PTRACE(2)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 PTRACE(2)

       ptrace - process trace

       #include <sys/ptrace.h>

       long ptrace(enum __ptrace_request request, pid_t pid,
                   void *addr, void *data);

       The  ptrace()  system  call  provides a means by which one process (the
       "tracer") may observe and control the execution of another process (the
       "tracee"),  and  examine  and change the tracee's memory and registers.
       It is primarily used to implement breakpoint debugging and system  call

       A tracee first needs to be attached to the tracer.  Attachment and sub-
       sequent commands are per thread:  in  a  multithreaded  process,  every
       thread  can  be  individually  attached  to  a  (potentially different)
       tracer, or  left  not  attached  and  thus  not  debugged.   Therefore,
       "tracee" always means "(one) thread", never "a (possibly multithreaded)
       process".  Ptrace commands are always sent to a specific tracee using a
       call of the form

           ptrace(PTRACE_foo, pid, ...)

       where pid is the thread ID of the corresponding Linux thread.

       (Note that in this page, a "multithreaded process" means a thread group
       consisting of threads created using the clone(2) CLONE_THREAD flag.)

       A process can initiate a trace by calling fork(2) and  having  the  re-
       sulting  child  do  a  PTRACE_TRACEME,  followed  (typically) by an ex-
       ecve(2).  Alternatively,  one  process  may  commence  tracing  another
       process using PTRACE_ATTACH or PTRACE_SEIZE.

       While  being  traced, the tracee will stop each time a signal is deliv-
       ered, even if the signal is being ignored.  (An exception  is  SIGKILL,
       which  has  its usual effect.)  The tracer will be notified at its next
       call to waitpid(2) (or one of the related "wait"  system  calls);  that
       call  will  return a status value containing information that indicates
       the cause of the stop in the tracee.  While the tracee is stopped,  the
       tracer  can  use  various  ptrace  requests  to  inspect and modify the
       tracee.  The tracer then causes the tracee to continue, optionally  ig-
       noring  the delivered signal (or even delivering a different signal in-

       If the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option is not in effect, all successful calls
       to  execve(2)  by the traced process will cause it to be sent a SIGTRAP
       signal, giving the parent a chance to gain control before the new  pro-
       gram begins execution.

       When  the  tracer  is finished tracing, it can cause the tracee to con-
       tinue executing in a normal, untraced mode via PTRACE_DETACH.

       The value of request determines the action to be performed:

              Indicate that this process is to be traced  by  its  parent.   A
              process probably shouldn't make this request if its parent isn't
              expecting to trace it.  (pid, addr, and data are ignored.)

              The PTRACE_TRACEME request is used only by the tracee;  the  re-
              maining  requests are used only by the tracer.  In the following
              requests, pid specifies the thread ID of the tracee to be  acted
              on.    For  requests  other  than  PTRACE_ATTACH,  PTRACE_SEIZE,
              PTRACE_INTERRUPT, and PTRACE_KILL, the tracee must be stopped.

              Read a word at the address addr in the tracee's memory,  return-
              ing the word as the result of the ptrace() call.  Linux does not
              have separate text and data address spaces,  so  these  two  re-
              quests  are  currently  equivalent.   (data  is ignored; but see

              Read a word at offset addr in  the  tracee's  USER  area,  which
              holds the registers and other information about the process (see
              <sys/user.h>).  The word  is  returned  as  the  result  of  the
              ptrace()  call.   Typically,  the  offset  must be word-aligned,
              though this might vary by architecture.  See  NOTES.   (data  is
              ignored; but see NOTES.)

              Copy  the  word data to the address addr in the tracee's memory.
              As for PTRACE_PEEKTEXT and PTRACE_PEEKDATA, these  two  requests
              are currently equivalent.

              Copy the word data to offset addr in the tracee's USER area.  As
              for PTRACE_PEEKUSER, the offset must typically be  word-aligned.
              In order to maintain the integrity of the kernel, some modifica-
              tions to the USER area are disallowed.

              Copy the tracee's general-purpose or  floating-point  registers,
              respectively,   to   the   address  data  in  the  tracer.   See
              <sys/user.h> for information on the format of this data.   (addr
              is  ignored.)   Note that SPARC systems have the meaning of data
              and addr reversed; that is, data is ignored  and  the  registers
              are copied to the address addr.  PTRACE_GETREGS and PTRACE_GETF-
              PREGS are not present on all architectures.

       PTRACE_GETREGSET (since Linux 2.6.34)
              Read the tracee's registers.  addr specifies,  in  an  architec-
              ture-dependent way, the type of registers to be read.  NT_PRSTA-
              TUS (with numerical value 1) usually results in reading of  gen-
              eral-purpose  registers.  If the CPU has, for example, floating-
              point and/or vector registers, they can be retrieved by  setting
              addr  to  the  corresponding  NT_foo constant.  data points to a
              struct iovec, which describes the destination buffer's  location
              and  length.  On return, the kernel modifies iov.len to indicate
              the actual number of bytes returned.

              Modify the tracee's general-purpose or floating-point registers,
              respectively,  from  the  address  data  in  the tracer.  As for
              PTRACE_POKEUSER, some general-purpose register modifications may
              be disallowed.  (addr is ignored.)  Note that SPARC systems have
              the meaning of data and addr reversed; that is, data is  ignored
              and  the registers are copied from the address addr.  PTRACE_SE-
              TREGS and PTRACE_SETFPREGS are not present on all architectures.

       PTRACE_SETREGSET (since Linux 2.6.34)
              Modify the tracee's registers.  The meaning of addr and data  is
              analogous to PTRACE_GETREGSET.

       PTRACE_GETSIGINFO (since Linux 2.3.99-pre6)
              Retrieve  information  about  the  signal  that caused the stop.
              Copy a siginfo_t structure (see sigaction(2)) from the tracee to
              the address data in the tracer.  (addr is ignored.)

       PTRACE_SETSIGINFO (since Linux 2.3.99-pre6)
              Set  signal information: copy a siginfo_t structure from the ad-
              dress data in the tracer to the tracee.  This will  affect  only
              signals  that would normally be delivered to the tracee and were
              caught by the tracer.  It may be difficult to tell these  normal
              signals  from  synthetic  signals  generated by ptrace() itself.
              (addr is ignored.)

       PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO (since Linux 3.10)
              Retrieve siginfo_t structures without removing  signals  from  a
              queue.   addr points to a ptrace_peeksiginfo_args structure that
              specifies the ordinal position from  which  copying  of  signals
              should  start,  and  the  number  of signals to copy.  siginfo_t
              structures are copied into the buffer pointed to by  data.   The
              return  value  contains the number of copied signals (zero indi-
              cates that there is no signal corresponding to the specified or-
              dinal  position).   Within  the returned siginfo structures, the
              si_code field includes information (__SI_CHLD, __SI_FAULT, etc.)
              that are not otherwise exposed to user space.

           struct ptrace_peeksiginfo_args {
               u64 off;    /* Ordinal position in queue at which
                              to start copying signals */
               u32 flags;  /* PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO_SHARED or 0 */
               s32 nr;     /* Number of signals to copy */

              Currently,  there  is  only one flag, PTRACE_PEEKSIGINFO_SHARED,
              for dumping signals from the process-wide signal queue.  If this
              flag  is  not set, signals are read from the per-thread queue of
              the specified thread.

       PTRACE_GETSIGMASK (since Linux 3.11)
              Place a copy of the mask of blocked signals (see sigprocmask(2))
              in the buffer pointed to by data, which should be a pointer to a
              buffer of type sigset_t.  The addr argument contains the size of
              the buffer pointed to by data (i.e., sizeof(sigset_t)).

       PTRACE_SETSIGMASK (since Linux 3.11)
              Change  the  mask of blocked signals (see sigprocmask(2)) to the
              value specified in the buffer pointed to by data,  which  should
              be  a  pointer  to a buffer of type sigset_t.  The addr argument
              contains the size of  the  buffer  pointed  to  by  data  (i.e.,

       PTRACE_SETOPTIONS (since Linux 2.4.6; see BUGS for caveats)
              Set  ptrace  options from data.  (addr is ignored.)  data is in-
              terpreted as a bit mask of options, which are specified  by  the
              following flags:

              PTRACE_O_EXITKILL (since Linux 3.8)
                     Send  a SIGKILL signal to the tracee if the tracer exits.
                     This option is useful for ptrace jailers that want to en-
                     sure that tracees can never escape the tracer's control.

