SoyLatte, Meet OpenJDK: OpenJDK 7 for Mac OS X

20 Aug 2008, 11:26 PDT


The long-term goal of the SoyLatte project was to ensure open, timely development of Java 7 for Mac OS X, with support for all recent versions of Mac OS X.

I'm pleased to announce that OpenJDK 7 is now runnable on both Mac OS X and the BSDs, as part of the OpenJDK BSD Port. The project represents the culmination of considerable work by Greg Lewis, Kurt Miller, Dalibor Topic, and myself.

landonf@max> uname -s -r
Darwin 9.4.0
landonf@max> ./build/bsd-i586/j2sdk-image/bin/java -version
openjdk version "1.7.0-internal" OpenJDK Runtime Environment
    (build 1.7.0-internal-landonf_2008_08_19_12_38-b00)
OpenJDK Server VM (build 14.0-b01, mixed mode)

Code Access

OpenJDK uses Mercurial with the Forest extension. Before checking out the BSD sources, you will need to install and configure Mercurial. See the OpenJDK Developer's Guide for more information.

To check out the BSD-Port forest:

hg fclone

As an alpha port to an in-development code base, some bugs are to be expected. Testers are most welcome.


Due to bugs in 10.4's compiler, building the sources currently requires a Mac OS X 10.5 machine.

Bootstrapping OpenJDK currently requires either SoyLatte 1.0.3, or a binary release of OpenJDK. The code base will not bootstrap against Apple's JVM.

Some portions of OpenJDK are still unavailable under an open-source license. To build OpenJDK, will also need Kurt Miller's binary plugs for the BSD port: jdk-7-icedtea-plugs-1.6.tar.gz. The binaries are derived from the IcedTea project.

To build the JDK in build/bsd-i586/j2sdk-image:

make \
ALT_BINARY_PLUGS_PATH=$HOME/jdk-7-icedtea-plugs \
ALT_CUPS_HEADERS_PATH=/usr/include \
ANT_HOME=/usr/share/ant \
NO_DOCS=true \

Please make sure you're using the latest SoyLatte 1.0.3 release, or the build will fail.


The move to OpenJDK -- and Sun's re-licensing of the code under the GPL license -- opens the project to any interested contributer. Some exciting areas of exploration:

If you're interested in contributing, please join the bsd-port-dev mailing list.


OpenJDK Proposal for BSD Porting Project

01 Aug 2008, 16:49 PDT

With Sun's approval to merge the BSD Java patchset to OpenJDK squared away, Dalibor Topic has proposed project sponsorship for the BSD porting project.

If sponsorship is approved, the BSD Java Port -- which includes all the Soylatte changes -- will be able to officially join the OpenJDK project. Combined with the zero-assembler port, we could see OpenJDK 6/7 support in the near future for Mac x86 and PPC machines.

I'm very excited to see OpenJDK/BSD support progressing due to the hard work Dalibor Topic, Greg Lewis, and Kurt Miller.

Plausible Labs

18 Jul 2008, 13:24 PDT

Jonathan and I have founded Plausible Labs, where we're now working on GIS technology and applications for the iPhone. It's our hope to heighten interest in the communities and culture around us by providing ready access to geographic information.

In addition to our standing commitment to releasing what we can as open source, we're interested in sharing the geographic data we've gathered, with the intent of encouraging the creation of a broad range of data-driven applications.

Comcast and Outgoing Port 25

18 Jul 2008, 10:49 PDT


I've received a number of suggestions to try They block port 25 (as do most ISPs), but will happily remove the block upon request:

We here at pride ourselves at providing the WHOLE
internet, not just parts. Port 25 as mentioned is the only port that
we do block for individuals who reside on our network. You can go
into the Member Tools section of and modify any of your
firewall settings.

I've got a sales query pending to see what DSL speeds I can get here in Cole Valley

Thanks for the tips!

Original Post

I wouldn't normally post something like this, but my mind boggles at the thought of paying for an internet connection that's filtered by Comcast. I actually use outgoing SMTP.

When considered against Comcast's bittorrent filtering, I find this trend disturbing. Once Comcast has deep packet inspection, and is comfortable inconveniencing customers with port 25 filtering, I don't see any reason why the trend won't continue with other potentially inconvienent network protocols.

