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    Command:

    ptrace

    
    
    

    SYNOPSIS

           #include <sys/ptrace.h>
    
           long ptrace(enum __ptrace_request request, pid_t pid,
                       void *addr, void *data);
    
    
    

    DESCRIPTION

           The  ptrace()  system  call  provides a means by which one process (the
           "tracer") may observe and control the execution of another process (the
           "tracee"),  and  examine  and change the tracee's memory and registers.
           It is primarily used to implement breakpoint debugging and system  call
           tracing.
    
           A tracee first needs to be attached to the tracer.  Attachment and sub-
           sequent commands are per thread:  in  a  multithreaded  process,  every
           thread  can  be  individually  attached  to  a  (potentially different)
           tracer, or  left  not  attached  and  thus  not  debugged.   Therefore,
           "tracee" always means "(one) thread", never "a (possibly multithreaded)
           process".  Ptrace commands are always sent to a specific tracee using a
           call of the form
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_foo, pid, ...)
    
           where pid is the thread ID of the corresponding Linux thread.
    
           (Note that in this page, a "multithreaded process" means a thread group
           consisting of threads created using the clone(2) CLONE_THREAD flag.)
    
           A process can initiate a  trace  by  calling  fork(2)  and  having  the
           resulting  child  do  a  PTRACE_TRACEME,  followed  (typically)  by  an
           execve(2).  Alternatively, one process  may  commence  tracing  another
           process using PTRACE_ATTACH or PTRACE_SEIZE.
    
           While  being  traced, the tracee will stop each time a signal is deliv-
           ered, even if the signal is being ignored.  (An exception  is  SIGKILL,
           which  has  its usual effect.)  The tracer will be notified at its next
           call to waitpid(2) (or one of the related "wait"  system  calls);  that
           call  will  return a status value containing information that indicates
           the cause of the stop in the tracee.  While the tracee is stopped,  the
           tracer  can  use  various  ptrace  requests  to  inspect and modify the
           tracee.  The tracer then causes  the  tracee  to  continue,  optionally
           ignoring  the  delivered  signal (or even delivering a different signal
           instead).
    
           If the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option is not in effect, all successful calls
           to  execve(2)  by the traced process will cause it to be sent a SIGTRAP
           signal, giving the parent a chance to gain control before the new  pro-
           gram begins execution.
    
           When  the  tracer  is finished tracing, it can cause the tracee to con-
           tinue executing in a normal, untraced mode via PTRACE_DETACH.
    
                  Read a word at the address addr in the tracee's memory,  return-
                  ing the word as the result of the ptrace() call.  Linux does not
                  have separate  text  and  data  address  spaces,  so  these  two
                  requests  are  currently  equivalent.  (data is ignored; but see
                  NOTES.)
    
           PTRACE_PEEKUSER
                  Read a word at offset addr in  the  tracee's  USER  area,  which
                  holds the registers and other information about the process (see
                  <sys/user.h>).  The word  is  returned  as  the  result  of  the
                  ptrace()  call.   Typically,  the  offset  must be word-aligned,
                  though this might vary by architecture.  See  NOTES.   (data  is
                  ignored; but see NOTES.)
    
           PTRACE_POKETEXT, PTRACE_POKEDATA
                  Copy  the  word data to the address addr in the tracee's memory.
                  As for PTRACE_PEEKTEXT and PTRACE_PEEKDATA, these  two  requests
                  are currently equivalent.
    
           PTRACE_POKEUSER
                  Copy the word data to offset addr in the tracee's USER area.  As
                  for PTRACE_PEEKUSER, the offset must typically be  word-aligned.
                  In order to maintain the integrity of the kernel, some modifica-
                  tions to the USER area are disallowed.
    
           PTRACE_GETREGS, PTRACE_GETFPREGS
                  Copy the tracee's general-purpose or  floating-point  registers,
                  respectively,   to   the   address  data  in  the  tracer.   See
                  <sys/user.h> for information on the format of this data.   (addr
                  is  ignored.)   Note that SPARC systems have the meaning of data
                  and addr reversed; that is, data is ignored  and  the  registers
                  are copied to the address addr.  PTRACE_GETREGS and PTRACE_GETF-
                  PREGS are not present on all architectures.
    
           PTRACE_GETREGSET (since Linux 2.6.34)
                  Read the tracee's registers.  addr specifies,  in  an  architec-
                  ture-dependent way, the type of registers to be read.  NT_PRSTA-
                  TUS (with numerical value 1) usually results in reading of  gen-
                  eral-purpose  registers.  If the CPU has, for example, floating-
                  point and/or vector registers, they can be retrieved by  setting
                  addr  to  the  corresponding  NT_foo constant.  data points to a
                  struct iovec, which describes the destination buffer's  location
                  and  length.  On return, the kernel modifies iov.len to indicate
                  the actual number of bytes returned.
    
           PTRACE_SETREGS, PTRACE_SETFPREGS
                  Modify the tracee's general-purpose or floating-point registers,
                  respectively,  from  the  address  data  in  the tracer.  As for
                  PTRACE_POKEUSER, some general-purpose register modifications may
                  be disallowed.  (addr is ignored.)  Note that SPARC systems have
                  the meaning of data and addr reversed; that is, data is  ignored
                  and   the   registers   are   copied   from  the  address  addr.
                  address data in the tracer to the tracee.  This will affect only
                  signals that would normally be delivered to the tracee and  were
                  caught  by the tracer.  It may be difficult to tell these normal
                  signals from synthetic signals  generated  by  ptrace()  itself.
                  (addr is ignored.)
    
           PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO (since Linux 3.10)
                  Retrieve  siginfo_t  structures  without removing signals from a
                  queue.  addr points to a ptrace_peeksiginfo_args structure  that
                  specifies  the  ordinal  position  from which copying of signals
                  should start, and the number  of  signals  to  copy.   siginfo_t
                  structures  are  copied into the buffer pointed to by data.  The
                  return value contains the number of copied signals  (zero  indi-
                  cates  that  there  is  no signal corresponding to the specified
                  ordinal position).  Within the returned siginfo structures,  the
                  si_code field includes information (__SI_CHLD, __SI_FAULT, etc.)
                  that are not otherwise exposed to user space.
    
                     struct ptrace_peeksiginfo_args {
                         u64 off;    /* Ordinal position in queue at which
                                        to start copying signals */
                         u32 flags;  /* PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO_SHARED or 0 */
                         s32 nr;     /* Number of signals to copy */
                     };
    
                     Currently, there is only one flag, PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO_SHARED,
                     for  dumping  signals from the process-wide signal queue.  If
                     this flag is not set, signals are read  from  the  per-thread
                     queue of the specified thread.
    
           PTRACE_GETSIGMASK (since Linux 3.11)
                  Place a copy of the mask of blocked signals (see sigprocmask(2))
                  in the buffer pointed to by data, which should be a pointer to a
                  buffer of type sigset_t.  The addr argument contains the size of
                  the buffer pointed to by data (i.e., sizeof(sigset_t)).
    
           PTRACE_SETSIGMASK (since Linux 3.11)
                  Change the mask of blocked signals (see sigprocmask(2))  to  the
                  value  specified  in the buffer pointed to by data, which should
                  be a pointer to a buffer of type sigset_t.   The  addr  argument
                  contains  the  size  of  the  buffer  pointed  to by data (i.e.,
                  sizeof(sigset_t)).
    
           PTRACE_SETOPTIONS (since Linux 2.4.6; see BUGS for caveats)
                  Set ptrace options from  data.   (addr  is  ignored.)   data  is
                  interpreted as a bit mask of options, which are specified by the
                  following flags:
    
                  PTRACE_O_EXITKILL (since Linux 3.8)
                         If a tracer sets this flag, a SIGKILL signal will be sent
                         to every tracee if the tracer exits.  This option is use-
    
                         This option may not catch clone(2) calls  in  all  cases.
                         If  the  tracee calls clone(2) with the CLONE_VFORK flag,
                         PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK   will   be   delivered   instead   if
                         PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK is set; otherwise if the tracee calls
                         clone(2)  with  the   exit   signal   set   to   SIGCHLD,
                         PTRACE_EVENT_FORK will be delivered if PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK
                         is set.
    
                  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC (since Linux 2.5.46)
                         Stop the tracee at the next execve(2).  A  waitpid(2)  by
                         the tracer will return a status value such that
    
                           status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC<<8))
    
                         If  the  execing thread is not a thread group leader, the
                         thread ID is reset to thread  group  leader's  ID  before
                         this  stop.  Since Linux 3.0, the former thread ID can be
                         retrieved with PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.
    
                  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXIT (since Linux 2.5.60)
                         Stop the tracee at exit.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will
                         return a status value such that
    
                           status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT<<8))
    
                         The   tracee's   exit   status   can  be  retrieved  with
                         PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.
    
                         The tracee is stopped early  during  process  exit,  when
                         registers are still available, allowing the tracer to see
                         where the exit occurred, whereas the normal exit  notifi-
                         cation  is  done  after  the process is finished exiting.
                         Even though context is available, the tracer cannot  pre-
                         vent the exit from happening at this point.
    
                  PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK (since Linux 2.5.46)
                         Stop  the  tracee  at  the next fork(2) and automatically
                         start tracing the newly forked process, which will  start
                         with  a SIGSTOP, or PTRACE_EVENT_STOP if PTRACE_SEIZE was
                         used.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a  status
                         value such that
    
                           status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_FORK<<8))
    
                         The  PID  of  the  new  process  can  be  retrieved  with
                         PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.
    
                  PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD (since Linux 2.4.6)
                         When delivering system call traps, set bit 7 in the  sig-
                         nal  number  (i.e., deliver SIGTRAP|0x80).  This makes it
                         easy for the tracer  to  distinguish  normal  traps  from
    
                  PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORKDONE (since Linux 2.5.60)
                         Stop  the  tracee at the completion of the next vfork(2).
                         A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a  status  value
                         such that
    
                           status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK_DONE<<8))
    
                         The  PID  of  the new process can (since Linux 2.6.18) be
                         retrieved with PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.
    
           PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG (since Linux 2.5.46)
                  Retrieve a message (as an unsigned long) about the ptrace  event
                  that  just  happened,  placing  it  at  the  address data in the
                  tracer.  For PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT, this is the tracee's  exit  sta-
                  tus.        For      PTRACE_EVENT_FORK,      PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK,
                  PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK_DONE, and PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE, this is the PID
                  of the new process.  (addr is ignored.)
    
           PTRACE_CONT
                  Restart  the  stopped tracee process.  If data is nonzero, it is
                  interpreted as the number of a signal to  be  delivered  to  the
                  tracee;  otherwise,  no signal is delivered.  Thus, for example,
                  the tracer can control whether a signal sent to  the  tracee  is
                  delivered or not.  (addr is ignored.)
    
