[Rd] load/unload segfault puzzle

Ben Bolker bbolker at gmail.com
Wed Jun 12 19:47:55 CEST 2013

Ben Bolker <bbolker <at> gmail.com> writes:

>   Dear r-devel readers,
>   I have a pretty deep problem with package loading and unloading in
> the development version of the lme4 package
> <https://github.com/lme4/lme4>; it's not boiled down to a properly
> minimal example yet (this has been difficult), but I am posting anyway
> in the hopes that someone has ideas about how to proceed farther,
> since I'm nearly stumped. Apologies in advance for the long post.
>    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: after one cycle of loading, testing (e.g. by
> running example(lmer)) and unloading lme4, then loading and unloading
> the nlme package, re-loading and exercising lme4 becomes very
> unstable, leading eventually to a segmentation fault.  More detail is
> available at <https://github.com/lme4/lme4/issues/35> .  Because it's
> a segmentation fault, exactly _where_ the crash happens varies a bit
> according to platform and precise incantation, but it seems I can
> always get a segfault eventually.


  UPDATE: after some useful advice off-list, I tried with a
fully valgrind-instrumented version of R.  No suspicious memory
accesses occurred until the very end, right before the crash:

Attempt #1
loading lme4 
loaded DLLs: Rcpp RcppEigen minqa lme4 
detaching lme4 

==18150== Jump to the invalid address stated on the next line
==18150==    at 0x9E46D00: ???
==18150==    by 0x410AB8A: RunFinalizers (memory.c:1357)
==18150==    by 0x410D314: R_gc_internal (memory.c:2709)
==18150==    by 0x410E73C: Rf_allocVector (memory.c:2421)
==18150==    by 0x4153D30: ReadItem (serialize.c:1685)
==18150==    by 0x4152D6D: ReadBC1 (serialize.c:1825)
==18150==    by 0x4153983: ReadItem (serialize.c:1851)
==18150==    by 0x41531C0: ReadItem (serialize.c:1601)
==18150==    by 0x41531A1: ReadItem (serialize.c:1599)
==18150==    by 0x41531C0: ReadItem (serialize.c:1601)
==18150==    by 0x41531C0: ReadItem (serialize.c:1601)
==18150==    by 0x41531C0: ReadItem (serialize.c:1601)
==18150==  Address 0x9e46d00 is not stack'd, malloc'd or (recently) free'd

  Does this suggest anything to anyone, or is it just the
final symptom of a mysterious problem that occurred earlier ... ?

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