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UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer (UBSan) is a fast undefined behavior detector.
UBSan modifies the program at compile-time to catch various kinds of undefined
behavior during program execution, for example:
* Using misaligned or null pointer
* Signed integer overflow
* Conversion to, from, or between floating-point types which would
overflow the destination
See the full list of available :ref:`checks <ubsan-checks>` below.
UBSan has an optional run-time library which provides better error reporting.
The checks have small runtime cost and no impact on address space layout or ABI.
How to build
Build LLVM/Clang with `CMake <>`_.
Use ``clang++`` to compile and link your program with ``-fsanitize=undefined``
flag. Make sure to use ``clang++`` (not ``ld``) as a linker, so that your
executable is linked with proper UBSan runtime libraries. You can use ``clang``
instead of ``clang++`` if you're compiling/linking C code.
.. code-block:: console
% cat
int main(int argc, char **argv) {
int k = 0x7fffffff;
k += argc;
return 0;
% clang++ -fsanitize=undefined
% ./a.out runtime error: signed integer overflow: 2147483647 + 1 cannot be represented in type 'int'
You can enable only a subset of :ref:`checks <ubsan-checks>` offered by UBSan,
and define the desired behavior for each kind of check:
* print a verbose error report and continue execution (default);
* print a verbose error report and exit the program;
* execute a trap instruction (doesn't require UBSan run-time support).
For example if you compile/link your program as:
.. code-block:: console
% clang++ -fsanitize=signed-integer-overflow,null,alignment -fno-sanitize-recover=null -fsanitize-trap=alignment
the program will continue execution after signed integer overflows, exit after
the first invalid use of a null pointer, and trap after the first use of misaligned
.. _ubsan-checks:
Available checks
Available checks are:
- ``-fsanitize=alignment``: Use of a misaligned pointer or creation
of a misaligned reference.
- ``-fsanitize=bool``: Load of a ``bool`` value which is neither
``true`` nor ``false``.
- ``-fsanitize=bounds``: Out of bounds array indexing, in cases
where the array bound can be statically determined.
- ``-fsanitize=enum``: Load of a value of an enumerated type which
is not in the range of representable values for that enumerated
- ``-fsanitize=float-cast-overflow``: Conversion to, from, or
between floating-point types which would overflow the
- ``-fsanitize=float-divide-by-zero``: Floating point division by
- ``-fsanitize=function``: Indirect call of a function through a
function pointer of the wrong type (Linux, C++ and x86/x86_64 only).
- ``-fsanitize=integer-divide-by-zero``: Integer division by zero.
- ``-fsanitize=nonnull-attribute``: Passing null pointer as a function
parameter which is declared to never be null.
- ``-fsanitize=null``: Use of a null pointer or creation of a null
- ``-fsanitize=object-size``: An attempt to potentially use bytes which
the optimizer can determine are not part of the object being accessed.
This will also detect some types of undefined behavior that may not
directly access memory, but are provably incorrect given the size of
the objects involved, such as invalid downcasts and calling methods on
invalid pointers. These checks are made in terms of
``__builtin_object_size``, and consequently may be able to detect more
problems at higher optimization levels.
- ``-fsanitize=return``: In C++, reaching the end of a
value-returning function without returning a value.
- ``-fsanitize=returns-nonnull-attribute``: Returning null pointer
from a function which is declared to never return null.
- ``-fsanitize=shift``: Shift operators where the amount shifted is
greater or equal to the promoted bit-width of the left hand side
or less than zero, or where the left hand side is negative. For a
signed left shift, also checks for signed overflow in C, and for
unsigned overflow in C++. You can use ``-fsanitize=shift-base`` or
``-fsanitize=shift-exponent`` to check only left-hand side or
right-hand side of shift operation, respectively.
- ``-fsanitize=signed-integer-overflow``: Signed integer overflow,
including all the checks added by ``-ftrapv``, and checking for
overflow in signed division (``INT_MIN / -1``).
