Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
GLOB(3)		       FreeBSD Library Functions Manual		       GLOB(3)

     glob, globfree -- generate	pathnames matching a pattern

     Standard C	Library	(libc, -lc)

     #include <glob.h>

     glob(const	char * restrict	pattern, int flags,
	 int (*errfunc)(const char *, int), glob_t * restrict pglob);

     globfree(glob_t *pglob);

     The glob()	function is a pathname generator that implements the rules for
     file name pattern matching	used by	the shell.

     The include file <glob.h> defines the structure type glob_t, which	con-
     tains at least the	following fields:

     typedef struct {
	     size_t gl_pathc;	     /*	count of total paths so	far */
	     size_t gl_matchc;	     /*	count of paths matching	pattern	*/
	     size_t gl_offs;	     /*	reserved at beginning of gl_pathv */
	     int gl_flags;	     /*	returned flags */
	     char **gl_pathv;	     /*	list of	paths matching pattern */
     } glob_t;

     The argument pattern is a pointer to a pathname pattern to	be expanded.
     The glob()	argument matches all accessible	pathnames against the pattern
     and creates a list	of the pathnames that match.  In order to have access
     to	a pathname, glob() requires search permission on every component of a
     path except the last and read permission on each directory	of any file-
     name component of pattern that contains any of the	special	characters
     `*', `?' or `['.

     The glob()	argument stores	the number of matched pathnames	into the
     gl_pathc field, and a pointer to a	list of	pointers to pathnames into the
     gl_pathv field.  The first	pointer	after the last pathname	is NULL.  If
     the pattern does not match	any pathnames, the returned number of matched
     paths is set to zero.

     It	is the caller's	responsibility to create the structure pointed to by
     pglob.  The glob()	function allocates other space as needed, including
     the memory	pointed	to by gl_pathv.

     The argument flags	is used	to modify the behavior of glob().  The value
     of	flags is the bitwise inclusive OR of any of the	following values de-
     fined in <glob.h>:

     GLOB_APPEND      Append pathnames generated to the	ones from a previous
		      call (or calls) to glob().  The value of gl_pathc	will
		      be the total matches found by this call and the previous
		      call(s).	The pathnames are appended to, not merged with
		      the pathnames returned by	the previous call(s).  Between
		      calls, the caller	must not change	the setting of the
		      GLOB_DOOFFS flag,	nor change the value of	gl_offs	when
		      GLOB_DOOFFS is set, nor (obviously) call globfree() for

     GLOB_DOOFFS      Make use of the gl_offs field.  If this flag is set,
		      gl_offs is used to specify how many NULL pointers	to
		      prepend to the beginning of the gl_pathv field.  In
		      other words, gl_pathv will point to gl_offs NULL point-
		      ers, followed by gl_pathc	pathname pointers, followed by
		      a	NULL pointer.

     GLOB_ERR	      Causes glob() to return when it encounters a directory
		      that it cannot open or read.  Ordinarily,	glob() contin-
		      ues to find matches.

     GLOB_MARK	      Each pathname that is a directory	that matches pattern
		      has a slash appended.

     GLOB_NOCHECK     If pattern does not match	any pathname, then glob() re-
		      turns a list consisting of only pattern, with the	number
		      of total pathnames set to	1, and the number of matched
		      pathnames	set to 0.  The effect of backslash escaping is
		      present in the pattern returned.

     GLOB_NOESCAPE    By default, a backslash (`\') character is used to es-
		      cape the following character in the pattern, avoiding
		      any special interpretation of the	character.  If
		      GLOB_NOESCAPE is set, backslash escaping is disabled.

     GLOB_NOSORT      By default, the pathnames	are sorted in ascending	colla-
		      tion order; this flag prevents that sorting (speeding up

     The following values may also be included in flags, however, they are
     non-standard extensions to	IEEE Std 1003.2	("POSIX.2").

     GLOB_ALTDIRFUNC  The following additional fields in the pglob structure
		      have been	initialized with alternate functions for glob
		      to use to	open, read, and	close directories and to get
		      stat information on names	found in those directories.

		      void *(*gl_opendir)(const	char * name);
		      struct dirent *(*gl_readdir)(void	*);
		      void (*gl_closedir)(void *);
		      int (*gl_lstat)(const char *name,	struct stat *st);
		      int (*gl_stat)(const char	*name, struct stat *st);

		      This extension is	provided to allow programs such	as
		      restore(8) to provide globbing from directories stored
		      on tape.