              PTRACE_O_TRACECLONE (since Linux 2.5.46)
                     Stop  the  tracee  at the next clone(2) and automatically
                     start tracing the newly cloned process, which will  start
                     with  a SIGSTOP, or PTRACE_EVENT_STOP if PTRACE_SEIZE was
                     used.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a  status
                     value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE<<8))

                     The  PID  of  the  new  process  can  be  retrieved  with

                     This option may not catch clone(2) calls  in  all  cases.
                     If  the  tracee calls clone(2) with the CLONE_VFORK flag,
                     PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK   will   be   delivered   instead   if
                     PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK is set; otherwise if the tracee calls
                     clone(2)  with  the   exit   signal   set   to   SIGCHLD,
                     PTRACE_EVENT_FORK will be delivered if PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK
                     is set.

              PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC (since Linux 2.5.46)
                     Stop the tracee at the next execve(2).  A  waitpid(2)  by
                     the tracer will return a status value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC<<8))

                     If  the  execing thread is not a thread group leader, the
                     thread ID is reset to thread  group  leader's  ID  before
                     this  stop.  Since Linux 3.0, the former thread ID can be
                     retrieved with PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.

              PTRACE_O_TRACEEXIT (since Linux 2.5.60)
                     Stop the tracee at exit.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will
                     return a status value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT<<8))

                     The   tracee's   exit   status   can  be  retrieved  with

                     The tracee is stopped early  during  process  exit,  when
                     registers are still available, allowing the tracer to see
                     where the exit occurred, whereas the normal exit  notifi-
                     cation  is  done  after  the process is finished exiting.
                     Even though context is available, the tracer cannot  pre-
                     vent the exit from happening at this point.

              PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK (since Linux 2.5.46)
                     Stop  the  tracee  at  the next fork(2) and automatically
                     start tracing the newly forked process, which will  start
                     with  a SIGSTOP, or PTRACE_EVENT_STOP if PTRACE_SEIZE was
                     used.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a  status
                     value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_FORK<<8))

                     The  PID  of  the  new  process  can  be  retrieved  with

              PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD (since Linux 2.4.6)
                     When delivering system call traps, set bit 7 in the  sig-
                     nal  number  (i.e., deliver SIGTRAP|0x80).  This makes it
                     easy for the tracer  to  distinguish  normal  traps  from
                     those caused by a system call.

              PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK (since Linux 2.5.46)
                     Stop  the  tracee  at the next vfork(2) and automatically
                     start tracing the newly vforked process, which will start
                     with  a SIGSTOP, or PTRACE_EVENT_STOP if PTRACE_SEIZE was
                     used.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a  status
                     value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK<<8))

                     The  PID  of  the  new  process  can  be  retrieved  with

              PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORKDONE (since Linux 2.5.60)
                     Stop the tracee at the completion of the  next  vfork(2).
                     A  waitpid(2)  by  the  tracer will return a status value
                     such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK_DONE<<8))

                     The PID of the new process can (since  Linux  2.6.18)  be
                     retrieved with PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.

              PTRACE_O_TRACESECCOMP (since Linux 3.5)
                     Stop  the tracee when a seccomp(2) SECCOMP_RET_TRACE rule
                     is triggered.  A waitpid(2) by the tracer will  return  a
                     status value such that

                       status>>8 == (SIGTRAP | (PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP<<8))

                     While this triggers a PTRACE_EVENT stop, it is similar to
                     a syscall-enter-stop.   For  details,  see  the  note  on
                     PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP  below.   The  seccomp event message
                     data (from the SECCOMP_RET_DATA portion  of  the  seccomp
                     filter rule) can be retrieved with PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.

              PTRACE_O_SUSPEND_SECCOMP (since Linux 4.3)
                     Suspend  the  tracee's seccomp protections.  This applies
                     regardless of mode, and can be used when the  tracee  has
                     not  yet installed seccomp filters.  That is, a valid use
                     case is to suspend a tracee's seccomp protections  before
                     they  are installed by the tracee, let the tracee install
                     the filters, and then clear this flag  when  the  filters
                     should be resumed.  Setting this option requires that the
                     tracer have the CAP_SYS_ADMIN capability,  not  have  any
                     seccomp protections installed, and not have PTRACE_O_SUS-
                     PEND_SECCOMP set on itself.

       PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG (since Linux 2.5.46)
              Retrieve a message (as an unsigned long) about the ptrace  event
              that  just  happened,  placing  it  at  the  address data in the
              tracer.  For PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT, this is the tracee's  exit  sta-
              tus.        For      PTRACE_EVENT_FORK,      PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK,
              PTRACE_EVENT_VFORK_DONE, and PTRACE_EVENT_CLONE, this is the PID
              of  the new process.  For PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP, this is the sec-
              comp(2) filter's SECCOMP_RET_DATA associated with the  triggered
              rule.  (addr is ignored.)

              Restart  the  stopped tracee process.  If data is nonzero, it is
              interpreted as the number of a signal to  be  delivered  to  the
              tracee;  otherwise,  no signal is delivered.  Thus, for example,
              the tracer can control whether a signal sent to  the  tracee  is
              delivered or not.  (addr is ignored.)

              Restart  the  stopped tracee as for PTRACE_CONT, but arrange for
              the tracee to be stopped at the next entry to  or  exit  from  a
              system call, or after execution of a single instruction, respec-
              tively.  (The tracee will also, as usual, be  stopped  upon  re-
              ceipt  of  a signal.)  From the tracer's perspective, the tracee
              will appear to have been stopped by receipt of a  SIGTRAP.   So,
              for  PTRACE_SYSCALL, for example, the idea is to inspect the ar-
              guments to the system call at the first stop,  then  do  another
              PTRACE_SYSCALL  and  inspect the return value of the system call
              at the second  stop.   The  data  argument  is  treated  as  for
              PTRACE_CONT.  (addr is ignored.)

              For PTRACE_SYSEMU, continue and stop on entry to the next system
              call, which will not be  executed.   See  the  documentation  on
              syscall-stops  below.  For PTRACE_SYSEMU_SINGLESTEP, do the same
              but also singlestep if not a system call.  This call is used  by
              programs  like  User  Mode  Linux  that  want to emulate all the
              tracee's system calls.  The data  argument  is  treated  as  for
              PTRACE_CONT.   The addr argument is ignored.  These requests are
              currently supported only on x86.

       PTRACE_LISTEN (since Linux 3.4)
              Restart the stopped tracee, but prevent it from executing.   The
              resulting  state of the tracee is similar to a process which has
              been stopped by a SIGSTOP (or other stopping signal).   See  the
              "group-stop" subsection for additional information.  PTRACE_LIS-
              TEN works only on tracees attached by PTRACE_SEIZE.

              Send the tracee a SIGKILL to terminate it.  (addr and  data  are

              This  operation  is  deprecated; do not use it!  Instead, send a
              SIGKILL directly using kill(2) or tgkill(2).  The  problem  with
              PTRACE_KILL  is  that it requires the tracee to be in signal-de-
              livery-stop, otherwise it may not work (i.e., may complete  suc-
              cessfully  but  won't  kill the tracee).  By contrast, sending a
              SIGKILL directly has no such limitation.

       PTRACE_INTERRUPT (since Linux 3.4)
              Stop a tracee.  If the tracee is running or sleeping  in  kernel
              space and PTRACE_SYSCALL is in effect, the system call is inter-
              rupted and syscall-exit-stop is reported.  (The interrupted sys-
              tem  call  is  restarted  when the tracee is restarted.)  If the
              tracee was already stopped by a  signal  and  PTRACE_LISTEN  was
              sent  to  it, the tracee stops with PTRACE_EVENT_STOP and WSTOP-
              SIG(status) returns the stop signal.  If any  other  ptrace-stop
              is  generated at the same time (for example, if a signal is sent
              to the tracee), this ptrace-stop happens.  If none of the  above
              applies  (for  example, if the tracee is running in user space),
              it stops with PTRACE_EVENT_STOP with  WSTOPSIG(status)  ==  SIG-
              TRAP.   PTRACE_INTERRUPT  only  works  on  tracees  attached  by

              Attach to the process specified in pid, making it  a  tracee  of
              the calling process.  The tracee is sent a SIGSTOP, but will not
              necessarily have stopped by the completion  of  this  call;  use
              waitpid(2)  to  wait for the tracee to stop.  See the "Attaching
              and detaching" subsection for additional information.  (addr and
              data are ignored.)

              Permission  to  perform  a PTRACE_ATTACH is governed by a ptrace
              access mode PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH_REALCREDS check; see below.

