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INIT_MODULE(2) Linux Programmer's Manual INIT_MODULE(2)


init_module - load a kernel module


int init_module(void *module_image, unsigned long len,
                const char *param_values);
Note: There is no glibc wrapper for this system call; see NOTES.


init_module() loads an ELF image into kernel space, performs any necessary symbol relocations, initializes module parameters to values provided by the caller, and then runs the module's init function. This system call requires privilege.
The module_image argument points to a buffer containing the binary image to be loaded; len specifies the size of that buffer. The module image should be a valid ELF image, built for the running kernel.
The param_values argument is a string containing space-delimited specifications of the values for module parameters (defined inside the module using module_param() and module_param_array()). The kernel parses this string and initializes the specified parameters. Each of the parameter specifications has the form:
The parameter name is one of those defined within the module using module_param() (see the Linux kernel source file include/linux/moduleparam.h). The parameter value is optional in the case of bool and invbool parameters. Values for array parameters are specified as a comma-separated list.


On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned and errno is set appropriately.


Timeout while trying to resolve a symbol reference by this module.
A module with this name is already loaded.
An address argument referred to a location that is outside the process's accessible address space.
param_values is invalid, or some part of the ELF image in module_image contains inconsistencies.
The binary image supplied in module_image is not an ELF image, or is an ELF image that is invalid or for a different architecture.
The caller was not privileged (did not have the CAP_SYS_MODULE capability), or module loading is disabled (see /proc/sys/kernel/modules_disabled in proc(5)).
In addition to the above errors, if the module's init function is executed and returns an error, then init_module() fails and errno is set to the value returned by the init function.


init_module() is Linux-specific.


Glibc does not provide a wrapper for this system call; call it using syscall(2).
Information about currently loaded modules can be found in /proc/modules and in the file trees under the per-module subdirectories under /sys/module.
See the Linux kernel source file include/linux/module.h for some useful background information.

Linux 2.4 and earlier

In Linux 2.4 and earlier, this system call was rather different:
#include <linux/module.h>
int init_module(const char *name, struct module *image);
(User-space applications can detect which version of init_module() is available by calling query_module(); the latter call fails with the error ENOSYS on Linux 2.6 and later.)
The older version of the system call loads the relocated module image pointed to by image into kernel space and runs the module's init function. The caller is responsible for providing the relocated image (since Linux 2.6, the init_module() system call does the relocation).
The module image begins with a module structure and is followed by code and data as appropriate. Since Linux 2.2, the module structure is defined as follows:

struct module {
    unsigned long         size_of_struct;
    struct module        *next;
    const char           *name;
    unsigned long         size;
    long                  usecount;
    unsigned long         flags;
    unsigned int          nsyms;
    unsigned int          ndeps;
    struct module_symbol *syms;
    struct module_ref    *deps;
    struct module_ref    *refs;
    int                 (*init)(void);
    void                (*cleanup)(void);
    const struct exception_table_entry *ex_table_start;
    const struct exception_table_entry *ex_table_end;
#ifdef __alpha__
    unsigned long gp;

All of the pointer fields, with the exception of next and refs, are expected to point within the module body and be initialized as appropriate for kernel space, that is, relocated with the rest of the module.


create_module(2), delete_module(2), query_module(2), lsmod(8), modprobe(8)


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2012-10-18 Linux