LeakSanitizer is a run-time memory leak detector. It can be combined with AddressSanitizer to get both memory error and leak detection, or used in a stand-alone mode. LSan adds almost no performance overhead until the very end of the process, at which point there is an extra leak detection phase.


LeakSanitizer is only supported on x86_64 Linux. In order to use it, simply build your program with AddressSanitizer:

$ cat memory-leak.c
#include <stdlib.h>
void *p;
int main() {
  p = malloc(7);
  p = 0; // The memory is leaked here.
  return 0;
% clang -fsanitize=address -g memory-leak.c ; ./a.out
==23646==ERROR: LeakSanitizer: detected memory leaks
Direct leak of 7 byte(s) in 1 object(s) allocated from:
    #0 0x4af01b in __interceptor_malloc /projects/compiler-rt/lib/asan/asan_malloc_linux.cc:52:3
    #1 0x4da26a in main memory-leak.c:4:7
    #2 0x7f076fd9cec4 in __libc_start_main libc-start.c:287
SUMMARY: AddressSanitizer: 7 byte(s) leaked in 1 allocation(s).

To use LeakSanitizer in stand-alone mode, link your program with -fsanitize=leak flag. Make sure to use clang (not ld) for the link step, so that it would link in proper LeakSanitizer run-time library into the final executable.