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NetBSD 6.1.5 - man page for execve (netbsd section 2)

EXECVE(2)			     BSD System Calls Manual				EXECVE(2)

NAME
     execve -- execute a file

LIBRARY
     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS
     #include <unistd.h>

     int
     execve(const char *path, char *const argv[], char *const envp[]);

DESCRIPTION
     execve() transforms the calling process into a new process.  The new process is constructed
     from an ordinary file, whose name is pointed to by path, called the new process file.  This
     file is either an executable object file, or a file of data for an interpreter.  An exe-
     cutable object file consists of an identifying header, followed by pages of data represent-
     ing the initial program (text) and initialized data pages.  Additional pages may be speci-
     fied by the header to be initialized with zero data;  see a.out(5).

     An interpreter file begins with a line of the form:

	   #! interpreter [arg]

     When an interpreter file is execve()d the system runs the specified interpreter.  If the
     optional arg is specified, it becomes the first argument to the interpreter, and the name of
     the originally execve()d file becomes the second argument; otherwise, the name of the origi-
     nally execve()d file becomes the first argument.  The original arguments are shifted over to
     become the subsequent arguments.  The zeroth argument, normally the name of the execve()d
     file, is left unchanged.  The interpreter named by interpreter must not itself be an inter-
     preter file.  (See script(7) for a detailed discussion of interpreter file execution.)

     The argument argv is a pointer to a null-terminated array of character pointers to null-ter-
     minated character strings.  These strings construct the argument list to be made available
     to the new process.  By custom, the first element should be the name of the executed program
     (for example, the last component of path).

     The argument envp is also a pointer to a null-terminated array of character pointers to
     null-terminated strings.  A pointer to this array is normally stored in the global variable
     environ.  These strings pass information to the new process that is not directly an argument
     to the command (see environ(7)).

     File descriptors open in the calling process image remain open in the new process image,
     except for those for which the close-on-exec flag is set (see close(2) and fcntl(2)).
     Descriptors that remain open are unaffected by execve().

     In the case of a new setuid or setgid executable being executed, if file descriptors 0, 1,
     or 2 (representing stdin, stdout, and stderr) are currently unallocated, these descriptors
     will be opened to point to some system file like /dev/null.  The intent is to ensure these
     descriptors are not unallocated, since many libraries make assumptions about the use of
     these 3 file descriptors.

     Signals set to be ignored in the calling process are set to be ignored in the new process.
     Signals which are set to be caught in the calling process image are set to default action in
     the new process image.  Blocked signals remain blocked regardless of changes to the signal
     action.  The signal stack is reset to be undefined (see sigaction(2) for more information).

     If the set-user-ID mode bit of the new process image file is set (see chmod(2)), the effec-
     tive user ID of the new process image is set to the owner ID of the new process image file.
     If the set-group-ID mode bit of the new process image file is set, the effective group ID of
     the new process image is set to the group ID of the new process image file.  (The effective
     group ID is the first element of the group list.)	The real user ID, real group ID and other
     group IDs of the new process image remain the same as the calling process image.  After any
     set-user-ID and set-group-ID processing, the effective user ID is recorded as the saved set-
     user-ID, and the effective group ID is recorded as the saved set-group-ID.  These values may
     be used in changing the effective IDs later (see setuid(2)).

     The new process also inherits the following attributes from the calling process:

	   process ID		see getpid(2)
	   parent process ID	see getppid(2)
	   process group ID	see getpgrp(2)
	   access groups	see getgroups(2)
	   working directory	see chdir(2)
	   root directory	see chroot(2)
	   control terminal	see termios(4)
	   resource usages	see getrusage(2)
	   interval timers	see getitimer(2)
	   resource limits	see getrlimit(2)
	   file mode mask	see umask(2)
	   signal mask		see sigaction(2), sigprocmask(2)

     When a program is executed as a result of an execve() call, it is entered as follows:

	   main(argc, argv, envp)
	   int argc;
	   char **argv, **envp;

     where argc is the number of elements in argv (the ``arg count'') and argv points to the
     array of character pointers to the arguments themselves.

RETURN VALUES
     As the execve() function overlays the current process image with a new process image the
     successful call has no process to return to.  If execve() does return to the calling process
     an error has occurred; the return value will be -1 and the global variable errno is set to
     indicate the error.

ERRORS
     execve() will fail and return to the calling process if:

     [E2BIG]		The number of bytes in the new process's argument list is larger than the
			system-imposed limit.  The limit in the system as released is 262144
			bytes (NCARGS in <sys/param.h>).

     [EACCES]		Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix, the new
			process file is not an ordinary file, its file mode denies execute per-
			mission, or it is on a filesystem mounted with execution disabled
			(MNT_NOEXEC in <sys/mount.h>).

     [EAGAIN]		A setuid(7) process has exceeded the current resource limit for the num-
			ber of processes it is allowed to run concurrently.

     [EFAULT]		The new process file is not as long as indicated by the size values in
			its header; or path, argv, or envp point to an illegal address.

     [EIO]		An I/O error occurred while reading from the file system.

     [ELOOP]		Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.

     [ENAMETOOLONG]	A component of a pathname exceeded {NAME_MAX} characters, or an entire
			path name exceeded {PATH_MAX} characters.

     [ENOENT]		The new process file does not exist, or the new process file is a script
			starting with #! and the script interpreter does not exist.

     [ENOEXEC]		The new process file has the appropriate access permission, but has an
			invalid magic number in its header.

     [ENOMEM]		The new process requires more virtual memory than is allowed by the
			imposed maximum (getrlimit(2)).

     [ENOTDIR]		A component of the path prefix is not a directory.

     [ETXTBSY]		The new process file is a pure procedure (shared text) file that is cur-
			rently open for writing or reading by some process.

SEE ALSO
     _exit(2), fork(2), execl(3), environ(7), script(7)

STANDARDS
     The execve() function conforms to ISO/IEC 9945-1:1990 (``POSIX.1'').

HISTORY
     The execve() function call first appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

BUGS
     If a program is setuid to a non-super-user, but is executed when the real uid is ``root'',
     then the program has some of the powers of a super-user as well.

BSD					February 24, 2008				      BSD


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