> It seems specific to glibc

That should be "glibc malloc"; and only old versions.  The bug
is fixed in glibc 2.28, at least; likely earlier.  (glibc takes
forever to build) It's present in 2.24-11+deb9 on Debian.

MALLOC_ARENA_MAX=1 MALLOC_ARENA_TEST=1 does not seem to help.

I forgot one other parameter which IS the culprit in older glibc versions:

MALLOC_MMAP_THRESHOLD_=131072  # or whatever fixed value you want

So the sliding mmap threshold was the problem in glibc; but it's
fixed upstream, at least.  Just have to wait for distros to roll
it out...

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