Anyone recommend an alternate internet service provider in San Francisco? Here are the support conversation highlights:

Caleb(Fri Jul 18 2008 13:38:06 GMT-0700 (PDT))>
First, and most importantly, you should know that Comcast does
not block access to any Web site or application, including
peer-to-peer services like BitTorrent. Our customers use the
Internet for downloading and uploading files, watching movies
and videos, streaming music, sharing digital photos, accessing
numerous peer-to-peer sites, VOIP applications like Vonage,
and thousands of other applications online. 
We do the port 25 blocking so that we can verify that users are
sending email through our servers that is Comcast email accounts
Landon_(Fri Jul 18 2008 10:39:44 GMT-0700 (PDT))>
Regardless, Comcast is blocking outbound port 25 to my
corporate e-mail servers.
Caleb(Fri Jul 18 2008 13:39:25 GMT-0700 (PDT))>
They should have a webmail version that you are able to use when
not at the office.
We cannot unblock the PORT 25.  I am sorry for any inconvenience this
may have caused you.  

Polymorphism in Erlang

26 Jun 2008, 14:59 PDT

Over the weekend, I wrote my first Erlang application of any size -- an XML-RPC server that supplies geocoding data from a PostGIS database running the tiger_geocoder.

With the desire to support arbitrary geocoder data sources (including a mock data source for unit tests), I set out to discover how to best implement polymorphism in Erlang:

public interface Geocoder {
    public Geometry geocode (final String address) throws GeocoderException;

Process Polymorphism

In Erlang, threads (processes, in Erlang parlance) communicate via message passing. In this, processes are polymorphic -- any message may be sent to any process, allowing for handling by disparate implementations.

However, there is a limitation to leveraging this method. Individual processes handle messages serially, not concurrently. If your geocoder implementation does not require serialized execution, then relying on processes constrains the natural concurrency of your implementation.

Polymorphic Function Dispatch

In Erlang, code is organized into modules, with each module declaring a set of exported functions. While modules are analogous to objects, Erlang's modules differ in their inability to maintain any state (a small fib -- explained in the Parameterized Modules section below).

Modules themselves are first-class entities in Erlang -- references may be assigned to variables, and thus a limited form of stateless polymorphism introduced:

Eshell V5.6.2  (abort with ^G)
1> Mod = lists.
2> Mod:reverse([1, 2, 3, 4]).

Like Java classes, Erlang modules may declare their implementation of a behavior (ie, an interface). Validated at compile time, behaviors define the functions that a module should implement. By combining behaviors and module polymorphism, we can achieve functionality analogous to Java interfaces.

First, let's define a geocoder behavior that dispatches function calls to the concrete implementation. A behavior may be defined by implementing a module which exports a behaviour_info function:

%% A geocoder instance.
%% @type geocoder() = #geocoder {
%%  module = term(),
%%  state = term()
%% }
-record(geocoder, {
% Return a list of required functions and their arity 
behaviour_info(callbacks) -> [{geocode, 2}];
behaviour_info(_Other) -> undefined.
% Create a new geocoder instance with the provided Module and State.
% This method should not be called directly -- use the concrete implementation
create(Module, State) ->
    Geocoder = #geocoder { module = Module, state = State },
    {ok, Geocoder}.
% Geocode an address string, returning the normalized geocode_address()
% record and WGS84 geocode_coordinates().
geocode(Geocoder, AddressString) ->
    (Geocoder#geocoder.module):geocode(Geocoder#geocoder.state, AddressString).

Now we can define our concrete implementation that implements the geocoder behavior -- a mock geocoder used for unit testing:

% Create a new instance 
create() ->
    geocode_source:create(?MODULE, undefined).
geocode(State, AddressString) ->
    {ok, #geocode_coordinates{latitude = "43.162523", longitude = "-87.915512"}}.

To use our mock geocoder, we first construct an instance, and then dispatch all calls through the geocoder module:

Geocoder = geocoder_mock:create(),
Coordinates = geocoder:geocode(Geocoder, "565 N Clinton Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53217").

Experimental: Parameterized Modules

Parameterized modules are a new addition to Erlang, and remain undocumented and experimental. It's worth reading Richard Carlsson's paper, Parameterized modules in Erlang.

In short, using parameterized modules one can construct a module that maintains (immutable) instance state:

M = geocoder_mock:new("Your mock geocoder").

There are a few downsides to this functionality:

PLDatabase - Simple Objective-C SQLite Library

07 May 2008, 11:03 PDT

Jonathan and I just put together Plausible Database, a small Objective-C SQLite library for our iPhone development. The API is intended to allow support for additional databases, but SQLite is clearly the primary target on the phone.

