pmemobj API version 2.3

The PMDK repository on GitHub is the ultimate source of information on PMDK from release 2.0! For all questions and to submit eventual issues please follow to that repository. The PMDK documentation collected here should be valid up to the 1.13.1 release but is maintained only on a best-effort basis and may not reflect the latest state of the art.




OID_IS_NULL(), OID_EQUALS(), pmemobj_direct(), pmemobj_oid(), pmemobj_type_num(), pmemobj_pool_by_oid(), pmemobj_pool_by_ptr() - functions that allow mapping operations between object addresses, object handles, oids or type numbers


#include <libpmemobj.h>

OID_EQUALS(PMEMoid lhs, PMEMoid rhs)

void *pmemobj_direct(PMEMoid oid);
PMEMoid pmemobj_oid(const void *addr);
uint64_t pmemobj_type_num(PMEMoid oid);
PMEMobjpool *pmemobj_pool_by_oid(PMEMoid oid);
PMEMobjpool *pmemobj_pool_by_ptr(const void *addr);
void *pmemobj_volatile(PMEMobjpool *pop, struct pmemvlt *vlt,
	size_t size, void *ptr,
	int (*constr)(void *ptr, void *arg), void *arg); (EXPERIMENTAL)


Each object stored in a persistent memory pool is represented by an object handle of type PMEMoid. In practice, such a handle is a unique Object IDentifier (OID) of global scope, which means that two objects from different pools will never have the same OID. The special OID_NULL macro defines a NULL-like handle that does not represent any object. The size of a single object is limited by PMEMOBJ_MAX_ALLOC_SIZE. Thus an allocation with a requested size greater than this value will fail.

An OID cannot be used as a direct pointer to an object. Each time the program attempts to read or write object data, it must obtain the current memory address of the object by converting its OID into a pointer.

In contrast to the memory address, the OID value for given object does not change during the life of an object (except for realloc), and remains valid after closing and reopening the pool. For this reason, if an object contains a reference to another persistent object, for example, to build some kind of a linked data structure, the reference must be an OID and not a memory address.

pmemobj_direct() returns a pointer to the PMEMoid object with handle oid.

pmemobj_oid() returns a PMEMoid handle to the object pointed to by addr.

pmemobj_type_num() returns the type number of the PMEMoid object with handle oid.

pmemobj_pool_by_oid() returns a PMEMobjpool* handle to the pool containing the PMEMoid object with handle oid.

pmemobj_pool_by_ptr() returns a PMEMobjpool* handle to the pool containing the address addr.

At the time of allocation (or reallocation), each object may be assigned a number representing its type. Such a type number may be used to arrange the persistent objects based on their actual user-defined structure type, thus facilitating implementation of a simple run-time type safety mechanism. This also allows iterating through all the objects of a given type that are stored in the persistent memory pool. See pmemobj_first(3) for more information.

The OID_IS_NULL() macro checks if PMEMoid represents a NULL object.

The OID_EQUALS() macro compares two PMEMoid objects.

For special cases where volatile (transient) variables need to be stored on persistent memory, there’s a mechanism composed of struct pmemvlt type and pmemobj_volatile() function. To use it, the struct pmemvlt needs to be placed in the neighborhood of transient data region. The PMEMvlt macro can be used to construct such a region. The struct pmemvlt must be zeroed prior to use. This can be easily done in object constructor or in a transaction directly after an allocation. When the pmemobj_volatile() function is called on a struct pmemvlt, it will return the pointer to the data and it will ensure that the provided constructor function is called exactly once in the current instance of the pmemobj pool. The constructor is called with the ptr pointer to the data, and this function will return the same pointer if the constructor returns 0, otherwise NULL is returned. The size argument must accurately describe the total size of the volatile memory region that will be accessed. Calling pmemobj_volatile() on the same region with different sizes is undefined behavior. For this mechanism to be effective, all accesses to transient variables must go through it, otherwise there’s a risk of the constructor not being called on the first load. Maintaining transient state on persistent memory is challenging due to difficulties with dynamic resources acquisition and subsequent resource release. For example, one needs to consider what happens with volatile state of an object which is being freed inside of a transaction, especially with regards to the possibility of an abort. It’s generally recommended to entirely separate the persistent and transient states, and when it’s not possible, to only store types which do not require lifecycle management (i.e., primitive types) inside of volatile regions.


The pmemobj_direct() function returns a pointer to the object represented by oid. If oid is OID_NULL, pmemobj_direct() returns NULL.

The pmemobj_oid() function returns a PMEMoid handle to the object pointed to by addr. If addr is not from within a pmemobj pool, OID_NULL is returned. If addr is not the start of an object (does not point to the beginning of a valid allocation), the resulting PMEMoid can be safely used only with:

  • pmemobj_pool_by_oid()

  • pmemobj_direct()

  • pmemobj_tx_add_range(3)

The pmemobj_type_num() function returns the type number of the object represented by oid.

The pmemobj_pool_by_oid() function returns a handle to the pool that contains the object represented by oid. If the pool is not open or oid is OID_NULL, pmemobj_pool_by_oid() returns NULL.

The pmemobj_pool_by_ptr() function returns a handle to the pool that contains the address, or NULL if the address does not belong to any open pool.


The following code shows how to store transient variables on persistent memory.

struct my_data {
	PMEMvlt(uint64_t) foo;
	uint64_t bar;

my_data_constructor(void *ptr, void *arg)
	uint64_t *foo = ptr;
	*foo = 0;

	return 0;

PMEMobjpool *pop = ...;

struct my_data *data = D_RW(...);

uint64_t *foo = pmemobj_volatile(pop, &data->foo.vlt, &data->foo.value,
	my_data_constructor, NULL);

assert(*foo == 0);


libpmemobj(7) and

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