EXEC(2) EXEC(2) NAME exec, execl - execute a file SYNOPSIS int exec(char *name, char* argv) int execl(char *name, ...) DESCRIPTION Exec and execl overlay the calling process with the named file, then transfer to the entry point of the image of the file. Name points to the name of the file to be executed; it must not be a directory, and the permissions must allow the cur- rent user to execute it (see stat(2)). It should also be a valid binary image, as defined in the a.out(6) for the cur- rent machine architecture, or a shell script (see rc(1)). The first line of a shell script must begin with `#!' fol- lowed by the name of the program to interpret the file and any initial arguments to that program, for example #!/bin/rc ls | mc When a C program is executed, it is called as follows: void main(int argc, char *argv) Argv is a copy of the array of argument pointers passed to exec; that array must end in a null pointer, and argc is the number of elements before the null pointer. By convention, the first argument should be the name of the program to be executed. Execl is like exec except that argv will be an array of the parameters that follow name in the call. The last argument to execl must be a null pointer. For a file beginning #!, the arguments passed to the program (/bin/rc in the example above) will be the name of the file being executed, any arguments on the #! line, the name of the file again, and finally the second and subsequent argu- ments given to the original exec call. The result honors the two conventions of a program accepting as argument a file to be interpreted and argv naming the file being executed. Most attributes of the calling process are carried into the result; in particular, files remain open across exec (except those opened with OCEXEC OR'd into the open mode; see open(2)); and the working directory and environment (see EXEC(2) EXEC(2) env(3)) remain the same However, a newly exec'ed process has no notification handler (see notify(2)). When the new program begins, the global cell _clock is set to the address of a cell that keeps approximate time expended by the process at user level. The time is measured in milliseconds but is updated at a system-dependent lower rate. This clock is typically used by the profiler but is available to all programs. The above conventions apply to C programs; the raw system interface to the new image is as follows: the word pointed to by the stack pointer is argc; the words beyond that are the zeroth and subsequent elements of argv, followed by a terminating null pointer; and the return register (e.g. R0 on the 68020) contains the address of the clock. SEE ALSO intro(2), stat(2) DIAGNOSTICS If these functions fail, they return and set errstr. There can be no return from a successful exec or execl; the call- ing image is lost.