execv -- Overlay Calling Process and Run New Program


 #include <unistd.h>

 int execv(const char *file, char *const argv[]);


Like all of the exec functions, execv replaces the calling process image with a new process image. This has the effect of running a new progam with the process ID of the calling process. Note that a new process is not started; the new process image simply overlays the original process image. The execv function is most commonly used to overlay a process image that has been created by a call to the fork function.
is the filename of the file that contains the executable image of the new process.
is a pointer to an array of pointers to null-terminated character strings. A NULL pointer is used to mark the end of the array. Each character string pointed to by the array is used to pass an argument to the new process image. The first argument, argv[0], is required and must contain the name of the executable file for the new process image.


A successful call to execv does not have a return value because the new process image overlays the calling process image. However, a -1 is returned if the call to execv is unsuccessful.


The following example illustrates the use of execv to execute the ls shell command:
  #include <sys/types.h>
  #include <unistd.h>
  #include <stdio.h>

     pid_t pid;
     char *const parmList[] = {"/bin/ls", "-l", "/u/userid/dirname", NULL};

     if ((pid = fork()) == -1)
        perror("fork error");
     else if (pid == 0) {
        execv("/bin/ls", parmList);
        printf("Return not expected. Must be an execv error.n");



execl, execle, execlp

Copyright (c) 1998 SAS Institute Inc. Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.