       PTRACE_SEIZE (since Linux 3.4)
              Attach to the process specified in pid, making it  a  tracee  of
              the  calling  process.   Unlike PTRACE_ATTACH, PTRACE_SEIZE does
              not   stop   the   process.    Group-stops   are   reported   as
              PTRACE_EVENT_STOP  and WSTOPSIG(status) returns the stop signal.
              Automatically attached children stop with PTRACE_EVENT_STOP  and
              WSTOPSIG(status)  returns SIGTRAP instead of having SIGSTOP sig-
              nal delivered to them.  execve(2) does not deliver an extra SIG-
              TRAP.   Only a PTRACE_SEIZEd process can accept PTRACE_INTERRUPT
              and PTRACE_LISTEN commands.   The  "seized"  behavior  just  de-
              scribed is inherited by children that are automatically attached
              using     PTRACE_O_TRACEFORK,      PTRACE_O_TRACEVFORK,      and
              PTRACE_O_TRACECLONE.   addr  must  be zero.  data contains a bit
              mask of ptrace options to activate immediately.

              Permission to perform a PTRACE_SEIZE is governed by a ptrace ac-
              cess mode PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH_REALCREDS check; see below.

       PTRACE_SECCOMP_GET_FILTER (since Linux 4.4)
              This  operation  allows  the tracer to dump the tracee's classic
              BPF filters.

              addr is an integer specifying the index  of  the  filter  to  be
              dumped.  The most recently installed filter has the index 0.  If
              addr is greater than the number of installed filters, the opera-
              tion fails with the error ENOENT.

              data  is  either a pointer to a struct sock_filter array that is
              large enough to store the BPF program, or NULL if the program is
              not to be stored.

              Upon  success, the return value is the number of instructions in
              the BPF program.  If data was NULL, then this return  value  can
              be used to correctly size the struct sock_filter array passed in
              a subsequent call.

              This operation fails with the error EACCES if  the  caller  does
              not  have  the  CAP_SYS_ADMIN  capability or if the caller is in
              strict or filter seccomp mode.  If the  filter  referred  to  by
              addr  is  not a classic BPF filter, the operation fails with the
              error EMEDIUMTYPE.

              This operation is available if the kernel  was  configured  with

              Restart the stopped tracee as for PTRACE_CONT, but first  detach
              from  it.  Under Linux, a tracee can be detached in this way re-
              gardless of which method was used to initiate tracing.  (addr is

       PTRACE_GET_THREAD_AREA (since Linux 2.6.0)
              This  operation  performs  a similar task to get_thread_area(2).
              It reads the TLS entry in the GDT whose index is given in  addr,
              placing a copy of the entry into the struct user_desc pointed to
              by data.  (By contrast with get_thread_area(2), the entry_number
              of the struct user_desc is ignored.)

       PTRACE_SET_THREAD_AREA (since Linux 2.6.0)
              This  operation  performs  a similar task to set_thread_area(2).
              It sets the TLS entry in the GDT whose index is given  in  addr,
              assigning  it  the data supplied in the struct user_desc pointed
              to by data.   (By  contrast  with  set_thread_area(2),  the  en-
              try_number  of  the struct user_desc is ignored; in other words,
              this ptrace operation can't be used to allocate a free  TLS  en-

       PTRACE_GET_SYSCALL_INFO (since Linux 5.3)
              Retrieve information about the system call that caused the stop.
              The information is placed into the buffer pointed  by  the  data
              argument,  which  should be a pointer to a buffer of type struct
              ptrace_syscall_info.  The addr argument contains the size of the
              buffer  pointed  to  by  the  data argument (i.e., sizeof(struct
              ptrace_syscall_info)).  The return value contains the number  of
              bytes available to be written by the kernel.  If the size of the
              data to be written by the kernel exceeds the size  specified  by
              the addr argument, the output data is truncated.

              The ptrace_syscall_info structure contains the following fields:

                struct ptrace_syscall_info {
                    __u8 op;         /* Type of system call stop */
                    __u32 arch;      /* AUDIT_ARCH_* value; see seccomp(2) */
                    __u64 instruction_pointer; /* CPU instruction pointer */
                    __u64 stack_pointer;       /* CPU stack pointer */
                    union {
                        struct {     /* op == PTRACE_SYSCALL_INFO_ENTRY */
                            __u64 nr;          /* System call number */
                            __u64 args[6];     /* System call arguments */
                        } entry;
                        struct {     /* op == PTRACE_SYSCALL_INFO_EXIT */
                            __s64 rval;        /* System call return value */
                            __u8 is_error;     /* System call error flag;
                                                  Boolean: does rval contain
                                                  an error value (-ERRCODE) or
                                                  a nonerror return value? */
                        } exit;
                        struct {     /* op == PTRACE_SYSCALL_INFO_SECCOMP */
                            __u64 nr;          /* System call number */
                            __u64 args[6];     /* System call arguments */
                            __u32 ret_data;    /* SECCOMP_RET_DATA portion
                                                  of SECCOMP_RET_TRACE
                                                  return value */
                        } seccomp;

              The  op, arch, instruction_pointer, and stack_pointer fields are
              defined for all kinds of ptrace system call stops.  The rest  of
              the structure is a union; one should read only those fields that
              are meaningful for the kind of system call stop specified by the
              op field.

              The  op  field  has  one  of  the  following  values (defined in
              <linux/ptrace.h>) indicating what  type  of  stop  occurred  and
              which part of the union is filled:

                     The entry component of the union contains information re-
                     lating to a system call entry stop.

                     The exit component of the union contains information  re-
                     lating to a system call exit stop.

                     The  seccomp  component of the union contains information
                     relating to a PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop.

                     No component of the union contains relevant information.

   Death under ptrace
       When a (possibly multithreaded) process receives a killing signal  (one
       whose disposition is set to SIG_DFL and whose default action is to kill
       the process), all threads exit.  Tracees report their  death  to  their
       tracer(s).  Notification of this event is delivered via waitpid(2).

       Note  that the killing signal will first cause signal-delivery-stop (on
       one tracee only), and only after it is injected by the tracer (or after
       it  was dispatched to a thread which isn't traced), will death from the
       signal happen on all tracees within a multithreaded process.  (The term
       "signal-delivery-stop" is explained below.)

       SIGKILL does not generate signal-delivery-stop and therefore the tracer
       can't suppress it.  SIGKILL kills even within  system  calls  (syscall-
       exit-stop  is not generated prior to death by SIGKILL).  The net effect
       is that SIGKILL always kills the process (all  its  threads),  even  if
       some threads of the process are ptraced.

       When  the  tracee  calls  _exit(2), it reports its death to its tracer.
       Other threads are not affected.

       When any thread executes exit_group(2),  every  tracee  in  its  thread
       group reports its death to its tracer.

       If  the  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXIT option is on, PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT will happen
       before actual death.  This applies to exits via exit(2), exit_group(2),
       and signal deaths (except SIGKILL, depending on the kernel version; see
       BUGS below), and when threads are torn down on execve(2)  in  a  multi-
       threaded process.

       The  tracer cannot assume that the ptrace-stopped tracee exists.  There
       are many scenarios when the tracee  may  die  while  stopped  (such  as
       SIGKILL).   Therefore,  the  tracer must be prepared to handle an ESRCH
       error on any ptrace operation.  Unfortunately, the same  error  is  re-
       turned  if  the  tracee  exists but is not ptrace-stopped (for commands
       which require a stopped tracee), or if it is not traced by the  process
       which  issued  the  ptrace call.  The tracer needs to keep track of the
       stopped/running state of the tracee, and  interpret  ESRCH  as  "tracee
       died  unexpectedly"  only if it knows that the tracee has been observed
       to enter ptrace-stop.  Note that  there  is  no  guarantee  that  wait-
       pid(WNOHANG) will reliably report the tracee's death status if a ptrace
       operation returned ESRCH.  waitpid(WNOHANG) may return 0  instead.   In
       other words, the tracee may be "not yet fully dead", but already refus-
       ing ptrace requests.

       The tracer can't assume that the tracee always ends its life by report-
       ing  WIFEXITED(status)  or  WIFSIGNALED(status);  there are cases where
       this does not occur.  For example, if a thread other than thread  group
       leader  does  an  execve(2),  it disappears; its PID will never be seen
       again, and any subsequent ptrace  stops  will  be  reported  under  the
       thread group leader's PID.

   Stopped states
       A tracee can be in two states: running or stopped.  For the purposes of
       ptrace, a tracee which is blocked in a system call  (such  as  read(2),
       pause(2),  etc.)  is nevertheless considered to be running, even if the
       tracee is blocked for a long time.   The  state  of  the  tracee  after
       PTRACE_LISTEN  is somewhat of a gray area: it is not in any ptrace-stop
       (ptrace commands won't work on it, and it will deliver waitpid(2) noti-
       fications),  but  it also may be considered "stopped" because it is not
       executing instructions (is not scheduled), and if it was in  group-stop
       before  PTRACE_LISTEN,  it will not respond to signals until SIGCONT is

       There are many kinds of states when  the  tracee  is  stopped,  and  in
       ptrace  discussions  they are often conflated.  Therefore, it is impor-
       tant to use precise terms.

