NAMEupdate-binfmts - maintain registry of executable binary formats
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --install name path spec
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --remove name path
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --import [name ]
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --display [name ]
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --enable [name ]
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --disable [name ]
groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar [options ] --find [path ]
DESCRIPTIONVersions 2.1.43 and later of the Linux kernel have contained the binfmt_misc module. This enables a system administrator to register interpreters for various binary formats based on a magic number or their file extension, and cause the appropriate interpreter to be invoked whenever a matching file is executed. Think of it as a more flexible version of the #! executable interpreter mechanism, or as something which can behave a little like "associations" in certain other operating systems (though in GNU/Linux the tendency is to keep this sort of thing somewhere else, like your file manager). groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar manages a persistent database of these interpreters.
When each package providing a registered interpreter is installed, changed, or removed, groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar is called to update information about that interpreter. groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar is usually called from the postinst or prerm scripts in Debian packages.
OPTIONSExactly one action must be specified; this may be accompanied by any one of the common options.
- --package package-name
Specifies the name of the current package, to be used by package
post-installation and pre-removal scripts.
System administrators installing binary formats for local use should
probably ignore this option.
When installing new formats, the --import action should be used instead.
- --admindir directory
- Specifies the administrative directory, when this is to be different from the default of /var/lib/binfmts
- --importdir directory
- Specifies the directory from which packaged binary formats are imported, when this is to be different from the default of /usr/share/binfmts
- Don't do anything, just demonstrate what would be done.
- Display some usage information.
- Display version information.
- --install name path spec
Install a binary format identified by
into the database.
After registration, this format will be used when the kernel tries to
execute a file matching
Sx BINARY FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS
--install will attempt to enable this binary format in the kernel as well as adding it to its own database; see --enable below.
You cannot install a format with any of the names ".", "..", "register", or "status", as these are used by the filesystem or the binfmt_misc module.
- --remove name path
- Remove the binary format identified by name with interpreter path from the database. This will also attempt to disable the binary format in the kernel; see --disable below.
- --import [name ]
Import a packaged format file called
or import all format files currently on the system if no
is not a full path, it is assumed to be a file in the import directory
Sx FORMAT FILES
below for the required contents of these files.
For packages, this is preferable to using the --install option, as a format file can be installed without groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar needing to be available.
- --display [name ]
- Display any information held in the database about the binary format identifier name or about all known binary formats if no name is given. Also show whether displayed binary formats are enabled or disabled.
- --enable [name ]
- Enable binary format name or all known binary formats if no name is given, in the kernel, thus enabling direct execution of matching files. You must have binfmt_misc compiled into the kernel or loaded as a module for this to work.
- --disable [name ]
- Disable binary format name or all known binary formats if no name is given, in the kernel, thus disabling direct execution of matching files. You must have binfmt_misc compiled into the kernel or loaded as a module for this to work.
- --find [path ]
Print the list of interpreters that will be tried in sequence when
attempting to execute
one per line.
The first one for which
succeeds will be used.
Note that if multiple formats match an executable, then the order is in general not defined, and may not be preserved between groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar operations, so you should generally try to ensure that this option prints at most one line for any given path The exception to this is that any format with a userspace detector will be run before any format without a userspace detector.
BINARY FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS
- --magic byte-sequence
This matches all files with the magic number
Hexadecimal escapes may be included in the
by preceding them with \x, for example
for a linefeed.
Remember to protect such escapes with quotes or an additional backslash to
prevent their interpretation by the shell.
Also see --offset and --mask
- --offset offset
- This is the offset of the magic/mask in the file, counted in bytes. The default is 0. Only valid with --magic
- --mask byte-sequence
- This mask will be logically-ANDed with the string to be checked against the magic number given with --magic The default is all 0xff, i.e. no effect. Only valid with --magic
- --extension extension
- This matches all files whose names end in Qq Pf . Ar extension . Hexadecimal escapes are not recognized here. Extension matching is case-sensitive.
- --detector path
- If this option is used, a userspace detector program will be used to check whether the file is suitable for this interpreter. This may be used when the binary format is more complex than can be handled by the kernel's format specifications alone. The program should return an exit code of zero if the file is appropriate and non-zero otherwise.
- --credentials yes , --credentials no
- Whether to keep the credentials of the original binary to run the interpreter; this is typically useful to run setuid binaries, but has security implications.
- --preserve yes , --preserve no
- Whether to preserve the original argv when running the interpreter, rather than overwriting it with the full path to the binary.
FORMAT FILESA format file is a sequence of options, one per line, corresponding roughly to the options given to an --install command. Each option consists of a key, followed by whitespace, followed by a value.
The package option should be set to the current package. The interpreter option should be set to the path to the interpreter that will handle this binary format. The magic offset mask extension detector credentials and preserve options correspond to the command-line options of the same names.
- The requested action was successfully performed.
- Problems were encountered whilst parsing the command line or performing the action.
EXAMPLESThis format file can be used with an interpreter capable of handling Java .class files:
package javawrapper interpreter /usr/bin/javawrapper magic \xca\xfe\xba\xbe
This corresponds roughly to the following command:
update-binfmts --package javawrapper \ --install javawrapper /usr/bin/javawrapper \ --magic aq\xca\xfe\xba\xbeaq
NOTESIf you're not careful, you can break your system with . An easy way to do this is to register an ELF binary as a handler for ELF, which will almost certainly cause your system to hang immediately; even if it doesn't, you won't be able to run groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar to fix it. In the future groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar may have some checks to prevent this sort of thing happening accidentally, though of course you can still manipulate the binfmt_misc kernel module directly.
AUTHORAn -nosplit groff Fl m Ns Cm doc Ar is copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 An Colin Watson Aq email@example.com . See the GNU General Public License version 3 or later for copying conditions.
You can find the GNU GPL v3 in /usr/share/common-licenses/GPL-3 on any modern Debian system.
Richard Guenther wrote the binfmt_misc kernel module.