brk man page on 4.4BSD

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BRK(2)			    BSD System Calls Manual			BRK(2)

NAME
     brk, sbrk — change data segment size

SYNOPSIS
     #include <sys/types.h>

     char
     *brk(const char *addr);

     char *
     *sbrk(int incr);

DESCRIPTION
     The brk and sbrk functions are historical curiosities left over from ear‐
     lier days before the advent of virtual memory management.	The brk()
     function sets the break or lowest address of a process's data segment
     (uninitialized data) to addr (immediately above bss).  Data addressing is
     restricted between addr and the lowest stack pointer to the stack seg‐
     ment.  Memory is allocated by brk in page size pieces; if addr is not
     evenly divisible by the system page size, it is increased to the next
     page boundary.

     The current value of the program break is reliably returned by “sbrk(0)”
     (see also end(3)).	 The getrlimit(2) system call may be used to determine
     the maximum permissible size of the data segment; it will not be possible
     to set the break beyond the rlim_max value returned from a call to
     getrlimit, e.g.  “etext + rlp→rlim_max.” (see end(3) for the definition
     of etext).

RETURN VALUES
     Brk returns 0 if successful; otherwise -1 with errno set to indicate why
     the allocation failed.  Sbrk returns a pointer to the base of the new
     storage if successful; otherwise -1 with errno set to indicate why the
     allocation failed.

ERRORS
     Brk or sbrk will fail and no additional memory will be allocated if one
     of the following are true:

     [ENOMEM]  The limit, as set by setrlimit(2), was exceeded.

     [ENOMEM]  The maximum possible size of a data segment (compiled into the
	       system) was exceeded.

     [ENOMEM]  Insufficient space existed in the swap area to support the
	       expansion.

SEE ALSO
     execve(2), getrlimit(2), malloc(3), end(3)

BUGS
     Setting the break may fail due to a temporary lack of swap space.	It is
     not possible to distinguish this from a failure caused by exceeding the
     maximum size of the data segment without consulting getrlimit.

HISTORY
     A brk function call appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

4th Berkeley Distribution	  May 1, 1995	     4th Berkeley Distribution
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