           PTRACE_SYSCALL, PTRACE_SINGLESTEP
                  Restart  the  stopped tracee as for PTRACE_CONT, but arrange for
                  the tracee to be stopped at the next entry to  or  exit  from  a
                  system call, or after execution of a single instruction, respec-
                  tively.  (The tracee  will  also,  as  usual,  be  stopped  upon
                  receipt of a signal.)  From the tracer's perspective, the tracee
                  will appear to have been stopped by receipt of a  SIGTRAP.   So,
                  for  PTRACE_SYSCALL,  for  example,  the  idea is to inspect the
                  arguments to the system call at the first stop, then do  another
                  PTRACE_SYSCALL  and  inspect the return value of the system call
                  at the second  stop.   The  data  argument  is  treated  as  for
                  PTRACE_CONT.  (addr is ignored.)
    
           PTRACE_SYSEMU, PTRACE_SYSEMU_SINGLESTEP (since Linux 2.6.14)
                  For PTRACE_SYSEMU, continue and stop on entry to the next system
                  call, which will not be executed.  For PTRACE_SYSEMU_SINGLESTEP,
                  do the same but also singlestep if not a system call.  This call
                  is used by programs like User Mode Linux that  want  to  emulate
                  all  the tracee's system calls.  The data argument is treated as
                  for PTRACE_CONT.  The addr argument is ignored.  These  requests
                  are currently supported only on x86.
    
           PTRACE_LISTEN (since Linux 3.4)
                  Restart  the stopped tracee, but prevent it from executing.  The
                  resulting state of the tracee is similar to a process which  has
                  been  stopped  by a SIGSTOP (or other stopping signal).  See the
    
           PTRACE_INTERRUPT (since Linux 3.4)
                  Stop  a  tracee.  If the tracee is running or sleeping in kernel
                  space and PTRACE_SYSCALL is in effect, the system call is inter-
                  rupted and syscall-exit-stop is reported.  (The interrupted sys-
                  tem call is restarted when the tracee  is  restarted.)   If  the
                  tracee  was  already  stopped  by a signal and PTRACE_LISTEN was
                  sent to it, the tracee stops with PTRACE_EVENT_STOP  and  WSTOP-
                  SIG(status)  returns  the stop signal.  If any other ptrace-stop
                  is generated at the same time (for example, if a signal is  sent
                  to  the tracee), this ptrace-stop happens.  If none of the above
                  applies (for example, if the tracee is running in  user  space),
                  it  stops  with  PTRACE_EVENT_STOP with WSTOPSIG(status) == SIG-
                  TRAP.   PTRACE_INTERRUPT  only  works  on  tracees  attached  by
                  PTRACE_SEIZE.
    
           PTRACE_ATTACH
                  Attach  to  the  process specified in pid, making it a tracee of
                  the calling process.  The tracee is sent a SIGSTOP, but will not
                  necessarily  have  stopped  by  the completion of this call; use
                  waitpid(2) to wait for the tracee to stop.  See  the  "Attaching
                  and detaching" subsection for additional information.  (addr and
                  data are ignored.)
    
           PTRACE_SEIZE (since Linux 3.4)
                  Attach to the process specified in pid, making it  a  tracee  of
                  the  calling  process.   Unlike PTRACE_ATTACH, PTRACE_SEIZE does
                  not stop the process.  Only a PTRACE_SEIZEd process  can  accept
                  PTRACE_INTERRUPT and PTRACE_LISTEN commands.  addr must be zero.
                  data contains a bit mask of ptrace options to  activate  immedi-
                  ately.
    
           PTRACE_DETACH
                  Restart  the stopped tracee as for PTRACE_CONT, but first detach
                  from it.  Under Linux, a tracee can  be  detached  in  this  way
                  regardless  of which method was used to initiate tracing.  (addr
                  is ignored.)
    
       Death under ptrace
           When a (possibly multithreaded) process receives a killing signal  (one
           whose disposition is set to SIG_DFL and whose default action is to kill
           the process), all threads exit.  Tracees report their  death  to  their
           tracer(s).  Notification of this event is delivered via waitpid(2).
    
           Note  that the killing signal will first cause signal-delivery-stop (on
           one tracee only), and only after it is injected by the tracer (or after
           it  was dispatched to a thread which isn't traced), will death from the
           signal happen on all tracees within a multithreaded process.  (The term
           "signal-delivery-stop" is explained below.)
    
           SIGKILL does not generate signal-delivery-stop and therefore the tracer
           can't suppress it.  SIGKILL kills even within  system  calls  (syscall-
           exit-stop  is not generated prior to death by SIGKILL).  The net effect
           The tracer cannot assume that the ptrace-stopped tracee exists.   There
           are  many  scenarios  when  the  tracee  may die while stopped (such as
           SIGKILL).  Therefore, the tracer must be prepared to  handle  an  ESRCH
           error  on  any  ptrace  operation.   Unfortunately,  the  same error is
           returned if the tracee exists but is not ptrace-stopped  (for  commands
           which  require a stopped tracee), or if it is not traced by the process
           which issued the ptrace call.  The tracer needs to keep  track  of  the
           stopped/running  state  of  the  tracee, and interpret ESRCH as "tracee
           died unexpectedly" only if it knows that the tracee has  been  observed
           to  enter  ptrace-stop.   Note  that  there  is no guarantee that wait-
           pid(WNOHANG) will reliably report the tracee's death status if a ptrace
           operation  returned  ESRCH.  waitpid(WNOHANG) may return 0 instead.  In
           other words, the tracee may be "not yet fully dead", but already refus-
           ing ptrace requests.
    
