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

       init_module, finit_module - load a kernel module

       int init_module(void *module_image, unsigned long len,
                       const char *param_values);
       int finit_module(int fd, const char *param_values,
                        int flags);

       Note: There are no glibc wrappers for these system calls; 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.

       The finit_module() system call is like init_module(), but reads the
       module to be loaded from the file descriptor fd.  It is useful when the
       authenticity of a kernel module can be determined from its location in
       the filesystem; in cases where that is possible, the overhead of using
       cryptographically signed modules to determine the authenticity of a
       module can be avoided.  The param_values argument is as for

       The flags argument modifies the operation of finit_module().  It is a bit
       mask value created by ORing together zero or more of the following flags:

              Ignore symbol version hashes.

              Ignore kernel version magic.

       There are some safety checks built into a module to ensure that it
       matches the kernel against which it is loaded.  These checks are recorded
       when the module is built and verified when the module is loaded.  First,
       the module records a "vermagic" string containing the kernel version
       number and prominent features (such as the CPU type).  Second, if the
       module was built with the CONFIG_MODVERSIONS configuration option
       enabled, a version hash is recorded for each symbol the module uses.
       This hash is based on the types of the arguments and return value for the
       function named by the symbol.  In this case, the kernel version number
       within the "vermagic" string is ignored, as the symbol version hashes are
       assumed to be sufficiently reliable.

       Using the MODULE_INIT_IGNORE_VERMAGIC flag indicates that the "vermagic"
       string is to be ignored, and the MODULE_INIT_IGNORE_MODVERSIONS flag
       indicates that the symbol version hashes are to be ignored.  If the
       kernel is built to permit forced loading (i.e., configured with
       CONFIG_MODULE_FORCE_LOAD), then loading continues, otherwise it fails
       with the error ENOEXEC as expected for malformed modules.

       On success, these system calls return 0.  On error, -1 is returned and
       errno is set to indicate the error.

       EBADMSG (since Linux 3.7)
              Module signature is misformatted.

       EBUSY  Timeout while trying to resolve a symbol reference by this module.

       EFAULT An address argument referred to a location that is outside the
              process's accessible address space.

       ENOKEY (since Linux 3.7)
              Module signature is invalid or the kernel does not have a key for
              this module.  This error is returned only if the kernel was
              configured with CONFIG_MODULE_SIG_FORCE; if the kernel was not
              configured with this option, then an invalid or unsigned module
              simply taints the kernel.

       ENOMEM Out of memory.

       EPERM  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)).

       The following errors may additionally occur for init_module():

       EEXIST A module with this name is already loaded.

       EINVAL 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 following errors may additionally occur for finit_module():

       EBADF  The file referred to by fd is not opened for reading.

       EFBIG  The file referred to by fd is too large.

       EINVAL flags is invalid.

              fd does not refer to an open file.

       In addition to the above errors, if the module's init function is
       executed and returns an error, then init_module() or finit_module() fails
       and errno is set to the value returned by the init function.

       finit_module() is available since Linux 3.8.

       init_module() and finit_module() are Linux-specific.

       The init_module() system call is not supported by glibc.  No declaration
       is provided in glibc headers, but, through a quirk of history, glibc
       versions before 2.23 did export an ABI for this system call.  Therefore,
       in order to employ this system call, it is (before glibc 2.23) sufficient
       to manually declare the interface in your code; alternatively, you can
       invoke the system call using syscall(2).

       Glibc does not provide a wrapper for finit_module(); call it using

       Information about currently loaded modules can be found in /proc/modules
       and in the file trees under the per-module subdirectories under

       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, the init_module() system call was rather

           #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

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

       This page is part of release 5.11 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
       latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                              2021-03-22                     INIT_MODULE(2)