Linux: How do I find out causes for memory faults?

Memory faults can occur due to various causes.

You can use memtester command which stress test to find memory subsystem faults. memtester command is an effective userspace tester for stress-testing the memory subsystem. It is very effective at finding intermittent and non-deterministic faults under Linux.

You can run memtester as follows:

memtester MEMORY ITERATIONS

Where,
=> MEMORY: The amount of memory to allocate and test, in megabytes
=> ITERATIONS: Number of loops to iterate through. Default is infinite

memtester’s exit code is 0 when everything works properly. Otherwise, it is the logical OR of the following values:

  • x01: Error allocating or locking memory, or invocation error
  • x02: Error during stuck address test
  • x04: Error during one of the other tests

Example
$ memtest 5 1Output:

memtester version 4.0.5 (32-bit)
Copyright (C) 2005 Charles Cazabon.
Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (only).

pagesize is 4096
pagesizemask is 0xfffff000
want 5MB (5242880 bytes)
got  5MB (5242880 bytes), trying mlock ...locked.
Loop 1/1:
Stuck Address       : ok
Random Value        : ok
Compare XOR         : ok
Compare SUB         : ok
Compare MUL         : ok
Compare DIV         : ok
Compare OR          : ok
Compare AND         : ok
Sequential Increment: ok
Solid Bits          : ok
Block Sequential    : ok
Checkerboard        : ok
Bit Spread          : ok
Bit Flip            : ok
Walking Ones        : ok
Walking Zeroes      : ok

Done.

Display memtester’s exit code with following command (it is 0 when everything works properly):
$ echo $?
Output:

0

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.