       In this manual page, any stopped state in which the tracee is ready  to
       accept  ptrace commands from the tracer is called ptrace-stop.  Ptrace-
       stops can be further subdivided into signal-delivery-stop,  group-stop,
       syscall-stop,  PTRACE_EVENT stops, and so on.  These stopped states are
       described in detail below.

       When the running tracee enters ptrace-stop, it notifies its tracer  us-
       ing waitpid(2) (or one of the other "wait" system calls).  Most of this
       manual page assumes that the tracer waits with:

           pid = waitpid(pid_or_minus_1, &status, __WALL);

       Ptrace-stopped tracees are reported as returns with pid greater than  0
       and WIFSTOPPED(status) true.

       The  __WALL  flag  does not include the WSTOPPED and WEXITED flags, but
       implies their functionality.

       Setting the WCONTINUED flag when calling waitpid(2) is not recommended:
       the  "continued"  state is per-process and consuming it can confuse the
       real parent of the tracee.

       Use of the WNOHANG flag may cause waitpid(2) to return 0 ("no wait  re-
       sults  available yet") even if the tracer knows there should be a noti-
       fication.  Example:

           errno = 0;
           ptrace(PTRACE_CONT, pid, 0L, 0L);
           if (errno == ESRCH) {
               /* tracee is dead */
               r = waitpid(tracee, &status, __WALL | WNOHANG);
               /* r can still be 0 here! */

       The  following  kinds  of  ptrace-stops  exist:  signal-delivery-stops,
       group-stops,  PTRACE_EVENT stops, syscall-stops.  They all are reported
       by waitpid(2) with WIFSTOPPED(status) true.  They may be differentiated
       by  examining  the  value  status>>8, and if there is ambiguity in that
       value, by  querying  PTRACE_GETSIGINFO.   (Note:  the  WSTOPSIG(status)
       macro can't be used to perform this examination, because it returns the
       value (status>>8) & 0xff.)

       When a (possibly multithreaded)  process  receives  any  signal  except
       SIGKILL,  the kernel selects an arbitrary thread which handles the sig-
       nal.  (If the signal is generated with tgkill(2), the target thread can
       be  explicitly  selected  by  the  caller.)   If the selected thread is
       traced, it enters signal-delivery-stop.  At this point, the  signal  is
       not  yet delivered to the process, and can be suppressed by the tracer.
       If the tracer doesn't suppress the signal, it passes the signal to  the
       tracee  in the next ptrace restart request.  This second step of signal
       delivery is called signal injection in this manual page.  Note that  if
       the  signal  is  blocked, signal-delivery-stop doesn't happen until the
       signal is unblocked, with the usual exception  that  SIGSTOP  can't  be

       Signal-delivery-stop  is observed by the tracer as waitpid(2) returning
       with WIFSTOPPED(status) true, with the signal returned by WSTOPSIG(sta-
       tus).   If  the  signal  is  SIGTRAP,  this  may be a different kind of
       ptrace-stop; see the "Syscall-stops" and "execve"  sections  below  for
       details.   If WSTOPSIG(status) returns a stopping signal, this may be a
       group-stop; see below.

   Signal injection and suppression
       After signal-delivery-stop is observed by the tracer, the tracer should
       restart the tracee with the call

           ptrace(PTRACE_restart, pid, 0, sig)

       where  PTRACE_restart is one of the restarting ptrace requests.  If sig
       is 0, then a signal is not delivered.  Otherwise, the signal sig is de-
       livered.   This  operation  is  called  signal injection in this manual
       page, to distinguish it from signal-delivery-stop.

       The sig value may be different from  the  WSTOPSIG(status)  value:  the
       tracer can cause a different signal to be injected.

       Note  that a suppressed signal still causes system calls to return pre-
       maturely.  In this case, system calls will  be  restarted:  the  tracer
       will  observe  the  tracee to reexecute the interrupted system call (or
       restart_syscall(2) system call for a few system calls which use a  dif-
       ferent  mechanism  for  restarting)  if the tracer uses PTRACE_SYSCALL.
       Even system calls (such as poll(2)) which  are  not  restartable  after
       signal  are  restarted after signal is suppressed; however, kernel bugs
       exist which cause some system calls to fail with EINTR even  though  no
       observable signal is injected to the tracee.

       Restarting ptrace commands issued in ptrace-stops other than signal-de-
       livery-stop are not guaranteed to inject a signal, even if sig is  non-
       zero.   No  error  is  reported;  a  nonzero sig may simply be ignored.
       Ptrace users should not try to "create a  new  signal"  this  way:  use
       tgkill(2) instead.

       The  fact that signal injection requests may be ignored when restarting
       the tracee after ptrace stops that are not signal-delivery-stops  is  a
       cause  of  confusion  among ptrace users.  One typical scenario is that
       the tracer observes group-stop, mistakes it  for  signal-delivery-stop,
       restarts the tracee with

           ptrace(PTRACE_restart, pid, 0, stopsig)

       with  the  intention of injecting stopsig, but stopsig gets ignored and
       the tracee continues to run.

       The SIGCONT signal has a side effect of waking up (all  threads  of)  a
       group-stopped  process.   This side effect happens before signal-deliv-
       ery-stop.  The tracer can't suppress this side effect (it can only sup-
       press signal injection, which only causes the SIGCONT handler to not be
       executed in the tracee, if such a handler is installed).  In fact, wak-
       ing up from group-stop may be followed by signal-delivery-stop for sig-
       nal(s) other than SIGCONT, if they were pending when SIGCONT was deliv-
       ered.   In other words, SIGCONT may be not the first signal observed by
       the tracee after it was sent.

       Stopping signals cause (all threads of) a process to enter  group-stop.
       This  side  effect happens after signal injection, and therefore can be
       suppressed by the tracer.

       In Linux 2.4 and earlier, the SIGSTOP signal can't be injected.

       PTRACE_GETSIGINFO can be used to retrieve a siginfo_t  structure  which
       corresponds  to the delivered signal.  PTRACE_SETSIGINFO may be used to
       modify it.  If PTRACE_SETSIGINFO has been used to alter siginfo_t,  the
       si_signo  field  and  the  sig parameter in the restarting command must
       match, otherwise the result is undefined.

       When a (possibly multithreaded) process receives a stopping signal, all
       threads  stop.   If  some  threads are traced, they enter a group-stop.
       Note that the stopping signal will first cause signal-delivery-stop (on
       one tracee only), and only after it is injected by the tracer (or after
       it was dispatched to a thread which isn't traced), will  group-stop  be
       initiated  on  all tracees within the multithreaded process.  As usual,
       every tracee reports its group-stop  separately  to  the  corresponding

       Group-stop  is observed by the tracer as waitpid(2) returning with WIF-
       STOPPED(status) true, with the stopping  signal  available  via  WSTOP-
       SIG(status).   The  same  result  is  returned by some other classes of
       ptrace-stops, therefore the recommended practice is to perform the call

           ptrace(PTRACE_GETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo)

       The call can be avoided if the signal is not SIGSTOP, SIGTSTP, SIGTTIN,
       or  SIGTTOU;  only  these  four  signals  are stopping signals.  If the
       tracer sees something else, it can't be a group-stop.   Otherwise,  the
       tracer  needs  to  call  PTRACE_GETSIGINFO.  If PTRACE_GETSIGINFO fails
       with EINVAL, then it is definitely a group-stop.  (Other failure  codes
       are possible, such as ESRCH ("no such process") if a SIGKILL killed the

       If tracee was attached using PTRACE_SEIZE, group-stop is  indicated  by
       PTRACE_EVENT_STOP: status>>16 == PTRACE_EVENT_STOP.  This allows detec-
       tion of group-stops without requiring an extra PTRACE_GETSIGINFO call.

       As of Linux 2.6.38, after the tracer sees the  tracee  ptrace-stop  and
       until  it  restarts  or kills it, the tracee will not run, and will not
       send notifications (except SIGKILL death) to the tracer,  even  if  the
       tracer enters into another waitpid(2) call.

       The  kernel behavior described in the previous paragraph causes a prob-
       lem with transparent handling  of  stopping  signals.   If  the  tracer
       restarts  the  tracee  after  group-stop, the stopping signal is effec-
       tively ignored--the tracee doesn't remain stopped,  it  runs.   If  the
       tracer  doesn't  restart the tracee before entering into the next wait-
       pid(2), future SIGCONT signals will not be reported to the tracer; this
       would cause the SIGCONT signals to have no effect on the tracee.

