Linux's SLAB Allocator Next On Deck For Deprecation & Removal

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 11 May 2023 at 05:10 PM EDT. 4 Comments
With the in-development Linux 6.4 kernel the SLOB allocator is removed while next the plan is for the deprecation and eventual removal of the SLAB allocator.

The SLOB allocator was deprecated at the end of last year and then removed two releases later given no objections or other reasons to keep it around. SLAB is now setup to go through the same process.

Linux SLAB overview
Linux SLAB allocator layout from the documentation.

Linux developer Vlastimil Babka shared that following no objections to removing SLAB raised during the LSF/MM session this week, he's going to continue his "hobby" and announce the deprecation of SLAB next and then it will eventually be removed from the kernel source tree.


This shouldn't come as a big surprise as last year it was noted that SLAB's deprecation/removal would follow SLOB. Ultimately kernel developers want all users to focus on using the superior SLUB allocator for its efficient memory allocation and has been the default going back to the late Linux 2.6 days. There is also a "SLUB_TINY" option to help enhance SLUB for use on small embedded devices where SLOB previously had some traction.
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