An error in a program's dynamic-store allocation logic that causes it to
fail to reclaim discarded memory, leading to eventual collapse due to
memory exhaustion. Also (esp. at CMU) called core leak. These problems
were severe on older machines with small, fixed-size address spaces, and
special ?leak detection? tools were commonly written to root them out. With
the advent of virtual memory, it is unfortunately easier to be sloppy about
wasting a bit of memory (although when you run out of memory on a VM
machine, it means you've got a real leak!). See aliasing bug, fandango
on core, smash the stack, precedence lossage, overrun screw, leaky
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
A leak in a program's dynamic store
allocation logic that causes it to fail to reclaim memory in
the heap after it has finished using it, eventually causing
the program to fail due to lack of memory.
These problems were severe on older machines with small,
fixed-size address spaces, and special "leak detection" tools
were written to diagnose them.
The introduction of virtual memory made memory leaks a less
serious problem, although if you run out of virtual
memory, it means you've got a *real* leak!
See aliasing bug.