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shmop() - Unix, Linux System Call

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NAME

shmop - shared memory operations

SYNOPSIS

 
#include <sys/types.h>
 
#include <sys/shm.h>

void *shmat(int shmid, const void *shmaddr, int shmflg);

int shmdt(const void *shmaddr);

DESCRIPTION

shmat() attaches the shared memory segment identified by shmid to the address space of the calling process. The attaching address is specified by shmaddr with one of the following criteria:

If shmaddr is NULL, the system chooses a suitable (unused) address at which to attach the segment.

If shmaddr isn’t NULL and SHM_RND is specified in shmflg, the attach occurs at the address equal to shmaddr rounded down to the nearest multiple of SHMLBA. Otherwise shmaddr must be a page-aligned address at which the attach occurs.

If SHM_RDONLY is specified in shmflg, the segment is attached for reading and the process must have read permission for the segment. Otherwise the segment is attached for read and write and the process must have read and write permission for the segment. There is no notion of a write-only shared memory segment.

The (Linux-specific) SHM_REMAP flag may be specified in shmflg to indicate that the mapping of the segment should replace any existing mapping in the range starting at shmaddr and continuing for the size of the segment. (Normally an EINVAL error would result if a mapping already exists in this address range.) In this case, shmaddr must not be NULL.

The brk(2) value of the calling process is not altered by the attach. The segment will automatically be detached at process exit. The same segment may be attached as a read and as a read-write one, and more than once, in the process’s address space.

A successful shmat() call updates the members of the shmid_ds structure (see shmctl(2)) associated with the shared memory segment as follows:

TagDescription
shm_atime is set to the current time.
shm_lpid is set to the process-ID of the calling process.
shm_nattch is incremented by one.
shmdt() detaches the shared memory segment located at the address specified by shmaddr from the address space of the calling process. The to-be-detached segment must be currently attached with shmaddr equal to the value returned by the attaching shmat() call.
On a successful shmdt() call the system updates the members of the shmid_ds structure associated with the shared memory segment as follows:
shm_dtime is set to the current time.
shm_lpid is set to the process-ID of the calling process.
shm_nattch is decremented by one. If it becomes 0 and the segment is marked for deletion, the segment is deleted.

SYSTEM CALLS

TagDescription
fork() After a fork() the child inherits the attached shared memory segments.
exec() After an exec() all attached shared memory segments are detached from the process.
exit() Upon exit() all attached shared memory segments are detached from the process.

RETURN VALUE

On success shmat() returns the address of the attached shared memory segment; on error (void *) -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate the cause of the error.

On success shmdt() returns 0; on error -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate the cause of the error.

ERRORS

When shmat() fails, errno is set to one of the following:
TagDescription
EACCES The calling process does not have the required permissions for the requested attach type, and does not have the CAP_IPC_OWNER capability.
EINVAL Invalid shmid value, unaligned (i.e., not page-aligned and SHM_RND was not specified) or invalid shmaddr value, or failing attach at brk(), or SHM_REMAP was specified and shmaddr was NULL.
ENOMEM Could not allocate memory for the descriptor or for the page tables.
When shmdt() fails, errno is set as follows:
TagDescription
EINVAL There is no shared memory segment attached at shmaddr; or, shmaddr is not aligned on a page boundary.

NOTES

Using shmat() with shmaddr equal to NULL is the preferred, portable way of attaching a shared memory segment. Be aware that the shared memory segment attached in this way may be attached at different addresses in different processes. Therefore, any pointers maintained within the shared memory must be made relative (typically to the starting address of the segment), rather than absolute.

On Linux, it is possible to attach a shared memory segment even if it is already marked to be deleted. However, POSIX.1-2001 does not specify this behaviour and many other implementations do not support it.

The following system parameter affects shmat():

TagDescription
SHMLBA Segment low boundary address multiple. Must be page aligned. For the current implementation the SHMLBA value is PAGE_SIZE.
The implementation places no intrinsic limit on the per-process maximum number of shared memory segments (SHMSEG).

CONFORMING TO

SVr4, POSIX.1-2001.

In SVID 3 (or perhaps earlier) the type of the shmaddr argument was changed from char * into const void *, and the returned type of shmat() from char * into void *. (Linux libc4 and libc5 have the char * prototypes; glibc2 has void *.)

SEE ALSO


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