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  man pages->NetBSD man pages -> ptrace (2)              



NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     ptrace - process tracing and debugging

LIBRARY    [Toc]    [Back]

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     #include <sys/types.h>
     #include <sys/ptrace.h>

     ptrace(int request, pid_t pid, caddr_t addr, int data);

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     ptrace() provides tracing and debugging facilities.  It allows one process
 (the tracing process) to control another (the traced process).  Most
     of the time, the traced process runs normally, but when it receives a
     signal (see sigaction(2)), it stops.  The tracing process is expected to
     notice this via wait(2) or the delivery of a SIGCHLD signal, examine the
     state of the stopped process, and cause it to terminate or continue as
     appropriate.  ptrace() is the mechanism by which all this happens.

     The request argument specifies what operation is being performed; the
     meaning of the rest of the arguments depends on the operation, but except
     for one special case noted below, all ptrace() calls are made by the
     tracing process, and the pid argument specifies the process ID of the
     traced process.  request can be:

     PT_TRACE_ME   This request is the only one used by the traced process; it
                   declares that the process expects to be traced by its parent.
  All the other arguments are ignored.  (If the parent
                   process does not expect to trace the child, it will probably
 be rather confused by the results; once the traced process
 stops, it cannot be made to continue except via
                   ptrace().)  When a process has used this request and calls
                   execve(2) or any of the routines built on it (such as
                   execv(3)), it will stop before executing the first instruction
 of the new image.  Also, any setuid or setgid bits on
                   the executable being executed will be ignored.

                   These requests read a single int of data from the traced
                   process' address space.  Traditionally, ptrace() has
                   allowed for machines with distinct address spaces for
                   instruction and data, which is why there are two requests:
                   conceptually, PT_READ_I reads from the instruction space
                   and PT_READ_D reads from the data space.  In the current
                   NetBSD implementation, these two requests are completely
                   identical.  The addr argument specifies the address (in the
                   traced process' virtual address space) at which the read is
                   to be done.  This address does not have to meet any alignment
 constraints.  The value read is returned as the return
                   value from ptrace().

                   These requests parallel PT_READ_I and PT_READ_D, except
                   that they write rather than read.  The data argument supplies
 the value to be written.

     PT_CONTINUE   The traced process continues execution.  addr is an address
                   specifying the place where execution is to be resumed (a
                   new value for the program counter), or (caddr_t)1 to indicate
 that execution is to pick up where it left off.  data
                   provides a signal number to be delivered to the traced process
 as it resumes execution, or 0 if no signal is to be

     PT_KILL       The traced process terminates, as if PT_CONTINUE had been
                   used with SIGKILL given as the signal to be delivered.

     PT_ATTACH     This request allows a process to gain control of an otherwise
 unrelated process and begin tracing it.  It does not
                   need any cooperation from the to-be-traced process.  In
                   this case, pid specifies the process ID of the to-be-traced
                   process, and the other two arguments are ignored.  This
                   request requires that the target process must have the same
                   real UID as the tracing process, and that it must not be
                   executing a setuid or setgid executable.  (If the tracing
                   process is running as root, these restrictions do not
                   apply.)  The tracing process will see the newly-traced process
 stop and may then control it as if it had been traced
                   all along.

                   Three other restrictions apply to all tracing processes,
                   even those running as root.  First, no process may trace a
                   system process.  Second, no process may trace the process
                   running init(8).  Third, if a process has its root directory
 set with chroot(2), it may not trace another process
                   unless that process's root directory is at or below the
                   tracing process's root.

     PT_DETACH     This request is like PT_CONTINUE, except that after it succeeds,
 the traced process is no longer traced and continues
                   execution normally.

     PT_IO         This request is a more general interface that can be used
                   instead of PT_READ_D, PT_WRITE_D, PT_READ_I, and
                   PT_WRITE_I.  The I/O request is encoded in a ``struct
                   ptrace_io_desc'' defined as:

                   struct ptrace_io_desc {
                           int     piod_op;
                           void    *piod_offs;
                           void    *piod_addr;
                           size_t  piod_len;

                   where piod_offs is the offset within the traced process
                   where the I/O operation should take place, piod_addr is the
                   buffer in the tracing process, and piod_len is the length
                   of the I/O request.  The piod_op field specifies which type
                   of I/O operation to perform.  Possible values are:





                   See the description of PT_READ_I for the difference between
                   I and D spaces.  A pointer to the I/O descriptor is passed
                   in the addr argument to ptrace().  On return, the piod_len
                   field in the I/O descriptor will be updated with the actual
                   number of bytes transferred.  If the requested I/O could
                   not be successfully performed, ptrace() will return -1 and
                   set errno.

     Additionally, the following requests exist but are not avaliable on all
     machine architectures. The file <machine/ptrace.h> lists which requests
     exist on a given machine.

     PT_STEP       Execution continues as in request PT_CONTINUE; however as
                   soon as possible after execution of at least one instruction,
 execution stops again.

     PT_GETREGS    This request reads the traced process' machine registers
                   into the ``struct reg'' (defined in <machine/reg.h>)
                   pointed to by addr.

     PT_SETREGS    This request is the converse of PT_GETREGS; it loads the
                   traced process' machine registers from the ``struct reg''
                   (defined in <machine/reg.h>) pointed to by addr.

     PT_GETFPREGS  This request reads the traced process' floating-point registers
 into the ``struct fpreg'' (defined in
                   <machine/reg.h>) pointed to by addr.

     PT_SETFPREGS  This request is the converse of PT_GETFPREGS; it loads the
                   traced process' floating-point registers from the ``struct
                   fpreg'' (defined in <machine/reg.h>) pointed to by addr.

ERRORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Some requests can cause ptrace() to return -1 as a non-error value; to
     disambiguate, errno can be set to 0 before the call and checked afterwards.
  The possible errors are:

           Process is currently exec'ing and cannot be traced.

           No process having the specified process ID exists.

           +o   A process attempted to use PT_ATTACH on itself.
           +o   The request was not a legal request on this machine architecture.

           +o   The signal number (in data) to PT_CONTINUE was neither 0 nor a
               legal signal number.
               attempted on a process with no valid register set.  (This is
               normally true only of system processes.)

           +o   PT_ATTACH was attempted on a process that was already being
           +o   A request attempted to manipulate a process that was being
               traced by some process other than the one making the request.
           +o   A request (other than PT_ATTACH) specified a process that
               wasn't stopped.

           +o   A request (other than PT_ATTACH) attempted to manipulate a process
 that wasn't being traced at all.
           +o   An attempt was made to use PT_ATTACH on a process in violation
               of the requirements listed under PT_ATTACH above.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     sigaction(2), signal(7)

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     On the SPARC, the PC is set to the provided PC value for PT_CONTINUE and
     similar calls, but the NPC is set willy-nilly to 4 greater than the PC
     value.  Using PT_GETREGS and PT_SETREGS to modify the PC, passing
     (caddr_t)1 to ptrace(), should be able to sidestep this.

BSD                            November 7, 1994                            BSD
[ Back ]
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