           The tracer can't assume that the tracee always ends its life by report-
           ing WIFEXITED(status) or WIFSIGNALED(status);  there  are  cases  where
           this  does not occur.  For example, if a thread other than thread group
           leader does an execve(2), it disappears; its PID  will  never  be  seen
           again,  and  any  subsequent  ptrace  stops  will be reported under the
           thread group leader's PID.
    
       Stopped states
           A tracee can be in two states: running or stopped.  For the purposes of
           ptrace,  a  tracee  which is blocked in a system call (such as read(2),
           pause(2), etc.)  is nevertheless considered to be running, even if  the
           tracee  is  blocked  for  a  long  time.  The state of the tracee after
           PTRACE_LISTEN is somewhat of a gray area: it is not in any  ptrace-stop
           (ptrace commands won't work on it, and it will deliver waitpid(2) noti-
           fications), but it also may be considered "stopped" because it  is  not
           executing  instructions (is not scheduled), and if it was in group-stop
           before PTRACE_LISTEN, it will not respond to signals until  SIGCONT  is
           received.
    
           There  are  many  kinds  of  states  when the tracee is stopped, and in
           ptrace discussions they are often conflated.  Therefore, it  is  impor-
           tant to use precise terms.
    
           In  this manual page, any stopped state in which the tracee is ready to
           accept ptrace commands from the tracer is called ptrace-stop.   Ptrace-
           stops  can be further subdivided into signal-delivery-stop, group-stop,
           syscall-stop, and so on.  These stopped states are described in  detail
           below.
    
           When  the  running  tracee  enters  ptrace-stop, it notifies its tracer
           using waitpid(2) (or one of the other "wait" system  calls).   Most  of
           this manual page assumes that the tracer waits with:
    
               pid = waitpid(pid_or_minus_1, &status, __WALL);
    
           Ptrace-stopped  tracees are reported as returns with pid greater than 0
           and WIFSTOPPED(status) true.
               if (errno == ESRCH) {
                   /* tracee is dead */
                   r = waitpid(tracee, &status, __WALL | WNOHANG);
                   /* r can still be 0 here! */
               }
    
           The  following  kinds  of  ptrace-stops  exist:  signal-delivery-stops,
           group-stops, PTRACE_EVENT stops, syscall-stops.  They all are  reported
           by waitpid(2) with WIFSTOPPED(status) true.  They may be differentiated
           by examining the value status>>8, and if there  is  ambiguity  in  that
           value,  by  querying  PTRACE_GETSIGINFO.   (Note:  the WSTOPSIG(status)
           macro can't be used to perform this examination, because it returns the
           value (status>>8) & 0xff.)
    
       Signal-delivery-stop
           When  a  (possibly  multithreaded)  process  receives any signal except
           SIGKILL, the kernel selects an arbitrary thread which handles the  sig-
           nal.  (If the signal is generated with tgkill(2), the target thread can
           be explicitly selected by the  caller.)   If  the  selected  thread  is
           traced,  it  enters signal-delivery-stop.  At this point, the signal is
           not yet delivered to the process, and can be suppressed by the  tracer.
           If  the tracer doesn't suppress the signal, it passes the signal to the
           tracee in the next ptrace restart request.  This second step of  signal
           delivery  is called signal injection in this manual page.  Note that if
           the signal is blocked, signal-delivery-stop doesn't  happen  until  the
           signal  is  unblocked,  with  the usual exception that SIGSTOP can't be
           blocked.
    
           Signal-delivery-stop is observed by the tracer as waitpid(2)  returning
           with WIFSTOPPED(status) true, with the signal returned by WSTOPSIG(sta-
           tus).  If the signal is SIGTRAP,  this  may  be  a  different  kind  of
           ptrace-stop;  see  the  "Syscall-stops" and "execve" sections below for
           details.  If WSTOPSIG(status) returns a stopping signal, this may be  a
           group-stop; see below.
    
       Signal injection and suppression
           After signal-delivery-stop is observed by the tracer, the tracer should
           restart the tracee with the call
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_restart, pid, 0, sig)
    
           where PTRACE_restart is one of the restarting ptrace requests.  If  sig
           is  0,  then  a  signal is not delivered.  Otherwise, the signal sig is
           delivered.  This operation is called signal injection  in  this  manual
           page, to distinguish it from signal-delivery-stop.
    
           The  sig  value  may  be different from the WSTOPSIG(status) value: the
           tracer can cause a different signal to be injected.
    
           Note that a suppressed signal still causes system calls to return  pre-
           maturely.  In this case system calls will be restarted: the tracer will
           observe the  tracee  to  reexecute  the  interrupted  system  call  (or
           the  tracee  after ptrace stops that are not signal-delivery-stops is a
           cause of confusion among ptrace users.  One typical  scenario  is  that
           the  tracer  observes group-stop, mistakes it for signal-delivery-stop,
           restarts the tracee with
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_restart, pid, 0, stopsig)
    
           with the intention of injecting stopsig, but stopsig gets  ignored  and
           the tracee continues to run.
    
