#memflow #introspection #memory #dma


core components of the memflow physical memory introspection framework

5 releases

0.1.4 Nov 20, 2020
0.1.3 Oct 8, 2020
0.1.1 Sep 5, 2020
0.1.0 Sep 1, 2020
0.0.0 Jul 16, 2020

#29 in Memory management

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physical memory introspection framework

memflow is a library that allows live memory introspection of running systems and their snapshots. Due to its modular approach it trivial to support almost any scenario where Direct Memory Access is available.

The very core of the library is a PhysicalMemory that provides direct memory access in an abstract environment. This object that can be defined both statically, and dynamically with the use of the inventory feature. If inventory is enabled, it is possible to dynamically load libraries that provide Direct Memory Access.

Through the use of OS abstraction layers, like memflow-win32, user can gain access to virtual memory of individual processes, by creating objects that implement VirtualMemory.

Bridging the two is done by a highly throughput optimized virtual address translation function, which allows for crazy fast memory transfers at scale.

The core is architecture independent (as long as addresses fit in 64-bits), and currently both 32, and 64-bit versions of the x86 family are available to be used.

For non-rust libraries, it is possible to use the FFI to interface with the library.

In the repository you can find various examples available (which use memflow-win32 layer)

Building from source

To build all projects in the memflow workspace:

cargo build --release --workspace

To build all examples:

cargo build --release --workspace --examples

Run all tests:

cargo test --workspace

Execute the benchmarks:

cargo bench


Extensive code documentation can be found on docs.rs.

An additional getting started guide as well as higher level explanations of the inner workings of memflow can be found at memflow.github.io.

If you decide to build the latest documentation you can do it by issuing:

cargo doc --workspace --no-deps --open

Basic usage

You can either run one of the examples with cargo run --release --example. Pass nothing to get a list of examples.

Some connectors like qemu_procfs will require elevated privileges. See the Connectors section of this Readme for more information.

To simplify running examples, tests and benchmarks through different connectors we added a simple cargo runner script for Linux to this repository. Simply set any of the following environment variables when running the cargo command to elevate privileges:

  • RUST_SUDO will start the resulting binary via sudo.
  • RUST_SETPTRACE will enable PTRACE permissions on the resulting binary before executing it.

Alternatively you can run the benchmarks via cargo bench (can pass regex filters). Win32 benchmarks currently work only on Linux.

Running Examples

All examples support the memflow connector inventory system. You will have to install at least one connector to use the examples.

To install a connector just use the memflowup utility, or, head over to the corresponding repository and install them via the install.sh script.

You will find a folder called memflow in any of the following locations:


On Windows you can put the connector dll in a folder named memflow that is either in your current PATH or put it in C:\Users\{Username}\.local\lib\memflow.

Now you can just run the examples by providing the appropiate connector name:

Run memflow_win32/read_keys example with a procfs connector:

RUST_SETPTRACE=1 cargo run --example read_keys -- -vv -c qemu_procfs -a [vmname]

Run memflow_win32/read_bench example with a coredump connector:

cargo run --example read_bench --release -- -vv -c coredump -a coredump_win10_64bit.raw

Note: In the examples above the qemu_procfs connector requires 'CAP_SYS_PTRACE=ep' permissions. The runner script in this repository will set the appropiate flags when the RUST_SETPTRACE environment variable is passed to it.

Compilation support

target build tests benches compiles on stable
linux x86_64 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
mac x86_64 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
win x86_64 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
linux aarch64 ✔️ ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
no-std ✔️ ✔️ ✔️

Target support

memflow-win32 is tested on the latest Windows 10 versions all the way down to Windows NT 4.0. If you found a version that does not work please submit an issue with the major/minor version as well as the build number.


All examples provided in this repository are using the inventory to dynamically load a connector at runtime. When using the library programatically it is possible to just statically link a connector into the code.

Some connectors also require different permissions. Please refer to the individual connector repositories for more information.

These are the currently officially existing connetors:

In case you write your own connector please hit us up with a merge request so we can maintain a list of third-party connectors as well.

Road map / Future Development

  • Provide a rust native connector for PCILeech based hardware
  • Provide an UEFI Demo
  • Linux target support


  • CasualX for his wonderful pelite crate
  • ufrisk for his prior work on the subject and many inspirations


Please check CONTRIBUTE.md


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