       Since Linux 3.4, there is a method to overcome this problem: instead of
       PTRACE_CONT, a PTRACE_LISTEN command can be used to restart a tracee in
       a way where it does not execute, but waits for a new event which it can
       report via waitpid(2) (such as when it is restarted by a SIGCONT).

       If the tracer sets PTRACE_O_TRACE_*  options,  the  tracee  will  enter
       ptrace-stops called PTRACE_EVENT stops.

       PTRACE_EVENT  stops  are observed by the tracer as waitpid(2) returning
       with WIFSTOPPED(status), and WSTOPSIG(status) returns SIGTRAP  (or  for
       PTRACE_EVENT_STOP, returns the stopping signal if tracee is in a group-
       stop).  An additional bit is set in the higher byte of the status word:
       the value status>>8 will be

           ((PTRACE_EVENT_foo<<8) | SIGTRAP).

       The following events exist:

              Stop   before   return   from  vfork(2)  or  clone(2)  with  the
              CLONE_VFORK flag.  When the tracee is continued after this stop,
              it will wait for child to exit/exec before continuing its execu-
              tion (in other words, the usual behavior on vfork(2)).

              Stop before return from fork(2) or clone(2) with the exit signal
              set to SIGCHLD.

              Stop before return from clone(2).

              Stop   before   return   from  vfork(2)  or  clone(2)  with  the
              CLONE_VFORK flag, but after the child unblocked this  tracee  by
              exiting or execing.

       For  all  four  stops  described  above,  the stop occurs in the parent
       (i.e.,   the   tracee),   not   in   the    newly    created    thread.
       PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG can be used to retrieve the new thread's ID.

              Stop   before   return   from   execve(2).    Since  Linux  3.0,
              PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG returns the former thread ID.

              Stop before exit (including death  from  exit_group(2)),  signal
              death,  or  exit caused by execve(2) in a multithreaded process.
              PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG returns the exit status.   Registers  can  be
              examined (unlike when "real" exit happens).  The tracee is still
              alive; it needs to be PTRACE_CONTed or PTRACE_DETACHed to finish

              Stop induced by PTRACE_INTERRUPT command, or group-stop, or ini-
              tial ptrace-stop when a new child is attached (only if  attached
              using PTRACE_SEIZE).

              Stop triggered by a seccomp(2) rule on tracee syscall entry when
              PTRACE_O_TRACESECCOMP has been set by the tracer.   The  seccomp
              event  message  data  (from  the SECCOMP_RET_DATA portion of the
              seccomp filter rule) can be retrieved  with  PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG.
              The semantics of this stop are described in detail in a separate
              section below.

       PTRACE_GETSIGINFO on PTRACE_EVENT stops returns  SIGTRAP  in  si_signo,
       with si_code set to (event<<8) | SIGTRAP.

       If  the  tracee  was  restarted by PTRACE_SYSCALL or PTRACE_SYSEMU, the
       tracee enters syscall-enter-stop just prior to entering any system call
       (which will not be executed if the restart was using PTRACE_SYSEMU, re-
       gardless of any change made to registers  at  this  point  or  how  the
       tracee  is  restarted  after this stop).  No matter which method caused
       the  syscall-entry-stop,  if  the  tracer  restarts  the  tracee   with
       PTRACE_SYSCALL,  the  tracee  enters  syscall-exit-stop when the system
       call is finished, or if it is interrupted by a signal.  (That is,  sig-
       nal-delivery-stop never happens between syscall-enter-stop and syscall-
       exit-stop; it happens after syscall-exit-stop.).  If the tracee is con-
       tinued  using  any  other method (including PTRACE_SYSEMU), no syscall-
       exit-stop occurs.  Note that all mentions PTRACE_SYSEMU  apply  equally

       However,  even  if the tracee was continued using PTRACE_SYSCALL, it is
       not guaranteed that the next stop will be a  syscall-exit-stop.   Other
       possibilities  are that the tracee may stop in a PTRACE_EVENT stop (in-
       cluding seccomp stops), exit (if it entered _exit(2) or exit_group(2)),
       be  killed by SIGKILL, or die silently (if it is a thread group leader,
       the execve(2) happened in another thread, and that thread is not traced
       by the same tracer; this situation is discussed later).

       Syscall-enter-stop  and syscall-exit-stop are observed by the tracer as
       waitpid(2) returning with WIFSTOPPED(status) true, and WSTOPSIG(status)
       giving  SIGTRAP.   If  the  PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD option was set by the
       tracer, then WSTOPSIG(status) will give the value (SIGTRAP | 0x80).

       Syscall-stops can be distinguished from signal-delivery-stop with  SIG-
       TRAP by querying PTRACE_GETSIGINFO for the following cases:

       si_code <= 0
              SIGTRAP  was  delivered  as a result of a user-space action, for
              example, a system call (tgkill(2), kill(2), sigqueue(3),  etc.),
              expiration  of a POSIX timer, change of state on a POSIX message
              queue, or completion of an asynchronous I/O request.

       si_code == SI_KERNEL (0x80)
              SIGTRAP was sent by the kernel.

       si_code == SIGTRAP or si_code == (SIGTRAP|0x80)
              This is a syscall-stop.

       However, syscall-stops happen very often (twice per system  call),  and
       performing PTRACE_GETSIGINFO for every syscall-stop may be somewhat ex-

       Some architectures allow the cases to  be  distinguished  by  examining
       registers.   For example, on x86, rax == -ENOSYS in syscall-enter-stop.
       Since SIGTRAP (like any other signal)  always  happens  after  syscall-
       exit-stop,  and  at  this  point rax almost never contains -ENOSYS, the
       SIGTRAP looks like "syscall-stop which is not  syscall-enter-stop";  in
       other  words,  it looks like a "stray syscall-exit-stop" and can be de-
       tected this way.  But such detection is fragile and is best avoided.

       Using the PTRACE_O_TRACESYSGOOD option is  the  recommended  method  to
       distinguish syscall-stops from other kinds of ptrace-stops, since it is
       reliable and does not incur a performance penalty.

       Syscall-enter-stop and  syscall-exit-stop  are  indistinguishable  from
       each  other  by  the tracer.  The tracer needs to keep track of the se-
       quence of ptrace-stops in order to not misinterpret  syscall-enter-stop
       as  syscall-exit-stop  or vice versa.  In general, a syscall-enter-stop
       is always followed by  syscall-exit-stop,  PTRACE_EVENT  stop,  or  the
       tracee's  death;  no  other  kinds of ptrace-stop can occur in between.
       However, note that seccomp stops (see below)  can  cause  syscall-exit-
       stops,  without  preceding  syscall-entry-stops.  If seccomp is in use,
       care needs to be taken not to misinterpret such stops as syscall-entry-

       If after syscall-enter-stop, the tracer uses a restarting command other
       than PTRACE_SYSCALL, syscall-exit-stop is not generated.

       PTRACE_GETSIGINFO on syscall-stops returns SIGTRAP  in  si_signo,  with
       si_code set to SIGTRAP or (SIGTRAP|0x80).

   PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stops (Linux 3.5 to 4.7)
       The  behavior  of PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stops and their interaction with
       other kinds of ptrace stops has changed between kernel versions.   This
       documents  the behavior from their introduction until Linux 4.7 (inclu-
       sive).  The behavior in later kernel versions is documented in the next

       A PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop occurs whenever a SECCOMP_RET_TRACE rule is
       triggered.  This is independent of which methods was  used  to  restart
       the  system  call.   Notably, seccomp still runs even if the tracee was
       restarted using PTRACE_SYSEMU and this system call  is  unconditionally

       Restarts  from  this stop will behave as if the stop had occurred right
       before the system call in question.  In particular, both PTRACE_SYSCALL
       and  PTRACE_SYSEMU will normally cause a subsequent syscall-entry-stop.
       However, if after the PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP the system  call  number  is
       negative,  both  the syscall-entry-stop and the system call itself will
       be skipped.  This means that if the system call number is negative  af-
       ter   a   PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP   and  the  tracee  is  restarted  using
       PTRACE_SYSCALL, the next observed stop  will  be  a  syscall-exit-stop,
       rather than the syscall-entry-stop that might have been expected.

   PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stops (since Linux 4.8)
       Starting with Linux 4.8, the PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop was reordered to
       occur between syscall-entry-stop and syscall-exit-stop.  Note that sec-
       comp  no  longer runs (and no PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP will be reported) if
       the system call is skipped due to PTRACE_SYSEMU.