           The  SIGCONT  signal  has a side effect of waking up (all threads of) a
           group-stopped process.  This side effect happens  before  signal-deliv-
           ery-stop.  The tracer can't suppress this side effect (it can only sup-
           press signal injection, which only causes the SIGCONT handler to not be
           executed in the tracee, if such a handler is installed).  In fact, wak-
           ing up from group-stop may be followed by signal-delivery-stop for sig-
           nal(s) other than SIGCONT, if they were pending when SIGCONT was deliv-
           ered.  In other words, SIGCONT may be not the first signal observed  by
           the tracee after it was sent.
    
           Stopping  signals cause (all threads of) a process to enter group-stop.
           This side effect happens after signal injection, and therefore  can  be
           suppressed by the tracer.
    
           In Linux 2.4 and earlier, the SIGSTOP signal can't be injected.
    
           PTRACE_GETSIGINFO  can  be used to retrieve a siginfo_t structure which
           corresponds to the delivered signal.  PTRACE_SETSIGINFO may be used  to
           modify  it.  If PTRACE_SETSIGINFO has been used to alter siginfo_t, the
           si_signo field and the sig parameter in  the  restarting  command  must
           match, otherwise the result is undefined.
    
       Group-stop
           When a (possibly multithreaded) process receives a stopping signal, all
           threads stop.  If some threads are traced,  they  enter  a  group-stop.
           Note that the stopping signal will first cause signal-delivery-stop (on
           one tracee only), and only after it is injected by the tracer (or after
           it  was  dispatched to a thread which isn't traced), will group-stop be
           initiated on all tracees within the multithreaded process.   As  usual,
           every  tracee  reports  its  group-stop separately to the corresponding
           tracer.
    
           Group-stop is observed by the tracer as waitpid(2) returning with  WIF-
           STOPPED(status)  true,  with  the  stopping signal available via WSTOP-
           SIG(status).  The same result is returned  by  some  other  classes  of
           ptrace-stops, therefore the recommended practice is to perform the call
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_GETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo)
    
           The call can be avoided if the signal is not SIGSTOP, SIGTSTP, SIGTTIN,
           or  SIGTTOU;  only  these  four  signals  are stopping signals.  If the
           tracer sees something else, it can't be a group-stop.   Otherwise,  the
    
           The kernel behavior described in the previous paragraph causes a  prob-
           lem  with  transparent  handling  of  stopping  signals.  If the tracer
           restarts the tracee after group-stop, the  stopping  signal  is  effec-
           tively  ignored--the  tracee  doesn't  remain  stopped, it runs.  If the
           tracer doesn't restart the tracee before entering into the  next  wait-
           pid(2), future SIGCONT signals will not be reported to the tracer; this
           would cause the SIGCONT signals to have no effect on the tracee.
    
           Since Linux 3.4, there is a method to overcome this problem: instead of
           PTRACE_CONT, a PTRACE_LISTEN command can be used to restart a tracee in
           a way where it does not execute, but waits for a new event which it can
           report via waitpid(2) (such as when it is restarted by a SIGCONT).
    
       PTRACE_EVENT stops
           If  the  tracer  sets  PTRACE_O_TRACE_*  options, the tracee will enter
           ptrace-stops called PTRACE_EVENT stops.
    
           PTRACE_EVENT stops are observed by the tracer as  waitpid(2)  returning
           with  WIFSTOPPED(status),  and  WSTOPSIG(status)  returns  SIGTRAP.  An
           additional bit is set in the higher byte of the status word: the  value
           status>>8 will be
    
               (SIGTRAP | PTRACE_EVENT_foo << 8).
    
           The following events exist:
    
           PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK
                  Stop   before   return   from  vfork(2)  or  clone(2)  with  the
                  CLONE_VFORK flag.  When the tracee is continued after this stop,
                  it will wait for child to exit/exec before continuing its execu-
                  tion (in other words, the usual behavior on vfork(2)).
    
           PTRACE_EVENT_FORK
                  Stop before return from fork(2) or clone(2) with the exit signal
                  set to SIGCHLD.
    
           PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE
                  Stop before return from clone(2).
    
           PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK_DONE
                  Stop   before   return   from  vfork(2)  or  clone(2)  with  the
                  CLONE_VFORK flag, but after the child unblocked this  tracee  by
                  exiting or execing.
    
           For  all  four  stops  described  above,  the stop occurs in the parent
           (i.e.,   the   tracee),   not   in   the    newly    created    thread.
           PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG can be used to retrieve the new thread's ID.
    
           PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC
                  Stop   before   return   from   execve(2).    Since  Linux  3.0,
                  PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG returns the former thread ID.
    
           PTRACE_GETSIGINFO on PTRACE_EVENT stops returns  SIGTRAP  in  si_signo,
           with si_code set to (event<<8) | SIGTRAP.
    
       Syscall-stops
           If  the  tracee  was  restarted  by  PTRACE_SYSCALL,  the tracee enters
           syscall-enter-stop just prior to entering  any  system  call.   If  the
           tracer  restarts  the  tracee  with  PTRACE_SYSCALL,  the tracee enters
           syscall-exit-stop when the system call is finished, or if it is  inter-
           rupted  by  a  signal.   (That  is,  signal-delivery-stop never happens
           between syscall-enter-stop  and  syscall-exit-stop;  it  happens  after
           syscall-exit-stop.)
    
