bzero - Linux


The bzero command in Linux initializes a block of memory to zero. It is primarily used to erase sensitive data or prepare memory for specific purposes where zeroing is required. It operates by overwriting every byte in the specified memory range with a null character (ASCII code 0).


bzero <memory_address> <length>
  • memory_address: The starting address of the memory block to be zeroed.
  • length: The number of bytes to be zeroed.


  • None: The bzero command does not have any options or flags.


  • Erase 100 bytes starting from memory address 0x1000:
bzero 0x1000 100
  • Zero out the first 1024 bytes of a file named "data.txt":
dd if=/dev/zero of=data.txt bs=1 count=1024

Common Issues

  • Memory Address Errors: Ensure that the specified memory address is valid and within the allocated memory space. Invalid addresses may result in segmentation faults or unpredictable behavior.


  • libc: The bzero command is part of the C standard library and can be used in C programs using the bzero() function.
  • Other Commands: bzero can be combined with other commands to clear memory before or after specific operations. For example:
echo "Sensitive Data" | bzero >& /dev/null

This command securely erases sensitive data by piping it to bzero and redirecting the output to /dev/null.

Related Commands

  • memset: Sets the specified memory block to a specific value.
  • openssl: Provides cryptographic functions that can be used for secure data erasure.