STRERROR

Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (3)
Updated: 2005-12-13
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NAME

strerror, strerror_r - return string describing error number  

SYNOPSIS

#include <string.h>

char *strerror(int errnum);

char *strerror_r(int errnum, char *buf, size_t buflen);
                        /* GNU-specific strerror_r() */

#define _XOPEN_SOURCE 600  
#include <string.h>

int strerror_r(int errnum, char *buf, size_t buflen);
                        /* XSI-compliant strerror_r() */
 

DESCRIPTION

The strerror() function returns a string describing the error code passed in the argument errnum, possibly using the LC_MESSAGES part of the current locale to select the appropriate language. This string must not be modified by the application, but may be modified by a subsequent call to perror() or strerror(). No library function will modify this string.

The strerror_r() function is similar to strerror(), but is thread safe. This function is available in two versions: an XSI-compliant version specified in POSIX.1-2001, and a GNU-specific version (available since glibc 2.0). If _XOPEN_SOURCE is defined with the value 600, then the XSI-compliant version is provided, otherwise the GNU-specific version is provided.

The XSI-compliant strerror_r() is preferred for portable applications. It returns the error string in the user-supplied buffer buf of length buflen.

The GNU-specific strerror_r() returns a pointer to a string containing the error message. This may be either a pointer to a string that the function stores in buf, or a pointer to some (immutable) static string (in which case buf is unused). If the function stores a string in buf, then at most buflen bytes are stored (the string may be truncated if buflen is too small) and the string always includes a terminating null byte.

 

RETURN VALUE

The strerror() and strerror_r() functions return the appropriate error description string, or an "Unknown error nnn" message if the error number is unknown.

The XSI-compliant strerror_r() function returns 0 on success; on error, -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.

 

ERRORS

EINVAL
The value of errnum is not a valid error number.
ERANGE
Insufficient storage was supplied to contain the error description string.

 

CONFORMING TO

POSIX.1-2001.

The GNU-specific strerror_r() function is a non-standard extension.

POSIX.1-2001 permits strerror() to set errno if the call encounters an error, but does not specify what value should be returned as the function result in the event of an error. On some systems, strerror() returns NULL if the error number is unknown. On other systems, strerror() returns a string something like "Error nnn occurred" and sets errno to EINVAL if the error number is unknown.

 

SEE ALSO

err(3), errno(3), error(3), perror(3), strsignal(3)


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
RETURN VALUE
ERRORS
CONFORMING TO
SEE ALSO

linux.jgfs.net manual pages