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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

     mmap - map pages of memory

     #include <sys/mman.h>

     void *mmap(void *addr, size_t len, int prot, int flags,  int
     fildes, off_t off);

     The  mmap()  function  establishes  a  mapping   between   a
     process's  address space and a file or shared memory object.
     The format of the call is as follows:

          pa = mmap(addr, len, prot, flags, fildes, off);

     The  mmap()  function  establishes  a  mapping  between  the
     address  space of the process at an address pa for len bytes
     to the memory object  represented  by  the  file  descriptor
     fildes  at  offset  off  for len bytes. The value of pa is a
     function of the  addr argument and values of flags,  further
     described  below. A successful mmap() call returns pa as its
     result. The address range starting at pa and continuing  for
     len  bytes  will  be legitimate for the possible (not neces-
     sarily current) address space of the process. The  range  of
     bytes  starting  at off and continuing for len bytes will be
     legitimate  for  the  possible  (not  necessarily   current)
     offsets  in  the file or shared memory object represented by

     The mmap() function allows [pa, pa + len) to  extend  beyond
     the  end  of  the  object both at the time of the mmap() and
     while the mapping persists, such as when the file is created
     prior  to  the  mmap() call and has no contents, or when the
     file is truncated. Any reference to addresses beyond the end
     of  the  object,  however,  will result in the delivery of a
     SIGBUS or SIGSEGV signal. The mmap() function cannot be used
     to implicitly extend the length of files.

     The mapping established by mmap() replaces any previous map-
     pings  for  those  whole  pages  containing  any part of the
     address space of the process starting at pa  and  continuing
     for len bytes.

     If the size of the mapped file changes  after  the  call  to
     mmap()  as  a  result  of some other operation on the mapped
     file, the effect of references to  portions  of  the  mapped
     region  that  correspond to added or removed portions of the
     file is unspecified.

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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

     The mmap() function  is  supported  for  regular  files  and
     shared memory objects. Support for any other type of file is

     The  prot argument determines whether read, write,  execute,
     or  some  combination  of accesses are permitted to the data
     being mapped. The prot argument should be  either  PROT_NONE
     or  the  bitwise  inclusive  OR  of one or more of the other
     flags  in  the  following  table,  defined  in  the   header

            Data can be read.

           Data can be written.

           Data can be executed.

           Data cannot be accessed.

     If an implementation of mmap() for a specific platform  can-
     not  support  the  combination  of access types specified by
     prot, the call to mmap() fails. An implementation may permit
     accesses  other  than  those specified by prot; however, the
     implementation will not permit  a  write  to  succeed  where
     PROT_WRITE  has  not  been  set  or  permit any access where
     PROT_NONE alone has been set. Each platform-specific  imple-
     mentation  of  mmap() supports the following values of prot:
     PROT_NONE, PROT_READ, PROT_WRITE, and the  inclusive  OR  of
     PROT_READ  and PROT_WRITE. On some platforms, the PROT_WRITE
     protection option is implemented as PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE and
     PROT_EXEC as PROT_READ|PROT_EXEC. The file descriptor fildes
     is opened with read permission, regardless of the protection
     options  specified. If PROT_WRITE is specified, the applica-
     tion must have opened the file descriptor fildes with  write
     permission  unless  MAP_PRIVATE  is  specified  in the flags
     argument as described below.

     The  flags argument provides  other  information  about  the
     handling  of the mapped data. The value of flags is the bit-
     wise inclusive OR of these options, defined in <sys/mman.h>:

           Changes are shared.

           Changes are private.


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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

           Interpret addr exactly.

           Do not reserve swap space.

           Map anonymous memory.

           Interpret addr as required aligment.

     The MAP_SHARED and MAP_PRIVATE options describe the disposi-
     tion  of  write  references  to  the  underlying  object. If
     MAP_SHARED is specified, write references  will  change  the
     memory  object.  If  MAP_PRIVATE  is  specified, the initial
     write reference will create a private  copy  of  the  memory
     object  page  and  redirect  the  mapping  to  the copy. The
     private copy is not created until  the  first  write;  until
     then,  other users who have the object mapped MAP_SHARED can
     change the object. Either MAP_SHARED or MAP_PRIVATE must  be
     specified, but not both. The mapping type is retained across

     When MAP_FIXED is set in the flags argument, the  system  is
     informed  that  the  value  of  pa must be addr, exactly. If
     MAP_FIXED is set, mmap() may return (void *)-1 and set errno
     to  EINVAL.   If a MAP_FIXED request is successful, the map-
     ping established by mmap() replaces  any  previous  mappings
     for the process's pages in the range [pa, pa + len). The use
     of MAP_FIXED is discouraged, since it may prevent  a  system
     from making the most effective use of its resources.

