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KVM_OPEN(3)                Library Functions Manual                KVM_OPEN(3)

     kvm_open, kvm_openfiles, kvm_close - initialize kernel virtual memory

     Kernel Data Access Library (libkvm, -lkvm)

     #include <fcntl.h>
     #include <kvm.h>

     kvm_t *
     kvm_open(const char *execfile, const char *corefile, char *swapfile,
         int flags, const char *errstr);

     kvm_t *
     kvm_openfiles(const char *execfile, const char *corefile, char *swapfile,
         int flags, char *errbuf);

     kvm_close(kvm_t *kd);

     The functions kvm_open() and kvm_openfiles() return a descriptor used to
     access kernel virtual memory via the kvm(3) library routines.  Both
     active kernels and crash dumps are accessible through this interface.

     execfile is the executable image of the kernel being examined.  This file
     must contain a symbol table.  If this argument is NULL, the currently
     running system is assumed; in this case, the functions will attempt to
     use the ksyms(4) device indicated by _PATH_KSYMS in <paths.h>; if that
     fails, then they will use the file indicated by the sysctl(3) variable
     machdep.booted_kernel, or (if the sysctl information is not available)
     the default kernel path indicated by _PATH_UNIX in <paths.h>.

     corefile is the kernel memory device file.  It can be either /dev/mem or
     a crash dump core generated by savecore(8).  If corefile is NULL, the
     default indicated by _PATH_MEM from <paths.h> is used.

     swapfile should indicate the swap device.  If NULL, _PATH_DRUM from
     <paths.h> is used.

     The flags argument indicates read/write access as in open(2) and applies
     only to the core file.  The only permitted flags from open(2) are

     As a special case, a flags argument of KVM_NO_FILES will initialize the
     kvm(3) library for use on active kernels only using sysctl(3) for
     retrieving kernel data and ignores the execfile, corefile and swapfile
     arguments.  Only a small subset of the kvm(3) library functions are
     available using this method.  These are currently kvm_getproc2(3),
     kvm_getargv2(3) and kvm_getenvv2(3).

     There are two open routines which differ only with respect to the error
     mechanism.  One provides backward compatibility with the SunOS kvm
     library, while the other provides an improved error reporting framework.

     The kvm_open() function is the Sun kvm compatible open call.  Here, the
     errstr argument indicates how errors should be handled.  If it is NULL,
     no errors are reported and the application cannot know the specific
     nature of the failed kvm call.  If it is not NULL, errors are printed to
     stderr with errstr prepended to the message, as in perror(3).  Normally,
     the name of the program is used here.  The string is assumed to persist
     at least until the corresponding kvm_close() call.

     The kvm_openfiles() function provides BSD style error reporting.  Here,
     error messages are not printed out by the library.  Instead, the
     application obtains the error message corresponding to the most recent
     kvm library call using kvm_geterr() (see kvm_geterr(3)).  The results are
     undefined if the most recent kvm call did not produce an error.  Since
     kvm_geterr() requires a kvm descriptor, but the open routines return NULL
     on failure, kvm_geterr() cannot be used to get the error message if open
     fails.  Thus, kvm_openfiles() will place any error message in the errbuf
     argument.  This buffer should be _POSIX2_LINE_MAX characters large (from

     The kvm_open() and kvm_openfiles() functions both return a descriptor to
     be used in all subsequent kvm library calls.  The library is fully re-
     entrant.  On failure, NULL is returned, in which case kvm_openfiles()
     writes the error message into errbuf.

     The kvm_close() function returns 0 on success and -1 on failure.

     open(2), kvm(3), kvm_getargv(3), kvm_getenvv(3), kvm_geterr(3),
     kvm_getkernelname(3), kvm_getprocs(3), kvm_nlist(3), kvm_read(3),

     There should not be two open calls.  The ill-defined error semantics of
     the Sun library and the desire to have a backward-compatible library for
     BSD left little choice.

NetBSD 10.99                  September 14, 2011                  NetBSD 10.99