freed! And
    so rather than calling free_tree_buffer(), it actually detaches it
    by setting tree->buffer to NULL.

    These cases would _probably_ be fixable by having fsck_walk() free
    the tree buffer only when it was the one who allocated it via
    parse_tree(). But that would still leave the callers responsible for
    freeing other cases, so they wouldn't be simplified. While the
    current semantics for fsck_walk() make it easy to accidentally leak
    in new callers, at least they are simple to explain, and it's not a
    function that's likely to get a lot of new call-sites.

    And in any case, it's probably sensible to fix the leak first with
    this simple patch, and try any more complicated refactoring

  - a careful reader may notice that fsck_obj() also frees commit
    buffers, but neither the call in traverse_one_object() nor the one
    touched in this patch does so. And indeed, this is another problem
    for --connectivity-only (and accounts for most of the 2GB heap after
    this patch), but it's one we'll fix in a separate commit.

Signed-off-by: Jeff King <>
 builtin/fsck.c | 2 ++
 1 file changed, 2 insertions(+)

diff --git a/builtin/fsck.c b/builtin/fsck.c
index f7916f06ed..34e575a170 100644
--- a/builtin/fsck.c
+++ b/builtin/fsck.c
@@ -228,6 +228,8 @@ static void mark_unreachable_referents(const struct object_id *oid)
 	options.walk = mark_used;
 	fsck_walk(obj, NULL, &options);
+	if (obj->type == OBJ_TREE)
+		free_tree_buffer((struct tree *)obj);
 static int mark_loose_unreachable_referents(const struct object_id *oid,

  reply	other threads:[~2022-09-22 10:12 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 10+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2022-09-20 19:27 [INVESTIGATION] why is fsck --connectivity-only so much more expensive than rev-list --objects --all? John Cai
2022-09-20 20:41 ` Jeff King
2022-09-22 10:09   ` [PATCH 0/3] reducing fsck memory usage Jeff King
2022-09-22 10:11     ` Jeff King [this message]
2022-09-22 18:40       ` [PATCH 1/3] fsck: free tree buffers after walking unreachable objects Junio C Hamano
2022-09-22 18:58         ` Jeff King
2022-09-22 19:27           ` Junio C Hamano
2022-09-22 22:16             ` Jeff King
2022-09-22 10:13     ` [PATCH 2/3] fsck: turn off save_commit_buffer Jeff King
2022-09-22 10:15     ` [PATCH 3/3] parse_object_buffer(): respect save_commit_buffer Jeff King

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

  List information:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \ \ \ \ \ \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link
Be sure your reply has a Subject: header at the top and a blank line before the message body.
Code repositories for project(s) associated with this public inbox

This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for read-only IMAP folder(s) and NNTP newsgroup(s).