           Other  possibilities  are  that  the  tracee may stop in a PTRACE_EVENT
           stop, exit (if it entered _exit(2)  or  exit_group(2)),  be  killed  by
           SIGKILL, or die silently (if it is a thread group leader, the execve(2)
           happened in another thread, and that thread is not traced by  the  same
           tracer; this situation is discussed later).
    
           Syscall-enter-stop  and syscall-exit-stop are observed by the tracer as
           waitpid(2) returning with WIFSTOPPED(status) true, and WSTOPSIG(status)
           giving  SIGTRAP.   If  the  PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD option was set by the
           tracer, then WSTOPSIG(status) will give the value (SIGTRAP | 0x80).
    
           Syscall-stops can be distinguished from signal-delivery-stop with  SIG-
           TRAP by querying PTRACE_GETSIGINFO for the following cases:
    
           si_code <= 0
                  SIGTRAP  was  delivered  as a result of a user-space action, for
                  example, a system call (tgkill(2), kill(2), sigqueue(3),  etc.),
                  expiration  of a POSIX timer, change of state on a POSIX message
                  queue, or completion of an asynchronous I/O request.
    
           si_code == SI_KERNEL (0x80)
                  SIGTRAP was sent by the kernel.
    
           si_code == SIGTRAP or si_code == (SIGTRAP|0x80)
                  This is a syscall-stop.
    
           However, syscall-stops happen very often (twice per system  call),  and
           performing  PTRACE_GETSIGINFO  for  every  syscall-stop may be somewhat
           expensive.
    
           Some architectures allow the cases to  be  distinguished  by  examining
           registers.   For example, on x86, rax == -ENOSYS in syscall-enter-stop.
           Since SIGTRAP (like any other signal)  always  happens  after  syscall-
           exit-stop,  and  at  this  point rax almost never contains -ENOSYS, the
           SIGTRAP looks like "syscall-stop which is not  syscall-enter-stop";  in
           other  words,  it  looks  like  a  "stray syscall-exit-stop" and can be
           detected this way.  But such detection is fragile and is best  avoided.
    
           Using  the  PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD  option  is the recommended method to
           PTRACE_GETSIGINFO on syscall-stops returns SIGTRAP  in  si_signo,  with
           si_code set to SIGTRAP or (SIGTRAP|0x80).
    
       PTRACE_SINGLESTEP, PTRACE_SYSEMU, PTRACE_SYSEMU_SINGLESTEP stops
           [Details of these kinds of stops are yet to be documented.]
    
       Informational and restarting ptrace commands
           Most   ptrace   commands   (all   except  PTRACE_ATTACH,  PTRACE_SEIZE,
           PTRACE_TRACEME, PTRACE_INTERRUPT, and PTRACE_KILL) require  the  tracee
           to be in a ptrace-stop, otherwise they fail with ESRCH.
    
           When  the  tracee is in ptrace-stop, the tracer can read and write data
           to the tracee using informational commands.  These commands  leave  the
           tracee in ptrace-stopped state:
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_PEEKTEXT/PEEKDATA/PEEKUSER, pid, addr, 0);
               ptrace(PTRACE_POKETEXT/POKEDATA/POKEUSER, pid, addr, long_val);
               ptrace(PTRACE_GETREGS/GETFPREGS, pid, 0, &struct);
               ptrace(PTRACE_SETREGS/SETFPREGS, pid, 0, &struct);
               ptrace(PTRACE_GETREGSET, pid, NT_foo, &iov);
               ptrace(PTRACE_SETREGSET, pid, NT_foo, &iov);
               ptrace(PTRACE_GETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo);
               ptrace(PTRACE_SETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo);
               ptrace(PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG, pid, 0, &long_var);
               ptrace(PTRACE_SETOPTIONS, pid, 0, PTRACE_O_flags);
    
           Note  that  some  errors are not reported.  For example, setting signal
           information (siginfo) may have no effect in some ptrace-stops, yet  the
           call   may   succeed   (return   0   and   not   set  errno);  querying
           PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG may succeed and return some random value if  current
           ptrace-stop  is not documented as returning a meaningful event message.
    
           The call
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_SETOPTIONS, pid, 0, PTRACE_O_flags);
    
           affects one tracee.  The tracee's current flags  are  replaced.   Flags
           are  inherited  by  new  tracees created and "auto-attached" via active
           PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK,   PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK,    or    PTRACE_O_TRACECLONE
           options.
    
           Another  group  of  commands makes the ptrace-stopped tracee run.  They
           have the form:
    
               ptrace(cmd, pid, 0, sig);
    
           where cmd is PTRACE_CONT, PTRACE_LISTEN, PTRACE_DETACH, PTRACE_SYSCALL,
           PTRACE_SINGLESTEP,  PTRACE_SYSEMU, or PTRACE_SYSEMU_SINGLESTEP.  If the
           tracee is in signal-delivery-stop, sig is the signal to be injected (if
           it  is  nonzero).   Otherwise,  sig may be ignored.  (When restarting a
           tracee from a ptrace-stop other than signal-delivery-stop,  recommended
           practice is to always pass 0 in sig.)
           first!   The  usual practice is to reinject these signals until SIGSTOP
           is seen, then suppress SIGSTOP injection.  The design bug here is  that
           a  ptrace  attach and a concurrently delivered SIGSTOP may race and the
           concurrent SIGSTOP may be lost.
    
           Since attaching sends SIGSTOP and the  tracer  usually  suppresses  it,
           this may cause a stray EINTR return from the currently executing system
           call in the tracee, as described in the "Signal injection and  suppres-
           sion" section.
    
