Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
PTRACE(2)		  FreeBSD System Calls Manual		     PTRACE(2)

NAME
     ptrace -- process tracing and debugging

LIBRARY
     Standard C	Library	(libc, -lc)

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

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

DESCRIPTION
     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 par-
		   ent.	 All the other arguments are ignored.  (If the parent
		   process does	not expect to trace the	child, it will proba-
		   bly 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 instruc-
		   tion	of the new image.  Also, any setuid or setgid bits on
		   the executable being	executed will be ignored.

     PT_READ_I,	PT_READ_D
		   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
		   FreeBSD 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 align-
		   ment	constraints.  The value	read is	returned as the	return
		   value from ptrace().

     PT_WRITE_I, PT_WRITE_D
		   These requests parallel PT_READ_I and PT_READ_D, except
		   that	they write rather than read.  The data argument	sup-
		   plies 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	indi-
		   cate	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
		   sent.

     PT_STEP	   The traced process is single	stepped	one instruction.  addr
		   should be passed (caddr_t)1.	 data is not used.

     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 other-
		   wise	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.

     PT_DETACH	   This	request	is like	PT_CONTINUE, except that it does not
		   allow specifying an alternate place to continue execution,
		   and after it	succeeds, the traced process is	no longer
		   traced and continues	execution normally.

     Additionally, machine-specific requests can exist.	 On the	i386, these
     are:

     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 reg-
		   isters 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.

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

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

RETURN VALUES
     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 after-
     wards.

ERRORS
     The ptrace() function may fail if:

     [ESRCH]
			+o   No process having the specified process ID exists.

     [EINVAL]
			+o   A process attempted	to use PT_ATTACH on itself.
			+o   The	request	was not	one of the legal requests.
			+o   The	signal number (in data)	to PT_CONTINUE was
			    neither 0 nor a legal signal number.
			+o   PT_GETREGS,	PT_SETREGS, PT_GETFPREGS,
			    PT_SETFPREGS, PT_GETDBREGS,	or PT_SETDBREGS	was
			    attempted on a process with	no valid register set.
			    (This is normally true only	of system processes.)

     [EBUSY]
			+o   PT_ATTACH was attempted on a process that was
			    already being traced.
			+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.

     [EPERM]
			+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
     execve(2),	sigaction(2), wait(2), execv(3), i386_clr_watch(3),
     i386_set_watch(3)

HISTORY
     A ptrace()	function call appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

FreeBSD	10.1		       January 20, 1996			  FreeBSD 10.1

NAME | LIBRARY | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUES | ERRORS | SEE ALSO | HISTORY

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ptrace&sektion=2&manpath=FreeBSD+4.5-RELEASE>

home | help