       Functionally, a PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop  functions  comparably  to  a
       syscall-entry-stop (i.e., continuations using PTRACE_SYSCALL will cause
       syscall-exit-stops, the system call number may be changed and any other
       modified  registers  are  visible  to the to-be-executed system call as
       well).  Note that there may be, but need  not  have  been  a  preceding

       After  a  PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop, seccomp will be rerun, with a SEC-
       COMP_RET_TRACE rule now functioning the same  as  a  SECCOMP_RET_ALLOW.
       Specifically,  this means that if registers are not modified during the
       PTRACE_EVENT_SECCOMP stop, the system call will then be allowed.

       [Details of these kinds of stops are yet to be documented.]

   Informational and restarting ptrace commands
       Most  ptrace  commands   (all   except   PTRACE_ATTACH,   PTRACE_SEIZE,
       PTRACE_TRACEME,  PTRACE_INTERRUPT,  and PTRACE_KILL) require the tracee
       to be in a ptrace-stop, otherwise they fail with ESRCH.

       When the tracee is in ptrace-stop, the tracer can read and  write  data
       to  the  tracee using informational commands.  These commands leave the
       tracee in ptrace-stopped state:

           ptrace(PTRACE_PEEKTEXT/PEEKDATA/PEEKUSER, pid, addr, 0);
           ptrace(PTRACE_POKETEXT/POKEDATA/POKEUSER, pid, addr, long_val);
           ptrace(PTRACE_GETREGS/GETFPREGS, pid, 0, &struct);
           ptrace(PTRACE_SETREGS/SETFPREGS, pid, 0, &struct);
           ptrace(PTRACE_GETREGSET, pid, NT_foo, &iov);
           ptrace(PTRACE_SETREGSET, pid, NT_foo, &iov);
           ptrace(PTRACE_GETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo);
           ptrace(PTRACE_SETSIGINFO, pid, 0, &siginfo);
           ptrace(PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG, pid, 0, &long_var);
           ptrace(PTRACE_SETOPTIONS, pid, 0, PTRACE_O_flags);

       Note that some errors are not reported.  For  example,  setting  signal
       information  (siginfo) may have no effect in some ptrace-stops, yet the
       call  may  succeed   (return   0   and   not   set   errno);   querying
       PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG  may succeed and return some random value if current
       ptrace-stop is not documented as returning a meaningful event message.

       The call

           ptrace(PTRACE_SETOPTIONS, pid, 0, PTRACE_O_flags);

       affects one tracee.  The tracee's current flags  are  replaced.   Flags
       are  inherited  by  new  tracees created and "auto-attached" via active

       Another  group  of  commands makes the ptrace-stopped tracee run.  They
       have the form:

           ptrace(cmd, pid, 0, sig);

       tracee is in signal-delivery-stop, sig is the signal to be injected (if
       it  is  nonzero).   Otherwise,  sig may be ignored.  (When restarting a
       tracee from a ptrace-stop other than signal-delivery-stop,  recommended
       practice is to always pass 0 in sig.)

   Attaching and detaching
       A thread can be attached to the tracer using the call

           ptrace(PTRACE_ATTACH, pid, 0, 0);


           ptrace(PTRACE_SEIZE, pid, 0, PTRACE_O_flags);

       PTRACE_ATTACH  sends  SIGSTOP to this thread.  If the tracer wants this
       SIGSTOP to have no effect, it needs to suppress it.  Note that if other
       signals  are concurrently sent to this thread during attach, the tracer
       may see the tracee  enter  signal-delivery-stop  with  other  signal(s)
       first!   The  usual practice is to reinject these signals until SIGSTOP
       is seen, then suppress SIGSTOP injection.  The design bug here is  that
       a  ptrace  attach and a concurrently delivered SIGSTOP may race and the
       concurrent SIGSTOP may be lost.

       Since attaching sends SIGSTOP and the  tracer  usually  suppresses  it,
       this may cause a stray EINTR return from the currently executing system
       call in the tracee, as described in the "Signal injection and  suppres-
       sion" section.

       Since  Linux  3.4,  PTRACE_SEIZE  can be used instead of PTRACE_ATTACH.
       PTRACE_SEIZE does not stop the attached process.  If you need  to  stop
       it  after attach (or at any other time) without sending it any signals,
       use PTRACE_INTERRUPT command.

       The request

           ptrace(PTRACE_TRACEME, 0, 0, 0);

       turns the calling thread into a tracee.  The thread  continues  to  run
       (doesn't  enter  ptrace-stop).   A  common  practice  is  to follow the
       PTRACE_TRACEME with


       and allow the parent (which is our tracer now) to observe  our  signal-

       options are in effect, then children created by, respectively, vfork(2)
       or  clone(2)  with  the  CLONE_VFORK flag, fork(2) or clone(2) with the
       exit signal set to SIGCHLD, and other kinds of clone(2), are  automati-
       cally  attached  to the same tracer which traced their parent.  SIGSTOP
       is delivered to the children, causing them  to  enter  signal-delivery-
       stop after they exit the system call which created them.

       Detaching of the tracee is performed by:

           ptrace(PTRACE_DETACH, pid, 0, sig);

       PTRACE_DETACH  is  a  restarting  operation;  therefore it requires the
       tracee to be in ptrace-stop.  If the tracee is in signal-delivery-stop,
       a signal can be injected.  Otherwise, the sig parameter may be silently

       If the tracee is running when the tracer wants to detach it, the  usual
       solution  is  to send SIGSTOP (using tgkill(2), to make sure it goes to
       the correct thread), wait for the tracee to  stop  in  signal-delivery-
       stop for SIGSTOP and then detach it (suppressing SIGSTOP injection).  A
       design bug is that this can race  with  concurrent  SIGSTOPs.   Another
       complication  is that the tracee may enter other ptrace-stops and needs
       to be restarted and waited for again, until SIGSTOP is seen.   Yet  an-
       other complication is to be sure that the tracee is not already ptrace-
       stopped, because no signal  delivery  happens  while  it  is--not  even

       If  the  tracer  dies,  all  tracees  are  automatically  detached  and
       restarted, unless they were in group-stop.  Handling  of  restart  from
       group-stop  is  currently  buggy,  but  the "as planned" behavior is to
       leave tracee stopped  and  waiting  for  SIGCONT.   If  the  tracee  is
       restarted from signal-delivery-stop, the pending signal is injected.

   execve(2) under ptrace
       When  one thread in a multithreaded process calls execve(2), the kernel
       destroys all other threads in the process, and resets the thread ID  of
       the  execing  thread  to the thread group ID (process ID).  (Or, to put
       things another way, when a multithreaded process does an execve(2),  at
       completion  of the call, it appears as though the execve(2) occurred in
       the thread group leader, regardless of which thread did the execve(2).)
       This resetting of the thread ID looks very confusing to tracers:

       *  All   other   threads   stop   in  PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT  stop,  if  the
          PTRACE_O_TRACEEXIT option was turned on.  Then all other threads ex-
          cept  the  thread  group  leader  report death as if they exited via
          _exit(2) with exit code 0.

       *  The execing tracee changes its thread ID while  it  is  in  the  ex-
          ecve(2).   (Remember,  under  ptrace,  the "pid" returned from wait-
          pid(2), or fed into ptrace calls, is the tracee's thread ID.)   That
          is,  the  tracee's  thread ID is reset to be the same as its process
          ID, which is the same as the thread group leader's thread ID.

       *  Then a PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop happens, if the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC op-
          tion was turned on.

       *  If  the  thread group leader has reported its PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT stop
          by this time, it appears to the tracer that the dead  thread  leader
          "reappears  from  nowhere".  (Note: the thread group leader does not
          report death via WIFEXITED(status) until there is at least one other
          live  thread.   This eliminates the possibility that the tracer will
          see it dying and then reappearing.)  If the thread group leader  was
          still  alive, for the tracer this may look as if thread group leader
          returns from a different system call than it entered, or  even  "re-
          turned  from  a  system  call  even  though it was not in any system
          call".  If the thread group leader was not traced (or was traced  by
          a  different  tracer), then during execve(2) it will appear as if it
          has become a tracee of the tracer of the execing tracee.

       All of the above effects are the artifacts of the thread ID  change  in
       the tracee.

       The  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option is the recommended tool for dealing with
       this situation.  First, it enables PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop, which occurs
       before   execve(2)   returns.    In  this  stop,  the  tracer  can  use
       PTRACE_GETEVENTMSG to retrieve the tracee's former  thread  ID.   (This
       feature  was  introduced in Linux 3.0.)  Second, the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC
       option disables legacy SIGTRAP generation on execve(2).