     When MAP_FIXED is set and the requested address is the  same
     as  previous  mapping,  the previous address is unmapped and
     the new mapping is created on top of the old one.

     When MAP_FIXED is not set, the system uses addr to arrive at
     pa.  The  pa  so chosen will be an area of the address space
     that the system deems suitable for a mapping of len bytes to
     the file.  The mmap() function interprets an addr value of 0
     as granting the system complete  freedom  in  selecting  pa,
     subject  to constraints described below. A non-zero value of
     addr is taken to be a suggestion of a process  address  near
     which  the mapping should be placed. When the system selects
     a value for pa, it will never place a mapping at address  0,
     nor  will  it replace any extant mapping, nor map into areas
     considered part of the potential data or stack "segments".

     When MAP_ALIGN is set,  the  system  is  informed  that  the
     alignment  of  pa  must  be  the same as addr. The alignment
     value in addr must be 0 or some power  of  two  multiple  of
     page  size  as  returned  by  sysconf(3C). If addr is 0, the

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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

     system will choose a suitable  alignment.

     The MAP_NORESERVE option specifies that  no  swap  space  be
     reserved for a mapping. Without this flag, the creation of a
     writable MAP_PRIVATE mapping reserves swap  space  equal  to
     the  size  of the mapping; when the mapping is written into,
     the reserved space  is employed to hold  private  copies  of
     the  data.  A  write  into  a MAP_NORESERVE mapping produces
     results which depend on the  current  availability  of  swap
     space  in  the  system.   If  space  is available, the write
     succeeds and a  private copy of the written page is created;
     if  space  is not available, the write fails and a SIGBUS or
     SIGSEGV  signal  is  delivered  to  the   writing   process.
     MAP_NORESERVE  mappings are inherited across  fork(); at the
     time of the fork(), swap space is reserved in the child  for
     all  private  pages  that  currently  exist  in  the parent;
     thereafter the child's mapping behaves as described above.

     When MAP_ANON is set in flags, and  fildes  is  set  to  -1,
     mmap()  provides  a direct path to return anonymous pages to
     the caller.  This operation is equivalent to passing  mmap()
     an  open  file  descriptor on /dev/zero with MAP_ANON elided
     from the flags argument.

     The  off argument is constrained to  be  aligned  and  sized
     according  to  the value returned by sysconf(3C) when passed
     _SC_PAGESIZE or _SC_PAGE_SIZE. When MAP_FIXED is  specified,
     the   addr  argument  must  also meet these constraints. The
     system performs mapping operations over whole  pages.  Thus,
     while  the   len  argument need not meet a size or alignment
     constraint, the system will include, in any  mapping  opera-
     tion,  any  partial  page  specified  by the range [pa, pa +

     The system will always zero-fill any partial page at the end
     of  an  object. Further, the system will never write out any
     modified portions of the last page of an  object  which  are
     beyond  its end. References to whole pages following the end
     of an object will result in the delivery of a SIGBUS or SIG-
     SEGV signal. SIGBUS signals may also be delivered on various
     file system conditions, including quota exceeded errors.

     The mmap() function adds an  extra  reference  to  the  file
     associated  with  the  file  descriptor  fildes which is not
     removed by a subsequent close(2) on  that  file  descriptor.
     This reference is removed when there are no more mappings to
     the file by a call to the munmap(2) function.

     The st_atime field of the mapped  file  may  be  marked  for
     update   at  any  time  between  the  mmap()  call  and  the
     corresponding munmap(2) call.  The  initial  read  or  write
     reference  to a mapped region will cause the file's st_atime

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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

     field to be marked for update if it  has  not  already  been
     marked for update.

     The st_ctime and st_mtime fields of a file  that  is  mapped
     with MAP_SHARED and PROT_WRITE, will be marked for update at
     some point in the interval between a write reference to  the
     mapped  region  and the next call to msync(3C) with MS_ASYNC
     or MS_SYNC for that portion of the file by any process.   If
     there is no such call, these fields may be marked for update
     at any time after a write reference if the  underlying  file
     is modified as a result.

     If the process calls mlockall(3C) with the MCL_FUTURE  flag,
     the  pages  mapped  by  all  future  calls to mmap() will be
     locked in memory. In this case, if not enough  memory  could
     be locked, mmap() fails and sets errno to EAGAIN.

     Upon successful completion, the mmap() function returns  the
     address  at which the mapping was placed (pa); otherwise, it
     returns a value of MAP_FAILED and sets errno to indicate the
     error.  The  symbol  MAP_FAILED  is  defined  in  the header
     <sys/mman.h>. No successful return from mmap()  will  return
     the value MAP_FAILED.

