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Using malloc

Question asked by Per Smitt on Mar 18, 2015
Latest reply on Mar 18, 2015 by Per Smitt

I have a bit of a problem when using malloc so I was wondering what others think about this. I use malloc in my application, mainly because the application is entirely asynchronous so either I have to use malloc or I need buffers of my datatypes declared in masses. I chose malloc due to its flexibility.

I was using Atollic TrueStudio and everything built just fine, but now I wanted to try my hand with basic Eclipse and the following toolchain:

Once I made this switch I was struck with undefined reference to `_sbrk'. Fair enough since I use malloc so I look around and find a newlib.c with some basic functions for read and write (using UART) and also an _sbrk implementation.

caddr_t _sbrk(int incr) {
    extern char _ebss; // Defined by the linker
    static char *heap_end;
    char *prev_heap_end;

    if (heap_end == 0) {
        heap_end = &_ebss;
    prev_heap_end = heap_end;

    char * stack = (char*) __get_MSP();
    if (heap_end + incr >  stack)
        _write (STDERR_FILENO, "Heap and stack collision\n", 25);
        errno = ENOMEM;
        return  (caddr_t) -1;

    heap_end += incr;
    return (caddr_t) prev_heap_end;

The problem is that __get_MSP is deprecated as far as google could tell me. So if you aren't allowed to read the stack pointer value, how can you detect a stack collision?

So my questions are many:
Can I link with another library to get malloc to work or maybe even just a linker flag?
Is it possible to get the stack pointer value or should I instead create a large buffer in memory and let it be the borders form _sbrk?
Should I use another toolchain?
Is there some other solution or angle I am not seeing?

So feel free to point out anything I am open to any idea or solution.

Many thanks in advance,
Per Smitt