Installing from ports or via pkg
If you are using FreeBSD 11.3 or later, then you should be able to install
Valgrind using either
pkg install devel/valgrind
or alternatively from ports (if installed)
cd /usr/ports/devel/valgrind && make install clean
Install ports for autoconf, automake, libtool and gmake.
$ sh autogen.sh
$ ./configure --prefix=/where/ever
$ gmake install
Known Limitations (December 2020)
0. Be aware that if you use a wrapper script and run Valgrind on the wrapper
script Valgrind may hit restrictions if the wrapper script runs any
Capsicum enabled applications. Examples of Capsicum enabled applications
are echo, basename, tee, uniq and wc. It is recommended that you either
avoid these applications or that you run Valgrind directly on your test
1. There are some limitations when running Valgrind on code that was compiled
with clang. These issues are not present with code compiled with GCC.
a) There may be missing source information concerning variables.
b) The client request mechanism may not work entirely correctly.
c) Code that uses OpenMP will generate spurious errors.
2. There are some limitations specific to i386
a) In some cases signals are mishandled causing Valgrind to terminate and
report a SIGSEGV.
b) Applications that create and join many threads may crash.
Notes for Developers
See README_DEVELOPERS, README_MISSING_SYSCALL_OR_IOCTL and docs/*
for more general information for developers.
0. Adding syscalls.
When adding syscalls, you need to look at the manpage and also syscalls.master
and for 32bit
and if you installed the src package there should also be
syscalls.master is particularly useful for seeing quickly whether parameters
are inputs or outputs.
The syscall wrappers can vary from trivial to difficult. Fortunately, many are
either trivial (no arguments) or easy (Valgrind just needs to know what memory
is being read or written). Some syscalls, such as those involving process
creation and termination, signals and memory mapping require deeper interaction
When you add syscalls you will need to modify several files
This file contains one #define for each syscall. The _NR_ prefix (Linux
style) is used rather than SYS_ for compatibility with the rest of the
This uses the DECL_TEMPLATE macro to generate declarations for the syscall
before and after wrappers.
This is where the bulk of the code resides. Toward the end of the file
the BSDX_/BSDXY macros are used to generate entries in the table of
syscalls. BSDX_ is used for wrappers that only have a 'before', BSDXY
if both wrappers are required. In general, syscalls that have no arguments
or only input arguments just need a BSDX_ macro (before only). Syscalls
with output arguments need a BSDXY macro (before and after).
d) If the syscall uses 64bit arguments (long long) then instead of putting
the wrapper definitions in syswrap-freebsd.c there will be one definition
for each platform amd64 and x86 in syswrap-x86-freebsd.c and
Each long long needs to be split into two ARGs in the x86 version.
The PRE (before) wrapper
Each PRE wrapper always contains the following two macro calls
PRINT. This outputs the syscall name and argument values when Valgrind is
PRE_READ_REGX. This macro lets Valgrind know about the number and types of the
syscall arguments which allows Valgrind to check that they are initialized.
X is the number of arguments. It is best that the argument names match
the man page, but the must match the types and number of arguments in
Occasionally there are differences between the two.
If the syscall takes pointers to memory there will be one of the following for
each pointer argument.
PRE_MEM_RASCIIZ for NULL terminated ascii strings.
PRE_MEM_READ for pointers to structures or arrays that are read.
PRE_MEM_WRITE for pointers to structures or arrays that are written.
As a rule, the definitions of structures are copied into vki-freebsd.h
with the vki- prefix. [vki - Valgrind kernel interface; this was done
historically to protect against discrepancies between user include
structure definitions and kernel definitions on Linux].
The POST (after) wrapper
These are much easier.
They just contain a POST_MEM_WRITE macro for each output argument.
If you find any problems please create a bugzilla report at
https://bugs.kde.org using the Valgrind product.
Alternatively you can use the FreeBSD bugilla
Valgrind was originally ported to FreeBSD by Doug Rabson
Paul Floyd (that's me), started looking at this project in late 2018,
took a long pause and then continued in earnest in January 2020.
A big thanks to Nick Briggs for helping with the x86 version.
Kyle Evans and Ed Maste for contributing patches and helping with the
integration with FreeBSD ports.
Prior to 2018 many others have also contributed.
Brian Fundakowski Feldman
Andrei V. Shetuhin