     If mmap() fails for reasons  other  than  EBADF,  EINVAL  or
     ENOTSUP,  some of the mappings in the address range starting
     at addr and continuing for len bytes may have been unmapped.

     The mmap() function will fail if:

           The fildes file  descriptor  is  not  open  for  read,
           regardless  of  the protection specified; or fildes is
           not open for write and PROT_WRITE was specified for  a
           MAP_SHARED type mapping.

           The mapping could not be locked in memory.

           There was insufficient room to reserve swap space  for
           the mapping.

     EBADF The fildes file descriptor is not open  (and  MAP_ANON
           was not specified).

           The arguments addr (if MAP_FIXED was specified) or off
           are not multiples of the page size as returned by sys-

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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

           The argument addr (if MAP_ALIGN was specified) is  not
           0  or  some  power  of  two  multiple  of page size as
           returned by sysconf(3C).

           MAP_FIXED and MAP_ALIGN are both specified.

           The field in flags is invalid (neither MAP_PRIVATE  or
           MAP_SHARED is set).

           The argument len has a value equal to 0.

           MAP_ANON was specified, but the  file  descriptor  was
           not -1.

           The  number  of  mapped  regions   would   exceed   an
           implementation-dependent  limit  (per  process  or per

           The fildes argument refers  to  an  object  for  which
           mmap() is meaningless, such as a terminal.

           The MAP_FIXED  option  was  specified  and  the  range
           [addr,  addr  +  len)  exceeds  that  allowed  for the
           address space of a process.

           The MAP_FIXED option was not specified  and  there  is
           insufficient  room  in the address space to effect the

           The mapping could not be locked in memory, if required
           by  mlockall(3C),  because it would require more space
           than the system is able to supply.

           The composite size of len plus  the  lengths  obtained
           from  all previous calls to mmap() exceeds RLIMIT_VMEM
           (see  getrlimit(2)).

           The  system  does  not  support  the  combination   of
           accesses requested in the prot argument.

     ENXIO Addresses in the range [off, off +  len)  are  invalid
           for the object specified by fildes.

           The MAP_FIXED option was specified in  flags  and  the
           combination  of  addr,  len and off is invalid for the
           object specified by fildes.


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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

           The file is a regular file and the value of  off  plus
           len  exceeds  the offset maximum establish in the open
           file description associated with fildes.

     The mmap() function may fail if:

           The file to be mapped is already locked using advisory
           or mandatory record locking. See fcntl(2).

     Use of mmap() may reduce the amount of memory  available  to
     other memory allocation functions.

     MAP_ALIGN is useful to assure a properly aligned value of pa
     for  subsequent  use  with  memcntl(2) and the MC_HAT_ADVISE
      This is best used for large, long-lived, and heavily refer-
     enced   regions.    MAP_FIXED   and   MAP_ALIGN  are  always

     Use of MAP_FIXED  may  result  in  unspecified  behavior  in
     further  use  of  brk(2), sbrk(2), malloc(3C), and shmat(2).
     The use of MAP_FIXED is discouraged, as it  may  prevent  an
     implementation   from  making  the  most  effective  use  of

     The application must  ensure  correct  synchronization  when
     using  mmap()  in  conjunction  with  any  other file access
     method, such as read(2) and write(2), standard input/output,
     and shmat(2).

     The mmap() function has a transitional interface for  64-bit
     file offsets.  See lf64(5).

     The mmap() function allows access to resources using address
     space manipulations instead of the read()/write() interface.
     Once a file is mapped, all a process has to do to access  it
     is  use  the  data  at  the  address to which the object was

     Consider the following pseudo-code:

     fildes = open(...)
     lseek(fildes, offset, whence)
     read(fildes, buf, len)
     /* use data in buf */

     The following is a rewrite using  mmap():

     fildes = open(...)
     address = mmap((caddr_t) 0, len, (PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE),

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System Calls                                              mmap(2)

               MAP_PRIVATE, fildes, offset)
     /* use data at address */

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the  following  attri-

    |       ATTRIBUTE TYPE        |       ATTRIBUTE VALUE       |
    | Interface Stability         | Standard                    |
    | MT-Level                    | Async-Signal-Safe           |

     close(2),   exec(2),   fcntl(2),   fork(2),    getrlimit(2),
     memcntl(2),  mprotect(2),   munmap(2),  shmat(2), lockf(3C),
     mlockall(3C),  msync(3C),  plock(3C),  sysconf(3C),   attri-
     butes(5), lf64(5), standards(5), null(7D), zero(7D)

SunOS 5.9           Last change: 10 Apr 2002                    8