glob(3)                                               Library Functions Manual                                              glob(3)

       glob, globfree - find pathnames matching a pattern, free memory from glob()

       Standard C library (libc, -lc)

       #include <glob.h>

       int glob(const char *restrict pattern, int flags,
                int (*errfunc)(const char *epath, int eerrno),
                glob_t *restrict pglob);
       void globfree(glob_t *pglob);

       The  glob() function searches for all the pathnames matching pattern according to the rules used by the shell (see glob(7)).
       No tilde expansion or parameter substitution is done; if you want these, use wordexp(3).

       The globfree() function frees the dynamically allocated storage from an earlier call to glob().

       The results of a glob() call are stored in the structure pointed to by pglob.  This structure is of type glob_t (declared in
       <glob.h>) and includes the following elements defined by POSIX.2 (more may be present as an extension):

           typedef struct {
               size_t   gl_pathc;    /* Count of paths matched so far  */
               char   **gl_pathv;    /* List of matched pathnames.  */
               size_t   gl_offs;     /* Slots to reserve in gl_pathv.  */
           } glob_t;

       Results are stored in dynamically allocated storage.

       The  argument flags is made up of the bitwise OR of zero or more the following symbolic constants, which modify the behavior
       of glob():

              Return upon a read error (because a directory does not have read permission, for example).  By  default,  glob()  at‐
              tempts carry on despite errors, reading all of the directories that it can.

              Append a slash to each path which corresponds to a directory.

              Don't  sort the returned pathnames.  The only reason to do this is to save processing time.  By default, the returned
              pathnames are sorted.

              Reserve pglob->gl_offs slots at the beginning of the list of strings in pglob->pathv.   The  reserved  slots  contain
              null pointers.

              If no pattern matches, return the original pattern.  By default, glob() returns GLOB_NOMATCH if there are no matches.

              Append the results of this call to the vector of results returned by a previous call to glob().  Do not set this flag
              on the first invocation of glob().

              Don't allow backslash ('\') to be used as an escape character.  Normally, a backslash can be used to quote  the  fol‐
              lowing character, providing a mechanism to turn off the special meaning metacharacters.

       flags may also include any of the following, which are GNU extensions and not defined by POSIX.2:

              Allow a leading period to be matched by metacharacters.  By default, metacharacters can't match a leading period.

              Use   alternative   functions   pglob->gl_closedir,   pglob->gl_readdir,   pglob->gl_opendir,   pglob->gl_lstat,  and
              pglob->gl_stat for filesystem access instead of the normal library functions.

              Expand csh(1) style brace expressions of the form {a,b}.  Brace expressions can be nested.  Thus, for example, speci‐
              fying  the  pattern  "{foo/{,cat,dog},bar}"  would  return  the  same results as four separate glob() calls using the
              strings: "foo/", "foo/cat", "foo/dog", and "bar".

              If the pattern contains no metacharacters, then it should be returned as the sole matching word, even if there is  no
              file with that name.

              Carry  out  tilde  expansion.  If a tilde ('~') is the only character in the pattern, or an initial tilde is followed
              immediately by a slash ('/'), then the home directory of the caller is substituted for  the  tilde.   If  an  initial
              tilde is followed by a username (e.g., "~andrea/bin"), then the tilde and username are substituted by the home direc‐
              tory of that user.  If the username is invalid, or the home directory cannot be determined, then no  substitution  is

              This provides behavior similar to that of GLOB_TILDE.  The difference is that if the username is invalid, or the home
              directory cannot be determined, then instead of using the pattern itself as the name, glob() returns GLOB_NOMATCH  to
              indicate an error.

              This  is a hint to glob() that the caller is interested only in directories that match the pattern.  If the implemen‐
              tation can easily determine file-type information, then nondirectory files are not returned to the caller.   However,
              the  caller  must  still  check that returned files are directories.  (The purpose of this flag is merely to optimize
              performance when the caller is interested only in directories.)

       If errfunc is not NULL, it will be called in case of an error with the arguments epath, a pointer to the path which  failed,
       and  eerrno, the value of errno as returned from one of the calls to opendir(3), readdir(3), or stat(2).  If errfunc returns
       nonzero, or if GLOB_ERR is set, glob() will terminate after the call to errfunc.

       Upon successful return, pglob->gl_pathc contains the number of matched pathnames and pglob->gl_pathv contains a  pointer  to
       the list of pointers to matched pathnames.  The list of pointers is terminated by a null pointer.

       It  is  possible  to call glob() several times.  In that case, the GLOB_APPEND flag has to be set in flags on the second and
       later invocations.

       As a GNU extension, pglob->gl_flags is set to the flags specified, ored with GLOB_MAGCHAR if any metacharacters were found.

       On successful completion, glob() returns zero.  Other possible returns are:

              for running out of memory,

              for a read error, and

              for no found matches.

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

       │Interface  │ Attribute     │ Value                                                                                         │
       │glob()     │ Thread safety │ MT-Unsafe race:utent env sig:ALRM timer locale                                                │
       │globfree() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe                                                                                       │
       In the above table, utent in race:utent signifies that if any of the functions setutent(3), getutent(3), or endutent(3)  are
       used  in  parallel  in different threads of a program, then data races could occur.  glob() calls those functions, so we use
       race:utent to remind users.

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, POSIX.2.

       The structure elements gl_pathc and gl_offs are declared as size_t in glibc 2.1, as they should be according to POSIX.2, but
       are declared as int in glibc 2.0.

       The glob() function may fail due to failure of underlying function calls, such as malloc(3) or opendir(3).  These will store
       their error code in errno.

       One example of use is the following code, which simulates typing

           ls -l *.c ../*.c

       in the shell:

           glob_t globbuf;

           globbuf.gl_offs = 2;
           glob("*.c", GLOB_DOOFFS, NULL, &globbuf);
           glob("../*.c", GLOB_DOOFFS | GLOB_APPEND, NULL, &globbuf);
           globbuf.gl_pathv[0] = "ls";
           globbuf.gl_pathv[1] = "-l";
           execvp("ls", &globbuf.gl_pathv[0]);

       ls(1), sh(1), stat(2), exec(3), fnmatch(3), malloc(3), opendir(3), readdir(3), wordexp(3), glob(7)

Linux man-pages 6.03                                         2023-02-05                                                     glob(3)