Skip to main content

Aliasing Bug

/ˈālēəsiNG bəɡ/

n. A class of subtle programming errors that can arise in code that does dynamic allocation, esp. via 'malloc(3)' or equivalent. If more than one pointer addresses ('aliases for') a given hunk of storage, it may happen that the storage is freed through one alias and then referenced through another, which may lead to subtle (and possibly intermittent) lossage depending on the state and the allocation history of the malloc arena. Avoidable by use of allocation strategies that never alias allocated core. Also avoidable by use of higher-level languages, such as LISP, which employ a garbage collector (see GC). Also called a stale pointer bug.

See also precedence lossage, smash the stack, fandango on core, memory leak, overrun screw, spam.