Opened 7 years ago

Closed 7 years ago

#7213 closed bug (fixed)

Test codeGen/should_compile/massive_array failing on 32-bits

Reported by: simonmar Owned by: simonmar
Priority: high Milestone: 7.8.1
Component: Compiler Version: 7.4.2
Keywords: Cc:
Operating System: Unknown/Multiple Architecture: Unknown/Multiple
Type of failure: None/Unknown Test Case:
Blocked By: Blocking:
Related Tickets: Differential Rev(s):
Wiki Page:


ezyang identified this problem with -fnew-codegen a while ago and made a test for it: codeGen/should_compile/massive_array. This test fails in the following way on 32-bit x86 platforms:

ghc-stage2: panic! (the 'impossible' happened)
  (GHC version 7.7.20120903 for i386-unknown-linux):
        RegAllocLinear.getStackSlotFor: out of stack slots
   If you are trying to compile SHA1.hs from the crypto library then this
   is a known limitation in the linear allocator.

   Try enabling the graph colouring allocator with -fregs-graph instead.   You can still file a bug report if you like.

This happens because the code compiles to a long sequence of

           I32[Hp - 19996] = GHC.Integer.Type.S#_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19992] = 499;
           _c2mY::I32 = Hp - 19995;
           I32[Hp - 19988] = GHC.Integer.Type.S#_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19984] = 499;
           _c2mZ::I32 = Hp - 19987;
           I32[Hp - 19980] = (,)_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19976] = _c2mZ::I32;
           I32[Hp - 19972] = _c2mY::I32;
           _c2n0::I32 = Hp - 19979;
           I32[Hp - 19968] = :_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19964] = _c2n0::I32;
           I32[Hp - 19960] = GHC.Types.[]_closure+1;
           _c2n1::I32 = Hp - 19966;
           I32[Hp - 19956] = GHC.Integer.Type.S#_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19952] = 498;
           _c2n2::I32 = Hp - 19955;
           I32[Hp - 19948] = GHC.Integer.Type.S#_con_info;
           I32[Hp - 19944] = 498;
           _c2n3::I32 = Hp - 19947;

each step in this sequence is allocating a pair of S# constructors. With -fPIC we have one fewer registers, which means that this code spills something for each step in the sequence, and eventually runs out of spill slots.

There are lots of ways to fix this. Workarounds:

  • -fcmm-sink or just -O makes the temporaries go away, and so reduces register pressure
  • -fregs-graph as suggested by the panic message

Note that this bug is the reason that we have to enable -fcmm-sink in compiler/parser/Parser.y.pp.


  • re-use spill slots. This means tracking which spill slots are available in the register allocator, which is just annoying.
  • my favourite: allow the register allocator to go over the spill slot limit, by inserting instructions to modify %esp at the entry points and exit points of the function. This isn't too hard, we already do something similar for the x87 stack.

Change History (2)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by simonmar

Owner: set to simonmar
Priority: normalhigh

I believe this commit should have fixed it, but I haven't tested it yet:

commit 0b0a41f96cbdaf52aac171c9c58459e3187b0f46

Author: Simon Marlow <>
Date:   Thu Sep 20 13:54:49 2012 +0100

    Teach the linear register allocator how to allocate more stack if necessary
    This squashes the "out of spill slots" panic that occasionally happens
    on x86, by adding instructions to bump and retreat the C stack pointer
    as necessary.  The panic has become more common since the new codegen,
    because we lump code into larger blocks, and the register allocator
    isn't very good at reusing stack slots for spilling (see Note [extra
    spill slots]).

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by simonmar

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed

The test now passes on x86.

commit ed139375650a1f8d99a68c473552419e84af170d
Author: Simon Marlow <>
Date:   Mon Oct 8 10:44:48 2012 +0100

    massive_array now passes on x86 (#7213)
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