- ``-fsanitize=unreachable``: If control flow reaches
- ``-fsanitize=unsigned-integer-overflow``: Unsigned integer
- ``-fsanitize=vla-bound``: A variable-length array whose bound
does not evaluate to a positive value.
- ``-fsanitize=vptr``: Use of an object whose vptr indicates that
it is of the wrong dynamic type, or that its lifetime has not
begun or has ended. Incompatible with ``-fno-rtti``. Link must
be performed by ``clang++``, not ``clang``, to make sure C++-specific
parts of the runtime library and C++ standard libraries are present.
You can also use the following check groups:
- ``-fsanitize=undefined``: All of the checks listed above other than
- ``-fsanitize=undefined-trap``: Deprecated alias of
- ``-fsanitize=integer``: Checks for undefined or suspicious integer
behavior (e.g. unsigned integer overflow).
Stack traces and report symbolization
If you want UBSan to print symbolized stack trace for each error report, you
will need to:
#. Compile with ``-g`` and ``-fno-omit-frame-pointer`` to get proper debug
information in your binary.
#. Run your program with environment variable
#. Make sure ``llvm-symbolizer`` binary is in ``PATH``.
Issue Suppression
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer is not expected to produce false positives.
If you see one, look again; most likely it is a true positive!
Disabling Instrumentation with ``__attribute__((no_sanitize("undefined")))``
You disable UBSan checks for particular functions with
``__attribute__((no_sanitize("undefined")))``. You can use all values of
``-fsanitize=`` flag in this attribute, e.g. if your function deliberately
contains possible signed integer overflow, you can use
This attribute may not be
supported by other compilers, so consider using it together with
``#if defined(__clang__)``.
Suppressing Errors in Recompiled Code (Blacklist)
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer supports ``src`` and ``fun`` entity types in
:doc:`SanitizerSpecialCaseList`, that can be used to suppress error reports
in the specified source files or functions.
Runtime suppressions
Sometimes you can suppress UBSan error reports for specific files, functions,
or libraries without recompiling the code. You need to pass a path to
suppression file in a ``UBSAN_OPTIONS`` environment variable.
.. code-block:: bash
You need to specify a :ref:`check <ubsan-checks>` you are suppressing and the
bug location. For example:
.. code-block:: bash
There are several limitations:
* Sometimes your binary must have enough debug info and/or symbol table, so
that the runtime could figure out source file or function name to match
against the suppression.
* It is only possible to suppress recoverable checks. For the example above,
you can additionally pass
``-fsanitize-recover=signed-integer-overflow,alignment,vptr``, although
most of UBSan checks are recoverable by default.
* Check groups (like ``undefined``) can't be used in suppressions file, only
fine-grained checks are supported.
Supported Platforms
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer is supported on the following OS:
* Android
* Linux
* FreeBSD
* OS X 10.6 onwards
and for the following architectures:
* i386/x86\_64
* AArch64
* PowerPC64
Current Status
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer is available on selected platforms starting from LLVM
3.3. The test suite is integrated into the CMake build and can be run with
``check-ubsan`` command.
Additional Configuration
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer adds static check data for each check unless it is
in trap mode. This check data includes the full file name. The option
``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=N`` can be used to trim this
information. If ``N`` is positive, file information emitted by
UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer will drop the first ``N`` components from the file
path. If ``N`` is negative, the last ``N`` components will be kept.
For a file called ``/code/library/file.cpp``, here is what would be emitted:
* Default (No flag, or ``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=0``): ``/code/library/file.cpp``
* ``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=1``: ``code/library/file.cpp``
* ``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=2``: ``library/file.cpp``
* ``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=-1``: ``file.cpp``
* ``-fsanitize-undefined-strip-path-components=-2``: ``library/file.cpp``
More Information
* From LLVM project blog:
`What Every C Programmer Should Know About Undefined Behavior
* From John Regehr's *Embedded in Academia* blog:
`A Guide to Undefined Behavior in C and C++