man(1) Manual page archive

     EXEC(2)                                                   EXEC(2)

          execl, execv, execle, execve, execlp, execvp, exec, exece,
          environ  - execute a file

          execl(name, arg0, arg1, ..., argn, 0)
          char *name, *arg0, *arg1, ..., *argn;

          execv(name, argv)
          char *name, *argv[ ];

          execle(name, arg0, arg1, ..., argn, 0, envp)
          char *name, *arg0, *arg1, ..., *argn, *envp[ ];

          execve(name, argv, envp);
          char *name, *argv[ ], *envp[ ];

          extern char **environ;

          Exec in all its forms overlays the calling process with the
          named file, then transfers to the entry point of the core
          image of the file.  There can be no return from a successful
          exec; the calling core image is lost.

          Files remain open across exec unless explicit arrangement
          has been made; see ioctl(2). Ignored signals remain ignored
          across these calls, but signals that are caught (see
          signal(2)) are reset to their default values.

          Each user has a real user ID and group ID and an effective
          user ID and group ID.  The real ID identifies the person
          using the system; the effective ID determines his access
          privileges.  Exec changes the effective user and group ID to
          the owner of the executed file if the file has the `set-
          user-ID' or `set-group-ID' modes.  The real user ID is not

          The name argument is a pointer to the name of the file to be
          executed.  The pointers arg[0], arg[1] ...  address null-
          terminated strings.  Conventionally arg[0] is the name of
          the file.

          From C, two interfaces are available.  Execl is useful when
          a known file with known arguments is being called; the argu-
          ments to execl are the character strings constituting the
          file and the arguments; the first argument is conventionally
          the same as the file name (or its last component).  A 0
          argument must end the argument list.

     EXEC(2)                                                   EXEC(2)

          The execv version is useful when the number of arguments is
          unknown in advance; the arguments to execv are the name of
          the file to be executed and a vector of strings containing
          the arguments.  The last argument string must be followed by
          a 0 pointer.

          When a C program is executed, it is called as follows:

               main(argc, argv, envp)
               int argc;
               char **argv, **envp;

          where argc is the argument count and argv is an array of
          character pointers to the arguments themselves.  As indi-
          cated, argc is conventionally at least one and the first
          member of the array points to a string containing the name
          of the file.

          Argv is directly usable in another execv because argv[argc]
          is 0.

          Envp is a pointer to an array of strings that constitute the
          environment of the process.  Each string consists of a name,
          an ``='', and a null-terminated value.  The array of point-
          ers is terminated by a null pointer.  The shell sh(1) passes
          an environment entry for each global shell variable defined
          when the program is called.  See environ(5) for some conven-
          tionally used names.  The C run-time start-off routine
          places a copy of envp in the global cell environ, which is
          used by execv and execl to pass the environment to any sub-
          programs executed by the current program.  The exec routines
          use lower-level routines as follows to pass an environment
               execle(file, arg0, arg1, . . . , argn, 0, environ);
               execve(file, argv, environ);

          Execlp and execvp are called with the same arguments as
          execl and execv, but duplicate the shell's actions in
          searching for an executable file in a list of directories.
          The directory list is obtained from the environment.

          /bin/sh  shell, invoked if command file found by execlp or

          fork(2), environ(5)

          If the file cannot be found, if it is not executable, if it
          does not start with a valid magic number (see a.out(5)), if
          maximum memory is exceeded, or if the arguments require too

     EXEC(2)                                                   EXEC(2)

          much space, a return constitutes the diagnostic; the return
          value is -1.  Even for the super-user, at least one of the
          execute-permission bits must be set for a file to be exe-

          If execvp is called to execute a file that turns out to be a
          shell command file, and if it is impossible to execute the
          shell, the values of argv[0] and argv[-1] will be modified
          before return.

          (exec = 11.)
          sys exec; name; argv

          (exece = 59.)
          sys exece; name; argv; envp

          Plain exec is obsoleted by exece, but remains for historical

          When the called file starts execution on the PDP11, the
          stack pointer points to a word containing the number of
          arguments.  Just above this number is a list of pointers to
          the argument strings, followed by a null pointer, followed
          by the pointers to the environment strings and then another
          null pointer.  The strings themselves follow; a 0 word is
          left at the very top of memory.

            sp→     nargs

           arg0:    <arg0\0>
           env0:    <env0\0>

          On the Interdata 8/32, the stack begins at a conventional
          place (currently 0xD0000) and grows upwards.  After exec,
          the layout of data on the stack is as follows.

               int  0
           arg0:    byte ...
          argp0:    int  arg0

     EXEC(2)                                                   EXEC(2)

               int  0
          envp0:    int  env0
               int  0
           %2→ space     40
               int  nargs
               int  argp0
               int  envp0

          This arrangement happens to conform well to C calling con-