           Since  Linux  3.4,  PTRACE_SEIZE  can be used instead of PTRACE_ATTACH.
           PTRACE_SEIZE does not stop the attached process.  If you need  to  stop
           it  after attach (or at any other time) without sending it any signals,
           use PTRACE_INTERRUPT command.
    
           The request
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_TRACEME, 0, 0, 0);
    
           turns the calling thread into a tracee.  The thread  continues  to  run
           (doesn't  enter  ptrace-stop).   A  common  practice  is  to follow the
           PTRACE_TRACEME with
    
               raise(SIGSTOP);
    
           and allow the parent (which is our tracer now) to observe  our  signal-
           delivery-stop.
    
           If  the PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK, PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK, or PTRACE_O_TRACECLONE
           options are in effect, then children created by, respectively, vfork(2)
           or  clone(2)  with  the  CLONE_VFORK flag, fork(2) or clone(2) with the
           exit signal set to SIGCHLD, and other kinds of clone(2), are  automati-
           cally  attached  to the same tracer which traced their parent.  SIGSTOP
           is delivered to the children, causing them  to  enter  signal-delivery-
           stop after they exit the system call which created them.
    
           Detaching of the tracee is performed by:
    
               ptrace(PTRACE_DETACH, pid, 0, sig);
    
           PTRACE_DETACH  is  a  restarting  operation;  therefore it requires the
           tracee to be in ptrace-stop.  If the tracee is in signal-delivery-stop,
           a signal can be injected.  Otherwise, the sig parameter may be silently
           ignored.
    
           If the tracee is running when the tracer wants to detach it, the  usual
           solution  is  to send SIGSTOP (using tgkill(2), to make sure it goes to
           the correct thread), wait for the tracee to  stop  in  signal-delivery-
           stop for SIGSTOP and then detach it (suppressing SIGSTOP injection).  A
           design bug is that this can race  with  concurrent  SIGSTOPs.   Another
           complication  is that the tracee may enter other ptrace-stops and needs
           to be restarted and waited for  again,  until  SIGSTOP  is  seen.   Yet
           things another way, when a multithreaded process does an execve(2),  at
           completion  of the call, it appears as though the execve(2) occurred in
           the thread group leader, regardless of which thread did the execve(2).)
           This resetting of the thread ID looks very confusing to tracers:
    
           *  All   other   threads   stop   in  PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT  stop,  if  the
              PTRACE_O_TRACEEXIT option was turned on.   Then  all  other  threads
              except  the  thread  group leader report death as if they exited via
              _exit(2) with exit code 0.
    
           *  The execing tracee  changes  its  thread  ID  while  it  is  in  the
              execve(2).   (Remember,  under ptrace, the "pid" returned from wait-
              pid(2), or fed into ptrace calls, is the tracee's thread ID.)   That
              is,  the  tracee's  thread ID is reset to be the same as its process
              ID, which is the same as the thread group leader's thread ID.
    
           *  Then a PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop  happens,  if  the  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC
              option was turned on.
    
           *  If  the  thread group leader has reported its PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT stop
              by this time, it appears to the tracer that the dead  thread  leader
              "reappears  from  nowhere".  (Note: the thread group leader does not
              report death via WIFEXITED(status) until there is at least one other
              live  thread.   This eliminates the possibility that the tracer will
              see it dying and then reappearing.)  If the thread group leader  was
              still  alive, for the tracer this may look as if thread group leader
              returns from a different  system  call  than  it  entered,  or  even
              "returned  from  a  system call even though it was not in any system
              call".  If the thread group leader was not traced (or was traced  by
              a  different  tracer), then during execve(2) it will appear as if it
              has become a tracee of the tracer of the execing tracee.
    
           All of the above effects are the artifacts of the thread ID  change  in
           the tracee.
    
           The  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option is the recommended tool for dealing with
           this situation.  First, it enables PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop, which occurs
           before   execve(2)   returns.    In  this  stop,  the  tracer  can  use
           PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG to retrieve the tracee's former  thread  ID.   (This
           feature  was  introduced in Linux 3.0).  Second, the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC
           option disables legacy SIGTRAP generation on execve(2).
    
           When the tracer receives PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC  stop  notification,  it  is
           guaranteed  that  except  this  tracee  and the thread group leader, no
           other threads from the process are alive.
    
           On receiving the PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop notification, the tracer should
           clean  up  all  its  internal data structures describing the threads of
           this process, and retain only one data  structure--one  which  describes
           the single still running tracee, with
    
               thread ID == thread group ID == process ID.
    
           tracee, the kernel delivers  an  extra  SIGTRAP  to  the  tracee  after
           execve(2)  returns.   This  is an ordinary signal (similar to one which
           can be generated by kill -TRAP), not a  special  kind  of  ptrace-stop.
           Employing  PTRACE_GETSIGINFO  for  this signal returns si_code set to 0
           (SI_USER).  This signal may be blocked by signal mask, and thus may  be
           delivered (much) later.
    
           Usually,  the  tracer  (for  example, strace(1)) would not want to show
           this extra post-execve SIGTRAP signal to the user, and  would  suppress
           its  delivery  to  the  tracee  (if  SIGTRAP is set to SIG_DFL, it is a
           killing signal).  However, determining which SIGTRAP to suppress is not
           easy.   Setting the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option and thus suppressing this
           extra SIGTRAP is the recommended approach.
    
