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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     kvm - kernel memory interface

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     The kvm library provides a uniform interface  for  accessing
kernel virtual
     memory  images, including live systems and crash dumps.  Access to live
     systems is via /dev/mem while crash dumps  can  be  examined
via the core
     file  generated by savecore(8).  The interface behaves identically in both
     cases.  Memory can be read and written,  kernel  symbol  addresses can be
     looked  up efficiently, and information about user processes
can be gathered.

     kvm_open() is first called to obtain a  descriptor  for  all

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     /dev/mem  interface to physical memory

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     kvm_close(3), kvm_getargv(3), kvm_getenvv(3), kvm_geterr(3),
     kvm_getloadavg(3),      kvm_getprocs(3),       kvm_nlist(3),
     kvm_openfiles(3), kvm_read(3), kvm_write(3)

STANDARDS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The  kvm interface was first introduced in SunOS.  A considerable number
     of programs have been developed  that  use  this  interface,
making backward
     compatibility  highly  desirable.  In most respects, the Sun
kvm interface
     is consistent and clean.  Accordingly, the  generic  portion
of the interface
    (i.e.,    kvm_open(),    kvm_close(),    kvm_read(),
kvm_write(), and
     kvm_nlist()) has been incorporated into the  BSD  interface.
Indeed, many
     kvm  applications (i.e., debuggers and statistical monitors)
use only this
     subset of the interface.

     The process interface was not kept.  This is not a portability issue
     since  any code that manipulates processes is inherently machine dependent.

     Finally, the Sun kvm error reporting  semantics  are  poorly
defined.  The
     library  can  be configured either to print errors to stderr
     or to print no error messages at all.  In the  latter  case,
the nature of
     the  error  cannot be determined.  To overcome this, the BSD
interface includes
 a routine, kvm_geterr(3), to return (not  print  out)
the error message
 corresponding to the most recent error condition on the
given descriptor.

OpenBSD      3.6                           June      4,      1993
[ Back ]
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