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ELF_BEGIN(3)			   BSD Library Functions Manual 		     ELF_BEGIN(3)

NAME
     elf_begin -- open an ELF file or ar(1) archive

LIBRARY
     library ``libelf''

SYNOPSIS
     #include <libelf.h>

     Elf *
     elf_begin(int fd, Elf_Cmd cmd, Elf *elf);

DESCRIPTION
     Function elf_begin() is used to open ELF files and ar(1) archives for further processing by
     other APIs in the elf(3) library.	It is also used to access individual ELF members of an
     ar(1) archive in combination with the elf_next(3) and elf_rand(3) APIs.

     Argument fd is an open file descriptor returned from an open(2) system call.  Function
     elf_begin() uses argument fd for reading or writing depending on the value of argument cmd.
     Argument elf is primarily used for iterating through archives.

     The argument cmd can have the following values:

     ELF_C_NULL   Causes elf_begin() to return NULL.  Arguments fd and elf are ignored, and no
		  additional error is signalled.

     ELF_C_READ   This value is to be when the application wishes to examine (but not modify) the
		  contents of the file specified by argument fd.  It can be used for both ar(1)
		  archives and for regular ELF files.

		  Argument fd should have been opened for reading.  If argument elf is NULL, the
		  library will allocate a new ELF descriptor for the file being processed.  If
		  argument elf is not NULL, and references a regular ELF file previously opened
		  with elf_begin(), then the activation count for elf is incremented.  If argu-
		  ment elf is not NULL, and references a descriptor for an ar(1) archive opened
		  earlier with elf_begin(), a descriptor for an element in the archive is
		  returned as described in the section Processing ar(1) archives below.

     ELF_C_RDWR   The command is used to prepare an ELF file for reading and writing.  It is not
		  supported for archives.

		  Argument fd should have been opened for reading and writing.	If argument elf
		  is NULL, the library will allocate a new ELF descriptor for the file being pro-
		  cessed.  If the argument elf is non-null, it should point to a descriptor pre-
		  viously allocated with elf_begin() with the same values for arguments fd and
		  cmd; in this case the library will increment the activation count for descrip-
		  tor elf and return the same descriptor.  Changes to the in-memory image of the
		  ELF file are written back to disk using the elf_update(3) function.

		  This command is not valid for ar(1) archives.

     ELF_C_WRITE  This command is used when the application wishes to create a new ELF file.
		  Argument fd should have been opened for writing.  Argument elf is ignored, and
		  the previous contents of file referenced by argument fd are overwritten.

   Processing ar(1) archives
     An ar(1) archive may be opened in read mode (with argument cmd set to ELF_C_READ) using
     elf_begin().  The returned ELF descriptor can be passed into to subsequent calls to
     elf_begin() to access individual members of the archive.

     Random access within an opened archive is possible using the elf_next(3) and elf_rand(3)
     functions.

     The symbol table of the archive may be retrieved using elf_getarsym(3).

RETURN VALUES
     The function returns a pointer to a ELF descriptor if successful, or NULL if an error
     occurred.

EXAMPLES
     To iterate through the members of an ar(1) archive, use:

	   Elf_Cmd c;
	   Elf *ar_e, *elf_e;
	   ...
	   c = ELF_C_READ;
	   if ((ar_e = elf_begin(fd, c, (Elf *) 0)) == 0) {
		   ... handle error in opening the archive ...
	   }
	   while ((elf_e = elf_begin(fd, c, ar_e)) != 0) {
		   ... process member referenced by elf_e here ...
		   c = elf_next(elf_e);
		   elf_end(elf_e);
	   }

     To create a new ELF file, use:

	   int fd;
	   Elf *e;
	   ...
	   if ((fd = open("filename", O_RDWR|O_TRUNC|O_CREAT, 0666)) < 0) {
		   ... handle the error from open(2) ...
	   }
	   if ((e = elf_begin(fd, ELF_C_WRITE, (Elf *) 0)) == 0) {
		   ... handle the error from elf_begin() ...
	   }
	   ... create the ELF image using other elf(3) APIs ...
	   elf_update(e, ELF_C_WRITE);
	   elf_end(e);

ERRORS
     Function elf_begin() can fail with the following errors:

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  An unrecognized value was specified in argument cmd.

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  A non-null value for argument elf was specified when cmd was set to
		       ELF_C_RDWR.

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  The value of argument fd differs from the one the ELF descriptor elf was
		       created with.

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  Argument cmd differs from the value specified when ELF descriptor elf was
		       created.

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  Argument elf was not a descriptor for an ar(1) archive.

     [ELF_E_ARGUMENT]  An ar(1) archive was opened with with cmd set to ELF_C_RDWR.

     [ELF_E_IO]        Function elf_begin() was unable to truncate a file opened for writing
		       using ELF_C_WRITE.

     [ELF_E_RESOURCE]  An out of memory condition was encountered.

     [ELF_E_SEQUENCE]  Function elf_begin() was called before a working version was established
		       with elf_version(3).

SEE ALSO
     elf(3), elf_end(3), elf_errno(3), elf_memory(3), elf_next(3), elf_rand(3), elf_update(3),
     gelf(3)

BSD					  June 21, 2006 				      BSD
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