Signals in C

Signals are one of the IPC mechanism used to communicate between 2 processes or between OS and a process. If a program hits a serious error, the OS may raise the respective signal for the process to be terminated after a core dump file is generated.

 

The common error signals are

SIGFPE:- some arithhmetic errors or floating point errors like divide by zero.

SIGILL:- Illegal instruction. Usually happens when an unknown instruction or an elevated privilege instructions is run. Common scenario is object file is corrupted or a stack overflow happens.

SIGSEGV:- Happens when a process access the physical memory which it doesn’t have access to. Common scenario is accessing a NULL pointer, stack or heap corruption.

SIGBUS:- Bus error. Invalid memory is accessed. In case of bus error the memory accessed itself is invalid. One scenario is issues with HW where the memory mapped address access fails to read the data from the hardware.

SIGABRT:- The signal is raised when the program calls abort() api. assert() in C++ uses internally abort().

SIGSYS:- The signal is raised when a process passes invalid arguments to a system call.

SIGTRAP:- This signal is raised in conjunction when a debugger is attached to the process. When the code hits a debug point the SIGTRAP can be raised.

Source: Program error signals – GeeksforGeeks

To be continued…

About the Author

Yogi

21 years of experience in various layers of software. Primarily experienced in system side software design and development on server management software. Interested in linux development in x86 and arm architecture.