Compiling with AddressSanitizer

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AddressSanitizer (or ASAN) is a programming tool that detects memory corruption bugs such as buffer overflows or accesses to a dangling pointer (use-after-free). AddressSanitizer is based on compiler instrumentation and directly-mapped shadow memory. For more information see the [Wikipedia Page] page and the [Google ASAN] page.

To enable ASAN (which requires clang or gcc >= 4.8) for libreswan, you need to change the linking flags. This can be done by setting the USERLINK environment variable, or setting this variable in the file See also the USERLINK setting in mk/

export USERLINK="-Wl,-z,relro,-z,now -g -pie -fsanitize=address"

On libreswan-3.14 and above you can compile with ASAN support using:

make ASAN="-fsanitize=address" programs

You will also need to install libasan (using yum, dnf or apt-get)

Enabling ASAN will cause it to throw reports to stderr. Use libreswan-3.14 or the git master code which fixes _stackmanager to ignore these. On older versions you can run:

ASAN_OPTIONS=detect_leaks=0 ipsec _stackmanager start

The IKE daemon pluto will throw leak reports on stderr which confuses some init systems, such as systemd. The initsystems will also redirect these messages elsewhere. So the easiest way to start libreswan and get the ASAN reporting on the console is to use:

ipsec _stackmanager start
ipsec pluto --config /etc/ipsec.conf --nofork --stderrlog

In another terminal, run the tests you want to add with adding/upping/removing any connections. When done run:

ipsec whack --shutdown

The ASAN messages will now appear on the terminal you started pluto on.

Note that you should not enable --leak-detective and not link against ElectricFence, because those mechanisms try to do similar things and you will just make it harder to debug any ASAN messages you will get,