[New-bugs-announce] [issue39030] Ctypes unions with bitfield members that do not share memory

dankreso report at bugs.python.org
Thu Dec 12 06:15:24 EST 2019

New submission from dankreso <dankreso at gmail.com>:

I've found what looks like a corner case bug. Specifically, the behaviour that looks suspicious is when a ctypes union has bit field members, where the members have bit widths that are smaller than the size types:

class BitFieldUnion(Union):
    _fields_ = [("a", c_uint32, 16), ("b", c_uint32, 16)]

buff = bytearray(4)

bitfield_union = BitFieldUnion.from_buffer(buff)
bitfield_union.a = 1
bitfield_union.b = 2

print("a is {}".format(bitfield_union.a)) # Prints "a is 1"
print("b is {}".format(bitfield_union.b)) # Prints "b is 2"
print("Buffer: {}".format(buff)) # Prints "Buffer: b'\x01\x00\x00\x00'".

(Example of this script can be found at https://rextester.com/XJFGAK37131. I've also tried it on my system which is Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS with Python 3.6.)

Here I would expect both 'a' and 'b' to be set to 2, and for the buffer to look like '\x02\x00\x00\x00'. Here's the equivalent code in C which behaves as expected: https://rextester.com/HWDUMB56821.

If at least one of the bitwidths in the above example are changed from 16 to 32, however, then 'a', 'b', and the buffer look as expected.

I've also attached some further examples of weird behaviour with unions with bitfield members - online version can be found at https://rextester.com/VZRB77320.

components: ctypes
files: bitfield_union.py
messages: 358300
nosy: dankreso
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Ctypes unions with bitfield members that do not share memory
type: behavior
versions: Python 3.7
Added file: https://bugs.python.org/file48772/bitfield_union.py

Python tracker <report at bugs.python.org>

More information about the New-bugs-announce mailing list