The 1.0 "preview release", including doxygen-generated API documentation, is available via Google Code (BSD license). The code has 100% unit test coverage, and should work for both Mac OS X and NDA-covered SDKs of an indeterminate nature. It's a relatively small bit of code, but we'd appreciate any feedback on the API or implementation -- including your thoughts on supporting future database back-ends, such as PostgreSQL. The API was inspired by public domain SQLite code (FMDB) from Gus Mueller of Flying Meat.

We have used the library to implement a small transactional schema migration library for our applications -- SQLite has a super handy per-database "user_version" which can be used for this.

Here are some usage examples:

/* Create and open an in-memory database */
PLSqliteDatabase *db = [[PLSqliteDatabase alloc] initWithPath: @":memory:"];
if (![db open])
    NSLog(@"Could not open database");
/* Create a table and add some data */
if (![db executeUpdate: @"CREATE TABLE example (id INTEGER)"])
    NSLog(@"Table creation failed");
if (![db executeUpdate: @"INSERT INTO example (id) VALUES (?)", [NSNumber numberWithInteger: 42]])
    NSLog(@"Data insert failed");
/* Execute a query */
NSObject *results = [db executeQuery: @"SELECT id FROM example WHERE id = ?", [NSNumber numberWithInteger: 42]];
while ([results next]) {
    NSLog(@"Value of column id is %d", [results intForColumn: @"id"]);
/* Failure to close the result set will not leak memory, but may
 * retain database resources until the instance is deallocated. */
[results close];

Porting Java 6 to FreeBSD Sparc

03 Feb 2008, 22:16 PST

Over the weekend I implemented an initial port of Java 6 to FreeBSD/Sparc64, primarily as a learning exercise -- I wanted to see how difficult it is to port Java to a platform where both the processor and operating system are already independently supported.

landonf@conpanna:bsd-sparc> uname -s -m
FreeBSD sparc64
landonf@conpanna:bsd-sparc> ./bin/java -server Hello
Hello, World

I believe this is the first port of the Sparc JVM to a non-Solaris system, and the work should be applicable to supporting other operating systems, such as NetBSD or Linux Sparc systems. This article will discuss the steps I took, with the hope of aiding future porters.

The JRL-licensed code can be downloaded here: patch-java6-freebsd-sparc-1.gz

By downloading these binaries or source code, you certify that you are a Licensee in good standing under the Java Research License of the Java 2 SDK, and that your access, use, and distribution of code and information you may obtain at this site is subject to the License. To ensure compliance, downloading requires "click-through" authentication:

Bootstrap Environment

Building Java requires Java, which is a catch-22 when you're bootstrapping an unsupported system. To work around this, I used an idea (and scripts) suggested by Havard Eidnes: I set up a second Linux system running Sun's Java, and then mounted my FreeBSD build directory at the exact same path on the Linux machine.

Havard's scripts ssh to the bootstrap host and run the Java commands there. The source files are read from the NFS build tree, and the output files are written back.

You can download my slightly modified version of Havard's scripts here: boot-java.tar.gz. Any bugs are surely my own. To use the scripts, set the following environmental variables:

When calling make, you must also ALT_BOOTDIR to the boot-java path (eg, $HOME/boot-java).

Getting it Running

I started by running 'make' and filling in the blanks -- the best approach is to copy liberally from existing platform implementations. In most cases, I borrowed the solaris-sparc implementation, and merged in code from the bsd-amd64 counterpart:

Nearly all the new code needed to be added to hotspot/src/os_cpu/bsd_sparc. I took an iterative approach, starting from the Solaris code, merging in BSD-specific code, and attempting to build the result. Except for the slow machine I was working with (400Mhz!), merging in the BSD code was a fairly swift process.

Sun Studio vs. GCC

Sun builds the Solaris VM using the Sun Studio toolchain, which is not fully compatible with GCC. I had trouble with gcc 3.4, and eventually settled on 4.0, which worked almost perfectly, barring three issues.

First, gcc defines 'sparc' as a standard preprocessor macro. You can guess how well that works while compiling a sparc-related code; passing the -ansi flag disables the define.

Secondly, gcc does not support passing non-const objects as a reference parameter, while Sun Studio allows it. Relying on this is non-standard, but easily fixed -- see 'Reference to a non-const object cannot be initialized with an r-value of that object'.

