int shm_open(const char *name, int oflag,
The shm_open() function shall establish a connection between a shared memory object and a file descriptor. It shall create an open file description that refers to the shared memory object and a file descriptor that refers to that open file description. The file descriptor is used by other functions to refer to that shared memory object. The name argument points to a string naming a shared memory object. It is unspecified whether the name appears in the file system and is visible to other functions that take pathnames as arguments. The name argument conforms to the construction rules for a pathname. If name begins with the slash character, then processes calling shm_open() with the same value of name refer to the same shared memory object, as long as that name has not been removed. If name does not begin with the slash character, the effect is implementation-defined. The interpretation of slash characters other than the leading slash character in name is implementation-defined.
If successful, shm_open() shall return a file descriptor for the shared memory object that is the lowest numbered file descriptor not currently open for that process. The open file description is new, and therefore the file descriptor does not share it with any other processes. It is unspecified whether the file offset is set. The FD_CLOEXEC file descriptor flag associated with the new file descriptor is set.
The file status flags and file access modes of the open file description are according to the value of oflag. The oflag argument is the bitwise-inclusive OR of the following flags defined in the <fcntl.h> header. Applications specify exactly one of the first two values (access modes) below in the value of oflag:
Any combination of the remaining flags may be specified in the value of oflag:
When a shared memory object is created, the state of the shared memory object, including all data associated with the shared memory object, persists until the shared memory object is unlinked and all other references are gone. It is unspecified whether the name and shared memory object state remain valid after a system reboot.
Upon successful completion, the shm_open() function shall return a non-negative integer representing the lowest numbered unused file descriptor. Otherwise, it shall return -1 and set errno to indicate the error.
The shm_open() function shall fail if:
The following sections are informative.
When the Memory Mapped Files option is supported, the normal open() call is used to obtain a descriptor to a file to be mapped according to existing practice with mmap(). When the Shared Memory Objects option is supported, the shm_open() function shall obtain a descriptor to the shared memory object to be mapped.
There is ample precedent for having a file descriptor represent several types of objects. In the POSIX.1-1990 standard, a file descriptor can represent a file, a pipe, a FIFO, a tty, or a directory. Many implementations simply have an operations vector, which is indexed by the file descriptor type and does very different operations. Note that in some cases the file descriptor passed to generic operations on file descriptors is returned by open() or creat() and in some cases returned by alternate functions, such as pipe(). The latter technique is used by shm_open().
Note that such shared memory objects can actually be implemented as mapped files. In both cases, the size can be set after the open using ftruncate(). The shm_open() function itself does not create a shared object of a specified size because this would duplicate an extant function that set the size of an object referenced by a file descriptor.
On implementations where memory objects are implemented using the existing file system, the shm_open() function may be implemented using a macro that invokes open(), and the shm_unlink() function may be implemented using a macro that invokes unlink().
For implementations without a permanent file system, the definition of the name of the memory objects is allowed not to survive a system reboot. Note that this allows systems with a permanent file system to implement memory objects as data structures internal to the implementation as well.
On implementations that choose to implement memory objects using memory directly, a shm_open() followed by an ftruncate() and close() can be used to preallocate a shared memory area and to set the size of that preallocation. This may be necessary for systems without virtual memory hardware support in order to ensure that the memory is contiguous.
The set of valid open flags to shm_open() was restricted to O_RDONLY, O_RDWR, O_CREAT, and O_TRUNC because these could be easily implemented on most memory mapping systems. This volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 is silent on the results if the implementation cannot supply the requested file access because of implementation-defined reasons, including hardware ones.
The error conditions [EACCES] and [ENOTSUP] are provided to inform the application that the implementation cannot complete a request.
[EACCES] indicates for implementation-defined reasons, probably hardware-related, that the implementation cannot comply with a requested mode because it conflicts with another requested mode. An example might be that an application desires to open a memory object two times, mapping different areas with different access modes. If the implementation cannot map a single area into a process space in two places, which would be required if different access modes were required for the two areas, then the implementation may inform the application at the time of the second open.
[ENOTSUP] indicates for implementation-defined reasons, probably hardware-related, that the implementation cannot comply with a requested mode at all. An example would be that the hardware of the implementation cannot support write-only shared memory areas.
On all implementations, it may be desirable to restrict the location of the memory objects to specific file systems for performance (such as a RAM disk) or implementation-defined reasons (shared memory supported directly only on certain file systems). The shm_open() function may be used to enforce these restrictions. There are a number of methods available to the application to determine an appropriate name of the file or the location of an appropriate directory. One way is from the environment via getenv(). Another would be from a configuration file.
This volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 specifies that memory objects have initial contents of zero when created. This is consistent with current behavior for both files and newly allocated memory. For those implementations that use physical memory, it would be possible that such implementations could simply use available memory and give it to the process uninitialized. This, however, is not consistent with standard behavior for the uninitialized data area, the stack, and of course, files. Finally, it is highly desirable to set the allocated memory to zero for security reasons. Thus, initializing memory objects to zero is required.
close() , dup() , exec() , fcntl() , mmap() , shmat() , shmctl() , shmdt() , shm_unlink() , umask() , the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <fcntl.h>, <sys/mman.h>