       Real parent
           The ptrace API (ab)uses the standard UNIX parent/child  signaling  over
           waitpid(2).   This used to cause the real parent of the process to stop
           receiving several kinds of waitpid(2) notifications when the child pro-
           cess is traced by some other process.
    
           Many  of  these  bugs  have  been fixed, but as of Linux 2.6.38 several
           still exist; see BUGS below.
    
           As of Linux 2.6.38, the following is believed to work correctly:
    
           *  exit/death by signal is reported first to the tracer, then, when the
              tracer  consumes  the  waitpid(2) result, to the real parent (to the
              real parent only when the whole multithreaded  process  exits).   If
              the  tracer  and the real parent are the same process, the report is
              sent only once.
    
    
    

    RETURN VALUE

           On success, the PTRACE_PEEK* requests return the  requested  data  (but
           see NOTES), while other requests return zero.
    
           On  error,  all  requests  return  -1,  and errno is set appropriately.
           Since the value returned by a successful PTRACE_PEEK*  request  may  be
           -1,  the  caller  must  clear  errno before the call, and then check it
           afterward to determine whether or not an error occurred.
    
    
    

    ERRORS

           EBUSY  (i386 only) There was an error  with  allocating  or  freeing  a
                  debug register.
    
           EFAULT There was an attempt to read from or write to an invalid area in
                  the tracer's or the tracee's memory, probably because  the  area
                  wasn't  mapped  or accessible.  Unfortunately, under Linux, dif-
                  ferent variations of this fault will return EIO or  EFAULT  more
                  or less arbitrarily.
    
           EINVAL An attempt was made to set an invalid option.
    
                  traced  by  the  caller,  or  is  not stopped (for requests that
                  require a stopped tracee).
    
    
    

    CONFORMING TO

           SVr4, 4.3BSD.
    
    
    

    NOTES

           Although arguments to ptrace() are interpreted according to the  proto-
           type  given,  glibc  currently declares ptrace() as a variadic function
           with only the request argument fixed.  It is recommended to always sup-
           ply  four arguments, even if the requested operation does not use them,
           setting unused/ignored arguments to 0L or (void *) 0.
    
           At the system call level,  the  PTRACE_PEEKTEXT,  PTRACE_PEEKDATA,  and
           PTRACE_PEEKUSER requests have a different API: they store the result at
           the address specified by the data parameter, and the  return  value  is
           the  error  flag.  The glibc wrapper function provides the API given in
           DESCRIPTION above, with the result  being  returned  via  the  function
           return value.
    
           In  Linux  kernels  before 2.6.26, init(8), the process with PID 1, may
           not be traced.
    
           The layout of the contents of memory and the USER area are quite  oper-
           ating-system-  and architecture-specific.  The offset supplied, and the
           data returned, might not entirely match with the definition  of  struct
           user.
    
           The  size  of  a  "word"  is determined by the operating-system variant
           (e.g., for 32-bit Linux it is 32 bits).
    
           This page documents the way the ptrace() call works currently in Linux.
           Its behavior differs noticeably on other flavors of UNIX.  In any case,
           use of ptrace() is highly specific to the operating system  and  archi-
           tecture.
    
    
    

    BUGS

           On  hosts with 2.6 kernel headers, PTRACE_SETOPTIONS is declared with a
           different value than the one for 2.4.  This leads to applications  com-
           piled  with  2.6  kernel headers failing when run on 2.4 kernels.  This
           can be worked around by redefining PTRACE_SETOPTIONS  to  PTRACE_OLDSE-
           TOPTIONS, if that is defined.
    
           Group-stop  notifications  are sent to the tracer, but not to real par-
           ent.  Last confirmed on 2.6.38.6.
    
           If a thread group leader is traced and exits  by  calling  _exit(2),  a
           PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT  stop will happen for it (if requested), but the sub-
           sequent WIFEXITED notification will not be delivered  until  all  other
           threads  exit.   As  explained  above,  if  one  of other threads calls
           execve(2), the death of the thread group leader will never be reported.
           If  the  execed  thread  is  not traced by this tracer, the tracer will
           read(2) from an inotify(7) file descriptor.  The usual symptom of  this
           bug is that when you attach to a quiescent process with the command
    
               strace -p <process-ID>
    
           then, instead of the usual and expected one-line output such as
    
               restart_syscall(<... resuming interrupted call ...>_
    
           or
    
               select(6, [5], NULL, [5], NULL_
    
           ('_' denotes the cursor position), you observe more than one line.  For
           example:
    
               clock_gettime(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, {15370, 690928118}) = 0
               epoll_wait(4,_
    
           What  is  not  visible  here  is  that  the  process  was  blocked   in
           epoll_wait(2)  before  strace(1)  has attached to it.  Attaching caused
           epoll_wait(2) to return to user space with the error  EINTR.   In  this
           particular  case,  the program reacted to EINTR by checking the current
           time, and then executing epoll_wait(2) again.  (Programs which  do  not
           expect  such  "stray" EINTR errors may behave in an unintended way upon
           an strace(1) attach.)
    
    
    

    SEE ALSO

           gdb(1), strace(1),  clone(2),  execve(2),  fork(2),  gettid(2),  sigac-
           tion(2),  tgkill(2),  vfork(2),  waitpid(2),  exec(3), capabilities(7),
           signal(7)
    
    
    

    Linux 2014-02-20 PTRACE(2)

    
    
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