Lastly, I had to rewrite the Sun Studio inline assembler template (hotspot/src/os_cpu/solaris_sparc/vm/ in standard assembler. A good discussion of the differences between Studio's inline assembler and GCC-style assembly can be found at Alfred Huang's blog. This was straight-forward -- here's an example:

.inline _Atomic_swap32, 2
swap    [%o1],%o0

Re-written as:

.global _Atomic_swap32
.align 32
    swap    [%o1],%o0

SoyLatte: Release 1.0.2

03 Feb 2008, 21:03 PST

I'm happy to announce another update for SoyLatte, containing a number of minor improvements. Work also progresses on the feature branch, where I'm focusing on native graphics support.


Bug fixes:


Binaries, source, build, and contribution instructions are all available from SoyLatte Project Page

Java Signal Handling: Turning SIGFPE into java.lang.ArithmeticException

03 Feb 2008, 20:38 PST


When implementing a virtual machine such as Java's, it's necessary (and sometimes beneficial) to handle some unexpected conditions by allowing the errors to occur, and then catching the resultant signals delivered by the operating system. Take, for example, divide by zero:

int i = 5 / 0;

Hotspot could generate code to check divisor == 0 before every division operation:

cmpl    $0, %ecx  // Is the divisor 0
je      L2        // Jump to div-by-zero handler
movl    %edx, %eax // store in divisor eax
sarl    $31, %edx // clear edx, leaving the sign bit
idivl   %ecx // divide edx:eax / ecx

But instead, Hotspot takes a leap of faith -- since programs should rarely divide by zero, Java emits the division instruction, and if the divisor is 0, relies on its signal handler to interpret the resultant SIGFPE:

if (sig == SIGFPE  && (info->si_code == FPE_INTDIV || info->si_code == FPE_FLTDIV)) {
    stub = SharedRuntime::continuation_for_implicit_exception(thread, pc, SharedRuntime::IMPLICIT_DIVIDE_BY_ZERO);

On Friday, I received a bug report for the x86_64 version of SoyLatte from Jibril Gueye. As it turns out, divide by zero errors were not being handled in the 64-bit VM, and instead of throwing an ArithmeticException, Java was unceremoniously crashing:

landonf@max> /usr/local/soylatte16-amd64-1.0.1/bin/java Test
# An unexpected error has been detected by Java Runtime Environment:
#  SIGFPE (0x8) at pc=0x0000000101886ba8, pid=35000, tid=0x301000

After fixing the issue, I thought it would be interesting to discuss how Java handles signals, and why the SIGFPE handler didn't work:

Signal Registration and Delivery

After the JVM has parsed its command line arguments, the os::init_2() operating-specific method is called. This method is responsible for performing any remaining OS-specific initialization tasks, such as the registration of signal handlers. The BSD implementation can be found in hotspot/src/os/bsd/vm/os_bsd.cpp.

At this time, an architecture-specific JVM_handle_bsd_signal() function is registered as a handler for SIGSEGV, SIGPIPE, SIGBUS, SIGILL, and SIGFPE. (See signal.h for descriptions.) When a divide by zero error occurs, SIGFPE is delivered to the process, and the JVM's JVM_handle_bsd_signal() is called.

The signal handler is registered using sigaction, with the SA_SIGINFO flag set. According to the Single Unix Specification, "If SA_SIGINFO is set and the signal is caught, the signal-catching function will be entered as:"

void func(int signo, siginfo_t *info, void *context);

Upon a divide by zero, the provided siginfo structure contains a 'si_code' member set to FPE_INTDIV:

typedef struct __siginfo {
    int     si_signo;               /* signal number */
    int     si_errno;               /* errno association */
    int     si_code;                /* signal code */
} siginfo_t;

With this information, our Java_handle_bsd_signal() implementation can check the signal number and code, and throw an ArithmeticException:

if (sig == SIGFPE  &&
     (info->si_code == FPE_INTDIV || info->si_code == FPE_FLTDIV)) {
    stub = SharedRuntime::continuation_for_implicit_exception(thread,
      pc, SharedRuntime:: IMPLICIT_DIVIDE_BY_ZERO);

SharedRuntime::continuation_for_implicit_exception() returns the entry point to Hotspot-generated code that sets up Java exception dispatching in the current frame. When the signal handler is finished, it saves the program counter and jumps to this stub, which handles setting up the frame and throwing the ArithmeticException.


