SafePM: A Sanitizer for Persistent Memory

Kartal Kaan Bozdogan, Dimitrios Stavrakakis, Shady Issa, Pramod Bhatotia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Memory safety violation is a major root cause of reliability and security issues in software systems. Byte-addressable persistent memory (PM), just like its volatile counterpart, is also susceptible to memory safety violations. While there is a couple of decades of work in ensuring memory safety for programs based on volatile memory, the existing approaches are incompatible for PM since the PM programming model introduces a persistent pointer representation for persistent memory objects and allocators, where it is imperative to design a crash consistent safety mechanism. We introduce SafePM, a memory safety mechanism that transparently and comprehensively detects both spatial and temporal memory safety violations for PM-based applications. SafePM's design builds on a shadow memory approach, and augments it with crash consistent data structures and system operations to ensure memory safety even across system reboots and crashes. We implement SafePM based on the AddressSanitizer compiler pass, and integrate it with the PM development kit (PMDK) runtime library. We evaluate SafePM across three dimensions: overheads, effectiveness, and crash consistency. SafePM overall incurs reasonable overheads while providing comprehensive memory safety, and has uncovered real-world bugs in the widely-used PMDK library.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEuroSys 2022 - Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Computer Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781450391627
StatePublished - 28 Mar 2022
Event17th European Conference on Computer Systems, EuroSys 2022 - Rennes, France
Duration: 5 Apr 2022 → …

Publication series

NameEuroSys 2022 - Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Computer Systems


Conference17th European Conference on Computer Systems, EuroSys 2022
Period5/04/22 → …


  • Dependable systems
  • Memory safety


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