Native Engine Memory Leak Detection System

The native engine is developed using the C++ language. In order to facilitate game & engine developers to quickly find memory leaks, Cocos Creator provides a memory leak detection system since v3.4.0.

Compared with other memory leak detection tools, the built-in memory leak detection tool in Cocos Creator has the following advantages:

  • Cross-platform: support Windows/Android/Mac/iOS platforms.
  • Ease of use: no need to download additional tools and perform complex configurations. Support output of stack information at memory leaks, which is convenient for quickly locating leaks.
  • Consistency: the usage process of each platform is almost the same: start the game from the IDE -> run for a period of time -> close the game -> view the IDE output log.
  • Real-time: although the frame rate of the game in the profiling mode has dropped, it still maintains the real-time running frame rate.
  • Accuracy: theoretically zero false positives.

Usage steps

  1. The memory leak detection system is disabled by default. To enable it, you need to modify the value of the macro USE_MEMORY_LEAK_DETECTOR in the engine/native/cocos/base/Config.h file of the engine directory to 1.

         #define USE_MEMORY_LEAK_DETECTOR 1
  2. The Android platform requires one additional step as a result of the different implementation mechanisms amongst platforms:

    Add a line of code set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS} -finstrument-functions") to the native/engine/android/CMakeLists.txt file in the project directory, as follows:

     set(CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS "${CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS} -finstrument-functions")
  3. Start the game from the IDE corresponding to the native platform (such as Visual Studio, Android Studio, Xcode), and close the game after running for a period of time. If there is any memory leak, the detailed information of the memory leak will be output in the output window of the IDE at this time.

    • Windows platform

      visual studio

      In the Release version, if more friendly stack information is needed, right-click the executable project-properties, open the project properties page, and make the following settings:

      • Linker -> Debugging -> Generate Debug Info: Generate Debug Information(/DEBUG)

      • C/C++ -> Optimization -> Optimization: Disabled(/Od)\

      • C/C++ -> Optimization -> Inline Function Expansion:Disabled(/Ob0)

    • Android platform

      android studio

    • Mac/iOS platform


  4. Fix the leak according to the information output by the Native platform IDE, and repeat until there is no leak.

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