Just An Application

September 28, 2014

Building The Android Runtime (ART) For Mac OS X: Part Five — 64 Bits Considered 32 Bits Too Many

As we have seen, if mmap is not passsed the


flag, then, if the request is for memory somewhere in the low 4GB of the address space although the call succeeds the resulting memory is not in the low 4GB at all.

Setting the MAP_FIXED flag does not help. The call to mmap simply fails.

In short, the problem is that Mac OS X will not allocate memory in the low 4GB of the address space of a 64-bit executable, irrespective of the start address.

The fact that the low_4gb argument to the MemMap::MapAnonymous method is hard-wired to true when called from the Heap::MapAnonymousPreferredAddress method implies that this is an absolute requirement in this case. A possible implication of this is that the some or all of the code is written on the assumption that addresses are necessarily 32 bits so relaxing the constraint is probably not a good idea.

A quick check shows that other calls MemMap::MapAnonymous also pass true as the low_4gb argument, so those calls would also have to be changed as well.

Fortunately there is a workaround of sorts.

One way to get the OS to allocate memory in the first 4GB of the address space of a process is to ensure that the process only has a 4GB address space, i.e, turn dex2oat into a 32-bit executable.

There is probably a ‘proper’ way to do this, but the brute force way is to change this

    ifeq ($(ART_BUILD_HOST_NDEBUG),true)
      $(eval $(call build-art-executable,dex2oat,$(DEX2OAT_SRC_FILES),libart-compiler,art/compiler,host,ndebug))
    ifeq ($(ART_BUILD_HOST_DEBUG),true)
      $(eval $(call build-art-executable,dex2oat,$(DEX2OAT_SRC_FILES),libartd-compiler,art/compiler,host,debug))

in the file


to this

    ifeq ($(ART_BUILD_HOST_NDEBUG),true)
      $(eval $(call build-art-executable,dex2oat,$(DEX2OAT_SRC_FILES),libart-compiler,art/compiler,host,ndebug, 32))
    ifeq ($(ART_BUILD_HOST_DEBUG),true)
      $(eval $(call build-art-executable,dex2oat,$(DEX2OAT_SRC_FILES),libartd-compiler,art/compiler,host,debug, 32))

Copyright (c) 2014 By Simon Lewis. All Rights Reserved.

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