After receiving the bug report, I decided to take a look at Mac OS X's kernel signal handling code. On Darwin, the sendsig function handles creation and dispatch of UNIX signals to user processes. Looking at sendsig, we see that Mac OS X doesn't set si_code to FPE_INTDIV, and as such, JVM_handle_bsd_signal() can't decipher the signal:

    case SIGFPE:
#define FP_IE 0 /* Invalid operation */
#define FP_DE 1 /* Denormalized operand */
#define FP_ZE 2 /* Zero divide */
#define FP_OE 3 /* overflow */
#define FP_UE 4 /* underflow */
#define FP_PE 5 /* precision */
    if (ut->uu_subcode & (1 << FP_ZE)) {
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_FLTDIV;
    } else if (ut->uu_subcode & (1 << FP_OE)) {
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_FLTOVF;
    } else if (ut->uu_subcode & (1 << FP_UE)) {
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_FLTUND;
    } else if (ut->uu_subcode & (1 << FP_PE)) {
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_FLTRES;
    } else if (ut->uu_subcode & (1 << FP_IE)) {
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_FLTINV;
    } else {
        printf("unknown SIGFPE code %ld, subcode %lx\n",
              (long) ut->uu_code, (long) ut->uu_subcode);
        sinfo64.si_code = FPE_NOOP;

As you can see, there's no code to handle FPE_INTDIV, si_code is set to FPE_NOOP, and an error message is printed to the console. A quick check of dmesg shows that our kernel is indeed printing "unknown SIGFPE" when Java attempts a divide by zero:

sudo dmesg | grep SIGFPE
unknown SIGFPE code 1, subcode 0

This is suboptimal behavior, so I've filed a bug (5708523 - xnu sendsig() does not set siginfo->si_code = FPE_INTDIV for SIGFPE). In the meantime, a fix is necessary.

You may recall the 'void *context' argument passed to the signal handler. On Mac OS X, this is actually a pointer to ucontext structure. The ucontext contains the full context of the thread's state, at the time of the exception. This includes the program counter -- a register containing the address of the instruction that caused the exception.

Since we have the address of the instruction, we can determine what the instruction is. Once we know what the instruction is, we determine if it could have caused an integer divide by zero exception. This fix was used previously in Java to support Linux/x86 1.x kernels, which also did not set si_code.

To determine what instruction(s) could cause a FPE_INTDIV on 64-bit x86 machines, I consulted the Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developer's Manuals -- the answer is idiv and idivl. Also, on amd64 machines, most operations remain 32-bit, and 64-bit operations require the a REX prefix. We'll need to skip the prefix if it exists.

Now we can add code to examine the program counter in JVM_handle_bsd_signal():

// HACK: si_code == FPE_INTDIV is not supported on Mac OS X (si_code is set to FPE_FPE_NOOP).
// See also xnu-1228 bsd/dev/i386/unix_signal.c, line 365
// Filed as rdar://5708523 - xnu sendsig() does not set siginfo->si_code = FPE_INTDIV for SIGFPE
} else if (sig == SIGFPE && info->si_code == FPE_NOOP) {
    int op = pc[0];
    // Skip REX
    if ((pc[0] & 0xf0) == 0x40) {
        op = pc[1];
    } else {
        op = pc[0];
    // Check for IDIV
    if (op == 0xF7) {
        stub = SharedRuntime::continuation_for_implicit_exception(thread, pc, SharedRuntime:: IMPLICIT_DIVIDE_BY_ZERO);
    } else {
        // TODO: handle more cases if we are using other x86 instructions
        //   that can generate SIGFPE signal.
        tty->print_cr("unknown opcode 0x%X with SIGFPE.", op);
        fatal("please update this code.");

With the fix in place, Java throws the expected ArithmeticException:

landonf@max:~> java Test
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero
    at Test.main(

Fixing ptrace(pt_deny_attach, ...) on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

22 Jan 2008, 03:58 PST


PT_DENY_ATTACH is a non-standard ptrace() request type that prevents a debugger from attaching to the calling process. Adam Leventhal recently discovered that Leopard extends PT_DENY_ATTACH to prevent introspection into processes using dtrace. I hope Adam will forgive me for quoting him here, but he put it best:

This is antithetical to the notion of systemic tracing, antithetical to the goals of DTrace, and antithetical to the spirit of open source. I'm sure this was inserted under pressure from ISVs, but that makes the pill no easier to swallow.

This article will cover disabling PT_DENY_ATTACH for all processes on Mac OS X 10.5. Over the previous few years, I've provided similar hacks for both Mac OS X 10.4, and 10.3.