       When the tracer receives PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC  stop  notification,  it  is
       guaranteed  that  except  this  tracee  and the thread group leader, no
       other threads from the process are alive.

       On receiving the PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC stop notification, the tracer should
       clean  up  all  its  internal data structures describing the threads of
       this process, and retain only one data structure--one  which  describes
       the single still running tracee, with

           thread ID == thread group ID == process ID.

       Example: two threads call execve(2) at the same time:

       *** we get syscall-enter-stop in thread 1: **
       PID1 execve("/bin/foo", "foo" <unfinished ...>
       *** we issue PTRACE_SYSCALL for thread 1 **
       *** we get syscall-enter-stop in thread 2: **
       PID2 execve("/bin/bar", "bar" <unfinished ...>
       *** we issue PTRACE_SYSCALL for thread 2 **
       *** we get PTRACE_EVENT_EXEC for PID0, we issue PTRACE_SYSCALL **
       *** we get syscall-exit-stop for PID0: **
       PID0 <... execve resumed> )             = 0

       If  the  PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC  option  is  not  in effect for the execing
       tracee,  and  if   the   tracee   was   PTRACE_ATTACHed   rather   that
       PTRACE_SEIZEd, the kernel delivers an extra SIGTRAP to the tracee after
       execve(2) returns.  This is an ordinary signal (similar  to  one  which
       can  be  generated  by  kill -TRAP), not a special kind of ptrace-stop.
       Employing PTRACE_GETSIGINFO for this signal returns si_code  set  to  0
       (SI_USER).   This signal may be blocked by signal mask, and thus may be
       delivered (much) later.

       Usually, the tracer (for example, strace(1)) would  not  want  to  show
       this  extra  post-execve SIGTRAP signal to the user, and would suppress
       its delivery to the tracee (if SIGTRAP is  set  to  SIG_DFL,  it  is  a
       killing signal).  However, determining which SIGTRAP to suppress is not
       easy.  Setting the PTRACE_O_TRACEEXEC option or using PTRACE_SEIZE  and
       thus suppressing this extra SIGTRAP is the recommended approach.

   Real parent
       The  ptrace  API (ab)uses the standard UNIX parent/child signaling over
       waitpid(2).  This used to cause the real parent of the process to  stop
       receiving  several  kinds  of  waitpid(2)  notifications when the child
       process is traced by some other process.

       Many of these bugs have been fixed, but  as  of  Linux  2.6.38  several
       still exist; see BUGS below.

       As of Linux 2.6.38, the following is believed to work correctly:

       *  exit/death by signal is reported first to the tracer, then, when the
          tracer consumes the waitpid(2) result, to the real  parent  (to  the
          real  parent  only  when the whole multithreaded process exits).  If
          the tracer and the real parent are the same process, the  report  is
          sent only once.

       On  success,  the  PTRACE_PEEK* requests return the requested data (but
       see NOTES), the PTRACE_SECCOMP_GET_FILTER request returns the number of
       instructions in the BPF program, and other requests return zero.

       On  error,  all  requests  return  -1,  and errno is set appropriately.
       Since the value returned by a successful PTRACE_PEEK*  request  may  be
       -1,  the caller must clear errno before the call, and then check it af-
       terward to determine whether or not an error occurred.

       EBUSY  (i386 only) There was an error with allocating or freeing a  de-
              bug register.

       EFAULT There was an attempt to read from or write to an invalid area in
              the tracer's or the tracee's memory, probably because  the  area
              wasn't  mapped  or accessible.  Unfortunately, under Linux, dif-
              ferent variations of this fault will return EIO or  EFAULT  more
              or less arbitrarily.

       EINVAL An attempt was made to set an invalid option.

       EIO    request is invalid, or an attempt was made to read from or write
              to an invalid area in the tracer's or the  tracee's  memory,  or
              there  was  a word-alignment violation, or an invalid signal was
              specified during a restart request.

       EPERM  The specified process cannot be traced.  This could  be  because
              the  tracer has insufficient privileges (the required capability
              is CAP_SYS_PTRACE); unprivileged  processes  cannot  trace  pro-
              cesses  that  they  cannot send signals to or those running set-
              user-ID/set-group-ID programs, for  obvious  reasons.   Alterna-
              tively,  the process may already be being traced, or (on kernels
              before 2.6.26) be init(1) (PID 1).

       ESRCH  The specified process does not exist, or is not currently  being
              traced  by  the caller, or is not stopped (for requests that re-
              quire a stopped tracee).

       SVr4, 4.3BSD.

       Although arguments to ptrace() are interpreted according to the  proto-
       type  given,  glibc  currently declares ptrace() as a variadic function
       with only the request argument fixed.  It is recommended to always sup-
       ply  four arguments, even if the requested operation does not use them,
       setting unused/ignored arguments to 0L or (void *) 0.

       In Linux kernels before 2.6.26, init(1), the process with  PID  1,  may
       not be traced.

       A  tracees  parent continues to be the tracer even if that tracer calls

       The layout of the contents of memory and the USER area are quite  oper-
       ating-system-  and architecture-specific.  The offset supplied, and the
       data returned, might not entirely match with the definition  of  struct

       The  size  of  a  "word"  is determined by the operating-system variant
       (e.g., for 32-bit Linux it is 32 bits).

       This page documents the way the ptrace() call works currently in Linux.
       Its  behavior  differs  significantly on other flavors of UNIX.  In any
       case, use of ptrace() is highly specific to the  operating  system  and

   Ptrace access mode checking
       Various  parts  of  the kernel-user-space API (not just ptrace() opera-
       tions), require so-called "ptrace access mode"  checks,  whose  outcome
       determines  whether  an  operation  is  permitted  (or, in a few cases,
       causes a "read" operation to return sanitized data).  These checks  are
       performed  in cases where one process can inspect sensitive information
       about, or in some cases modify the  state  of,  another  process.   The
       checks are based on factors such as the credentials and capabilities of
       the two processes, whether or not the "target" process is dumpable, and
       the  results  of  checks performed by any enabled Linux Security Module
       (LSM)--for example, SELinux, Yama, or Smack--and by the  commoncap  LSM
       (which is always invoked).

       Prior  to Linux 2.6.27, all access checks were of a single type.  Since
       Linux 2.6.27, two access mode levels are distinguished:

              For "read" operations or other operations that are less  danger-
              ous,    such    as:    get_robust_list(2);    kcmp(2);   reading
              /proc/[pid]/auxv, /proc/[pid]/environ, or  /proc/[pid]/stat;  or
              readlink(2) of a /proc/[pid]/ns/* file.

              For  "write"  operations, or other operations that are more dan-
              gerous, such as: ptrace  attaching  (PTRACE_ATTACH)  to  another
              process  or  calling  process_vm_writev(2).  (PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH
              was effectively the default before Linux 2.6.27.)

       Since Linux 4.5, the above access mode checks are combined (ORed)  with
       one of the following modifiers:

              Use  the caller's filesystem UID and GID (see credentials(7)) or
              effective capabilities for LSM checks.

              Use the caller's real UID and GID or permitted capabilities  for
              LSM checks.  This was effectively the default before Linux 4.5.

       Because  combining  one  of  the  credential  modifiers with one of the
       aforementioned access modes is typical, some macros are defined in  the
       kernel sources for the combinations:

              Defined as PTRACE_MODE_READ | PTRACE_MODE_FSCREDS.




       One further modifier can be ORed with the access mode:

       PTRACE_MODE_NOAUDIT (since Linux 3.3)
              Don't  audit  this access mode check.  This modifier is employed
              for ptrace access mode  checks  (such  as  checks  when  reading
              /proc/[pid]/stat) that merely cause the output to be filtered or
              sanitized, rather than causing an error to be  returned  to  the
              caller.   In  these  cases, accessing the file is not a security
              violation and there is no reason to generate  a  security  audit
              record.   This modifier suppresses the generation of such an au-
              dit record for the particular access check.

       Note that all of the PTRACE_MODE_* constants described in this  subsec-
       tion  are kernel-internal, and not visible to user space.  The constant
       names are mentioned here in order to label the various kinds of  ptrace
       access  mode checks that are performed for various system calls and ac-
       cesses to various pseudofiles (e.g., under  /proc).   These  names  are
       used  in  other manual pages to provide a simple shorthand for labeling
       the different kernel checks.

