This is the documentation for the latest (main) development branch of Zephyr. If you are looking for the documentation of previous releases, use the drop-down menu on the left and select the desired version.

Common C library code

Zephyr provides some C library functions that are designed to be used in conjunction with multiple C libraries. These either provide functions not available in multiple C libraries or are designed to replace functionality in the C library with code better suited for use in the Zephyr environment

Time function

This provides an implementation of the standard C function, time(), relying on the Zephyr function, clock_gettime(). This function can be enabled by selecting COMMON_LIBC_TIME.

Dynamic Memory Management

The common dynamic memory management implementation can be enabled by selecting the CONFIG_COMMON_LIBC_MALLOC in the application configuration file.

The common C library internally uses the kernel memory heap API to manage the memory heap used by the standard dynamic memory management interface functions such as malloc() and free().

The internal memory heap is normally located in the .bss section. When userspace is enabled, however, it is placed in a dedicated memory partition called z_malloc_partition, which can be accessed from the user mode threads. The size of the internal memory heap is specified by the CONFIG_COMMON_LIBC_MALLOC_ARENA_SIZE.

The default heap size for applications using the common C library is zero (no heap). For other C library users, if there is an MMU present, then the default heap is 16kB. Otherwise, the heap uses all available memory.

There are also separate controls to select calloc() (COMMON_LIBC_CALLOC) and reallocarray() (COMMON_LIBC_REALLOCARRAY). Both of these are enabled by default as that doesn’t impact memory usage in applications not using them.

The standard dynamic memory management interface functions implemented by the common C library are thread safe and may be simultaneously called by multiple threads. These functions are implemented in lib/libc/common/source/stdlib/malloc.c.