To be clear: this work-around is a hack, and I hold that the correct fix is the removal of PT_DENY_ATTACH from Mac OS X.

How it Works

In xnu the sysent array includes function pointers to all system calls. By saving the old function pointer and inserting my own, it's relatively straight-forward to insert code in the ptrace(2) path.

However, with Mac OS X 10.4, Apple introduced official KEXT Programming Interfaces, with the intention of providing kernel binary compatibility between major operating system releases. As a part of this effort, the sysent array's symbol can not be directly resolved from a kernel extension, thus removing the ability to easily override system call. In 10.4, I was able to work-around this with the amusing temp_patch_ptrace() API. This API has disappeared in 10.5.

For Leopard, I decided to find a public symbol that is placed in the data segment, nearby the sysent array. In the kernel's data segment, nsysent is placed (almost) directly before the sysent array. By examining mach_kernel I can determine the offset to the actual sysent array, and then use this in my kext to patch the actual function. To keep things safe, I added sanity checks to verify that I'd found the real sysent array.

Each sysent structure has the following fields:

struct sysent {
	int16_t		sy_narg;		/* number of arguments */
	int8_t		reserved;		/* unused value */
	int8_t		sy_flags;		/* call flags */
	sy_call_t	*sy_call;		/* implementing function */
	sy_munge_t	*sy_arg_munge32;	/* munge system call arguments for 32-bit processes */
	sy_munge_t	*sy_arg_munge64;	/* munge system call arguments for 64-bit processes */
	int32_t		sy_return_type; /* return type */
	uint16_t	sy_arg_bytes;	/* The size of all arguments for 32-bit system calls, in bytes */

The "sy_call" field contains a function pointer to the actual implementing function for a given syscall. If we look at the actual sysent table, we'll see that the first entry is "SYS_nosys":

__private_extern__ struct sysent sysent[] = {
    {0, 0, 0, (sy_call_t *)nosys, NULL, NULL, _SYSCALL_RET_INT_T, 0},

To narrow down the haystack, we'll find the address of the nsysent variable, and then search for the nosys function pointer -- as shown above, nosys should be the first entry in the sysent array.

nm /mach_kernel| grep _nsysent
00502780 D _nsysent
nm /mach_kernel| grep T\ _nosys
00388604 T _nosys

Here is a dump of the mach_kernel, starting at 0x502780. You can see the value is 0x01AB, or 427 -- by looking at the kernel headers, we can determine that this is the correct number of syscall entries. 33 bytes after nsysent, we see 0x388604 (in little-endian byte order) -- this is our nosys function pointer. After counting the size of the sysent structure fields, we can determine that the the sysent array is located 32 bytes after the nsysent variable address. (On PPC, it's directly after).

otool -d /mach_kernel
00502780        ab 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
00502790        00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 
005027a0        00 00 00 00 04 86 38 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

Once we have the address of the array, we can find the SYS_ptrace entry and substitute our own ptrace wrapper:

static int our_ptrace (struct proc *p, struct ptrace_args *uap, int *retval)
	if (uap->req == PT_DENY_ATTACH) {
		printf("[ptrace] Blocking PT_DENY_ATTACH for pid %d.\n", uap->pid);
		return (0);
	} else {
		return real_ptrace(p, uap, retval);
kern_return_t pt_deny_attach_start (kmod_info_t *ki, void *d) {
	real_ptrace = (ptrace_func_t *) _sysent[SYS_ptrace].sy_call;
	_sysent[SYS_ptrace].sy_call = (sy_call_t *) our_ptrace;


You can download the kext source here (sig).

Buyer beware: This code has only seen limited testing, and your mileage may vary. If something goes wrong, sanity checks should prevent a panic, and the module will fail to load.

If the module loads correctly, you should see the following in your dmesg output:

[ptrace] Found nsysent at 0x502780 (count 427), calculated sysent location 0x5027a0.
[ptrace] Sanity check 0 1 0 3 4 4: sysent sanity check succeeded.
[ptrace] Patching ptrace(PT_DENY_ATTACH, ...).
[ptrace] Blocking PT_DENY_ATTACH for pid 82248.

Note: To access the nsysent symbol, the kext is required to declare a dependency on a specific version of Mac OS X. When updating to a new minor release, it should be sufficient to change the '' version in the kext's Info.plist. I've uploaded a new version of the kext with this change, but I won't provide future updates unless a code change is required.


Much thanks to Ryan Chapman for noting this issue, and testing the kext with 10.5.2.