       The algorithm employed  for  ptrace  access  mode  checking  determines
       whether the calling process is allowed to perform the corresponding ac-
       tion on the target process.  (In the case of opening /proc/[pid] files,
       the "calling process" is the one opening the file, and the process with
       the corresponding PID is the "target process".)  The  algorithm  is  as

       1. If  the  calling thread and the target thread are in the same thread
          group, access is always allowed.

       2. If the access mode  specifies  PTRACE_MODE_FSCREDS,  then,  for  the
          check  in the next step, employ the caller's filesystem UID and GID.
          (As noted in credentials(7), the filesystem UID and GID  almost  al-
          ways have the same values as the corresponding effective IDs.)

          Otherwise,  the  access mode specifies PTRACE_MODE_REALCREDS, so use
          the caller's real UID and GID for  the  checks  in  the  next  step.
          (Most  APIs  that  check  the caller's UID and GID use the effective
          IDs.  For historical reasons, the PTRACE_MODE_REALCREDS  check  uses
          the real IDs instead.)

       3. Deny access if neither of the following is true:

          o The  real,  effective,  and saved-set user IDs of the target match
            the caller's user ID, and the real, effective, and saved-set group
            IDs of the target match the caller's group ID.

          o The caller has the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability in the user namespace
            of the target.

       4. Deny access if the target process "dumpable" attribute has  a  value
          other  than 1 (SUID_DUMP_USER; see the discussion of PR_SET_DUMPABLE
          in prctl(2)), and the caller does not have the CAP_SYS_PTRACE  capa-
          bility in the user namespace of the target process.

       5. The  kernel  LSM security_ptrace_access_check() interface is invoked
          to see if ptrace access is permitted.  The  results  depend  on  the
          LSM(s).   The  implementation of this interface in the commoncap LSM
          performs the following steps:

          a) If the access mode includes  PTRACE_MODE_FSCREDS,  then  use  the
             caller's  effective capability set in the following check; other-
             wise (the access mode specifies  PTRACE_MODE_REALCREDS,  so)  use
             the caller's permitted capability set.

          b) Deny access if neither of the following is true:

             o The  caller  and  the target process are in the same user name-
               space, and the caller's capabilities are a superset of the tar-
               get process's permitted capabilities.

             o The  caller  has  the  CAP_SYS_PTRACE  capability in the target
               process's user namespace.

             Note  that  the  commoncap  LSM  does  not  distinguish   between

       6. If  access  has  not been denied by any of the preceding steps, then
          access is allowed.

       On systems with the Yama Linux Security Module (LSM)  installed  (i.e.,
       the    kernel    was   configured   with   CONFIG_SECURITY_YAMA),   the
       /proc/sys/kernel/yama/ptrace_scope file (available since Linux 3.4) can
       be  used  to restrict the ability to trace a process with ptrace() (and
       thus also the ability to use tools such as strace(1) and gdb(1)).   The
       goal  of  such  restrictions  is to prevent attack escalation whereby a
       compromised process can  ptrace-attach  to  other  sensitive  processes
       (e.g.,  a  GPG  agent  or an SSH session) owned by the user in order to
       gain additional credentials that may exist in memory  and  thus  expand
       the scope of the attack.

       More precisely, the Yama LSM limits two types of operations:

       *  Any  operation that performs a ptrace access mode PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH
          check--for example, ptrace() PTRACE_ATTACH.  (See the "Ptrace access
          mode checking" discussion above.)

       *  ptrace() PTRACE_TRACEME.

       A  process  that  has  the  CAP_SYS_PTRACE  capability  can  update the
       /proc/sys/kernel/yama/ptrace_scope file with one of the following  val-

       0 ("classic ptrace permissions")
              No   additional   restrictions   on   operations   that  perform
              PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH checks (beyond those imposed by the commoncap
              and other LSMs).

              The use of PTRACE_TRACEME is unchanged.

       1 ("restricted ptrace") [default value]
              When  performing an operation that requires a PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH
              check, the calling process must either have  the  CAP_SYS_PTRACE
              capability  in  the  user  namespace of the target process or it
              must have a predefined relationship with the target process.  By
              default,  the predefined relationship is that the target process
              must be a descendant of the caller.

              A target process can employ the prctl(2)  PR_SET_PTRACER  opera-
              tion  to  declare  an  additional PID that is allowed to perform
              PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH operations on the  target.   See  the  kernel
              source  file Documentation/admin-guide/LSM/Yama.rst (or Documen-
              tation/security/Yama.txt before Linux 4.13) for further details.

              The use of PTRACE_TRACEME is unchanged.

       2 ("admin-only attach")
              Only processes with the CAP_SYS_PTRACE capability  in  the  user
              namespace  of  the target process may perform PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH
              operations or trace children that employ PTRACE_TRACEME.

       3 ("no attach")
              No process may perform PTRACE_MODE_ATTACH  operations  or  trace
              children that employ PTRACE_TRACEME.

              Once  this  value  has  been  written  to the file, it cannot be

       With respect to values 1 and 2, note that creating a new user namespace
       effectively  removes the protection offered by Yama.  This is because a
       process in the parent user namespace whose effective  UID  matches  the
       UID of the creator of a child namespace has all capabilities (including
       CAP_SYS_PTRACE) when performing operations within the child user  name-
       space  (and  further-removed  descendants  of  that namespace).  Conse-
       quently, when a process tries to use user namespaces to sandbox itself,
       it inadvertently weakens the protections offered by the Yama LSM.

   C library/kernel differences
       At  the  system  call  level, the PTRACE_PEEKTEXT, PTRACE_PEEKDATA, and
       PTRACE_PEEKUSER requests have a different API: they store the result at
       the  address  specified  by the data parameter, and the return value is
       the error flag.  The glibc wrapper function provides the API  given  in
       DESCRIPTION  above, with the result being returned via the function re-
       turn value.

       On hosts with 2.6 kernel headers, PTRACE_SETOPTIONS is declared with  a
       different  value than the one for 2.4.  This leads to applications com-
       piled with 2.6 kernel headers failing when run on  2.4  kernels.   This
       can  be  worked around by redefining PTRACE_SETOPTIONS to PTRACE_OLDSE-
       TOPTIONS, if that is defined.

       Group-stop notifications are sent to the tracer, but not to  real  par-
       ent.  Last confirmed on

       If  a  thread  group  leader is traced and exits by calling _exit(2), a
       PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT stop will happen for it (if requested), but the  sub-
       sequent  WIFEXITED  notification  will not be delivered until all other
       threads exit.  As explained above, if one of other  threads  calls  ex-
       ecve(2),  the  death of the thread group leader will never be reported.
       If the execed thread is not traced by  this  tracer,  the  tracer  will
       never  know  that  execve(2)  happened.   One possible workaround is to
       PTRACE_DETACH the thread group leader instead of restarting it in  this
       case.  Last confirmed on

       A SIGKILL signal may still cause a PTRACE_EVENT_EXIT stop before actual
       signal death.  This may be changed in the future; SIGKILL is  meant  to
       always  immediately  kill  tasks  even under ptrace.  Last confirmed on
       Linux 3.13.

       Some system calls return with EINTR if a signal was sent to  a  tracee,
       but delivery was suppressed by the tracer.  (This is very typical oper-
       ation: it is usually done by debuggers on every attach, in order to not
       introduce  a  bogus  SIGSTOP).  As of Linux 3.2.9, the following system
       calls are affected (this list is likely incomplete): epoll_wait(2), and
       read(2)  from an inotify(7) file descriptor.  The usual symptom of this
       bug is that when you attach to a quiescent process with the command

           strace -p <process-ID>

       then, instead of the usual and expected one-line output such as

           restart_syscall(<... resuming interrupted call ...>_


           select(6, [5], NULL, [5], NULL_

       ('_' denotes the cursor position), you observe more than one line.  For

               clock_gettime(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, {15370, 690928118}) = 0

       What   is  not  visible  here  is  that  the  process  was  blocked  in
       epoll_wait(2) before strace(1) has attached to  it.   Attaching  caused
       epoll_wait(2)  to  return  to user space with the error EINTR.  In this
       particular case, the program reacted to EINTR by checking  the  current
       time,  and  then executing epoll_wait(2) again.  (Programs which do not
       expect such "stray" EINTR errors may behave in an unintended  way  upon
       an strace(1) attach.)

       Contrary  to  the  normal rules, the glibc wrapper for ptrace() can set
       errno to zero.

       gdb(1), ltrace(1), strace(1), clone(2), execve(2), fork(2),  gettid(2),
       prctl(2),  seccomp(2),  sigaction(2),  tgkill(2), vfork(2), waitpid(2),
       exec(3), capabilities(7), signal(7)

       This page is part of release 5.05 of the Linux  man-pages  project.   A
       description  of  the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest    version    of    this    page,    can     be     found     at

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