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AIX Version 4.3 Base Operating System and Extensions Technical Reference, Volume 1

getargs Subroutine


Gets arguments of a process.


Standard C library (libc.a)


#include <procinfo.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
int getargs (processBuffer, bufferLen, argsBuffer, argsLen)
struct procsinfo *processBuffer;
int bufferLen;
char *argsBuffer;
int argsLen;


The getargs subroutine returns a list of parameters that were passed to a command when it was started. Only one process can be examined per call to getargs.

The getargs subroutine uses the pi_pid field of processBuffer to determine which process to look for. bufferLen should be set to size of struct procsinfo. Parameters are returned in argsBuffer, which should be allocated by the caller. The size of this array must be given in argsLen.

On return, argsBuffer consists of a succession of strings, each terminated with a null character (ascii `\0'). Hence, two consecutive NULL s indicate the end of the list.

Note: The arguments may be changed asynchronously by the process, but results are not guaranteed to be consistent.


processBuffer Specifies the address of a procsinfo structure, whose pi_pid field should contain the pid of the process that is to be looked for.
bufferLen Specifies the size of a single procsinfo structure,
argsBuffer Specifies the address of an array of characters to be filled with a series of strings representing the parameters that are needed. An extra NULL character marks the end of the list. This array must be allocated by the caller.
argsLen Specifies the size of the argsBuffer array. No more than argsLen characters are returned.

Return Values

If successful, the getargs subroutine returns zero. Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned and the errno global variable is set to indicate the error.

Error Codes

The getargs subroutine does not succeed if the following are true:

EBADF The specified process does not exist.
EFAULT The copy operation to the buffer was not successful or the processBuffer or argsBuffer parameters are invalid.
EINVAL The bufferLen parameter does not contain the size of a single procsinfo structure.

Implementation Specifics

This subroutine is part of the Base Operating System (BOS) Runtime.

Related Information

The getevars, getpid, getpgrp, getppid, or getthrds subroutines.

The ps command.

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