     GLOB_BRACE	      Pre-process the pattern string to	expand `{pat,pat,...}'
		      strings like csh(1).  The	pattern	`{}' is	left unex-
		      panded for historical reasons (and csh(1)	does the same
		      thing to ease typing of find(1) patterns).

     GLOB_MAGCHAR     Set by the glob()	function if the	pattern	included glob-
		      bing characters.	See the	description of the usage of
		      the gl_matchc structure member for more details.

     GLOB_NOMAGIC     Is the same as GLOB_NOCHECK but it only appends the
		      pattern if it does not contain any of the	special	char-
		      acters ``*'', ``?'' or ``[''.  GLOB_NOMAGIC is provided
		      to simplify implementing the historic csh(1) globbing
		      behavior and should probably not be used anywhere	else.

     GLOB_TILDE	      Expand patterns that start with `~' to user name home

     GLOB_LIMIT	      Limit the	total number of	returned pathnames to the
		      value provided in	gl_matchc (default ARG_MAX).  This op-
		      tion should be set for programs that can be coerced into
		      a	denial of service attack via patterns that expand to a
		      very large number	of matches, such as a long string of

     If, during	the search, a directory	is encountered that cannot be opened
     or	read and errfunc is non-NULL, glob() calls (*errfunc)(path, errno),
     however, the GLOB_ERR flag	will cause an immediate	return when this hap-

     If	errfunc	returns	non-zero, glob() stops the scan	and returns
     GLOB_ABORTED after	setting	gl_pathc and gl_pathv to reflect any paths al-
     ready matched.  This also happens if an error is encountered and GLOB_ERR
     is	set in flags, regardless of the	return value of	errfunc, if called.
     If	GLOB_ERR is not	set and	either errfunc is NULL or errfunc returns
     zero, the error is	ignored.

     The globfree() function frees any space associated	with pglob from	a pre-
     vious call(s) to glob().

     On	successful completion, glob() returns zero.  In	addition the fields of
     pglob contain the values described	below:

     gl_pathc	   contains the	total number of	matched	pathnames so far.
		   This	includes other matches from previous invocations of
		   glob() if GLOB_APPEND was specified.

     gl_matchc	   contains the	number of matched pathnames in the current in-
		   vocation of glob().

     gl_flags	   contains a copy of the flags	argument with the bit
		   GLOB_MAGCHAR	set if pattern contained any of	the special
		   characters ``*'', ``?'' or ``['', cleared if	not.

     gl_pathv	   contains a pointer to a NULL-terminated list	of matched
		   pathnames.  However,	if gl_pathc is zero, the contents of
		   gl_pathv are	undefined.

     If	glob() terminates due to an error, it sets errno and returns one of
     the following non-zero constants, which are defined in the	include	file

     GLOB_NOSPACE  An attempt to allocate memory failed, or if errno was
		   E2BIG, GLOB_LIMIT was specified in the flags	and
		   pglob-_gl_matchc or more patterns were matched.

     GLOB_ABORTED  The scan was	stopped	because	an error was encountered and
		   either GLOB_ERR was set or (*errfunc)() returned non-zero.

     GLOB_NOMATCH  The pattern did not match a pathname	and GLOB_NOCHECK was
		   not set.

     The arguments pglob-_gl_pathc and pglob-_gl_pathv are still set as	speci-
     fied above.

     A rough equivalent	of `ls -l *.c *.h' can be obtained with	the following

	   glob_t g;

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

     sh(1), fnmatch(3),	regex(3)

     The current implementation	of the glob() function does not	conform	to
     IEEE Std 1003.2 ("POSIX.2").  Collating symbol expressions, equivalence
     class expressions and character class expressions are not supported.

     GLOB_NOMAGIC, and GLOB_TILDE, and the fields gl_matchc and	gl_flags are
     extensions	to the POSIX standard and should not be	used by	applications
     striving for strict conformance.

     The glob()	and globfree() functions first appeared	in 4.4BSD.

     Patterns longer than MAXPATHLEN may cause unchecked errors.

     The glob()	argument may fail and set errno	for any	of the errors speci-
     fied for the library routines stat(2), closedir(3), opendir(3),
     readdir(3), malloc(3), and	free(3).

FreeBSD	13.0		       December	20, 2011		  FreeBSD 13.0


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help