Build and Install tcmalloc on UNIX

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Follow this guide to Build and Install tcmalloc on UNIX systems like Ubuntu, RHEL, OpenSUSE and others. For this, we will get the source code of tcmalloc, build and install it and load required environment variables.

We need to follow the following steps:

  • Get tcmalloc source code
  • Build and install tcmalloc
  • Load environment variables

In short, the steps are:

git clone
cd tcmalloc
bazel test //tcmalloc/...
export LD_PRELOAD="/usr/lib64/"

Get tcmalloc source code

You can clone the source of tcmallc from the official GitHub repository:

git clone

If you want to build a specific version of tcmalloc, we can checkout to a previous commit (like b6f38bf):

cd tcmalloc
git checkout b6f38bf

Build and install tcmalloc

Once we go into the tcmalloc code base, we can build the library using the following command:

bazel test //tcmalloc/...

If you do not have bazel, you can follow this guide to build and install bazel.

This will build shared library of tcmalloc and generate the files

Load environment variables

We need to set the environment variable LD_PRELOAD to point to the SO file of tcmalloc. Usually, the tcmalloc library may be installed in /usr/lib64.

export LD_PRELOAD="/usr/lib64/"

Once set, all critical calls like malloc will go to tcmalloc. You need no extra step to use tcmalloc in your code. Build, install and enjoy using tcmalloc.