Scientific Operations



PTRACE(II)                   1/25/75                   PTRACE(II)



NAME
     ptrace  -  process trace

SYNOPSIS
     (ptrace = 26.; not in assembler)
     (data in r0)
     sys  ptrace; pid; addr; request
     (value in r0)

     ptrace(request, pid, addr, data);

DESCRIPTION
     Ptrace  provides  a means by which a parent process may con-
     trol the execution of  a  child  process,  and  examine  and
     change its core image.  Its primary use is for the implemen-
     tation of breakpoint debugging, but it should  be  adaptable
     for simulation of non-UNIX environments.  There are four ar-
     guments whose interpretation depends on a request  argument.
     Generally,  pid  is  the  process  ID of the traced process,
     which must be a child (no more distant  descendant)  of  the
     tracing  process.   A  process being traced behaves normally
     until it encounters some signal whether internally generated
     like  ``illegal  instruction''  or externally generated like
     ``interrupt.''  See signal(II)  for  the  list.   Then  the
     traced  process enters a stopped state and its parent is no-
     tified via wait(II).  When the  child  is  in  the  stopped
     state,  its  core  image  can be examined and modified using
     ptrace.  If desired, another ptrace request can  then  cause
     the  child  either to terminate or to continue, possibly ig-
     noring the signal.

     The value of the request argument determines the precise ac-
     tion of the call:

     0   This  request is the only one used by the child process;
         it declares that the process is to be traced by its par-
         ent.  All the other arguments are ignored.  Peculiar re-
         sults will ensue if the parent does not expect to  trace
         the child.

     1,2 The word in the child process's address space at addr is
         returned (in r0).  Request 1 indicates  the  data  space
         (normally used); 2 indicates the instruction space (when
         I and D space are separated).  addr must be  even.   The
         child must be stopped.  The input data is ignored.

     3   The  word  of  the system's per-process data area corre-
         sponding to addr is returned.  Addr  must  be  even  and
         less  than  512.   This space contains the registers and
         other information about the process; its  layout  corre-
         sponds to the user structure in the system.

     4,5 The  given  data is written at the word in the process's
         address space corresponding to addr, which must be even.
         No  useful  value is returned.  Request 4 specifies data


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PTRACE(II)                   1/25/75                   PTRACE(II)


         space (normally used), 5  specifies  instruction  space.
         Attempts  to  write in pure procedure result in termina-
         tion of the child, instead of going through  or  causing
         an error for the parent.

     6   The process's system data is written, as it is read with
         request 3.  Only a few locations can be written in  this
         way:  the  general  registers, the floating point status
         and registers, and certain bits of the processor  status
         word.

     7   The  data  argument  is taken as a signal number and the
         child's execution continues as if it had  incurred  that
         signal.   Normally the signal number will be either 0 to
         indicate that the signal which caused the stop should be
         ignored,  or that value fetched out of the process's im-
         age indicating which signal caused the stop.

     8   The traced process terminates.

     As indicated, these calls (except for request 0) can be used
     only when the subject process has stopped.  The wait call is
     used to determine when a process stops; in such a  case  the
     ``termination''  status  returned by wait has the value 0177
     to indicate stoppage rather than genuine termination.

     To forestall possible fraud, ptrace inhibits the set-user-id
     facility on subsequent exec(II)
      calls.

SEE ALSO
     wait(II), signal(II), cdb(I)

DIAGNOSTICS
     From assembler, the c-bit (error bit) is set on errors; from
     C, -1 is returned and errno has the error code.

BUGS
     The request 0 call should be able to specify  signals  which
     are  to  be  treated normally and not cause a stop.  In this
     way, for example, programs  with  simulated  floating  point
     (which  use  ``illegal  instruction'' signals at a very high
     rate) could be efficiently debugged.

     Also, it should be possible to stop a process on  occurrence
     of  a system call; in this way a completely controlled envi-
     ronment could be provided.











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