Home → Magazine Archive → December 1990 (Vol. 33, No. 12) → An empirical study of the reliability of UNIX utilities → Abstract

An empirical study of the reliability of UNIX utilities

By Barton P. Miller, Louis Fredriksen, Bryan So

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 33 No. 12, Pages 32-44

The following section describes the tools we built to test the utilities. These tools include the fuzz (random character) generator, ptyjig (to test interactive utilities), and scripts to automate the testing process. Next, we will describe the tests we performed, giving the types of input we presented to the utilities. Results from the tests will follow along with an analysis of the results, including identification and classification of the program bugs that caused the crashes. The final section presents concluding remarks, including suggestions for avoiding the types of problems detected by our study and some commentary on the bugs we found. We include an Appendix with the user manual pages for fuzz and ptyjig.

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