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KVM(3)			 BSD Library Functions Manual			KVM(3)

     kvm -- kernel memory interface

     Kernel Data Access	Library	(libkvm, -lkvm)

     The kvm library provides a	uniform	interface for accessing	kernel virtual
     memory images, including live systems and crash dumps.  Access to live
     systems is	via /dev/mem while crash dumps can be examined via the core
     file generated by savecore(8).  The interface behaves identically in both
     cases.  Memory can	be read	and written, kernel symbol addresses can be
     looked up efficiently, and	information about user processes can be	gath-

     The kvm_open() function is	first called to	obtain a descriptor for	all
     subsequent	calls.

     The kvm interface was first introduced in SunOS.  A considerable number
     of	programs have been developed that use this interface, making backward
     compatibility highly desirable.  In most respects,	the Sun	kvm interface
     is	consistent and clean.  Accordingly, the	generic	portion	of the inter-
     face (i.e., kvm_open(), kvm_close(), kvm_read(), kvm_write(), and
     kvm_nlist()) has been incorporated	into the BSD interface.	 Indeed, many
     kvm applications (i.e., debuggers and statistical monitors) use only this
     subset of the interface.

     The process interface was not kept.  This is not a	portability issue
     since any code that manipulates processes is inherently machine depen-

     Finally, the Sun kvm error	reporting semantics are	poorly defined.	 The
     library can be configured either to print errors to stderr	automatically,
     or	to print no error messages at all.  In the latter case,	the nature of
     the error cannot be determined.  To overcome this,	the BSD	interface in-
     cludes a routine, kvm_geterr(3), to return	(not print out)	the error mes-
     sage corresponding	to the most recent error condition on the given	de-

     kvm_close(3), kvm_getargv(3), kvm_getenvv(3), kvm_geterr(3),
     kvm_getfiles(3), kvm_getloadavg(3), kvm_getprocs(3), kvm_getswapinfo(3),
     kvm_nlist(3), kvm_open(3),	kvm_openfiles(3), kvm_read(3), kvm_write(3)

BSD				 June 4, 1993				   BSD


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