glob(3) -- Linux man page



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


#include <glob.h>

int glob(const char *pattern, int flags,
         int errfunc(const char *epath, int eerrno),
         glob_t *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, which is a glob_t which is 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 parameter flags is made up of bitwise OR of zero or more the following symbolic constants, which modify the of behaviour of glob():

which means to return upon read error (because a directory does not have read permission, for example),
which means to append a slash to each path which corresponds to a directory,
which means don't sort the returned pathnames (they are by default),
which means that pglob->gl_offs slots will be reserved at the beginning of the list of strings in pglob->pathv,
which means that, if no pattern matches, to return the original pattern,
which means to append to the results of a previous call. Do not set this flag on the first invocation of glob().
which means that meta characters cannot be quoted by backslashes.

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

which means that a leading period can be matched by meta characters,
which means that alternative functions pglob->gl_closedir, pglob->gl_readdir, pglob->gl_opendir, pglob->gl_lstat, and pglob->gl_stat are used for file system access instead of the normal library functions,
which means that csh(1) style brace expresions {a,b} are expanded,
which means that the pattern is returned if it contains no metacharacters,
which means that tilde expansion is carried out, and
which means that only directories are matched.

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(), readdir(), or stat(). If errfunc returns non-zero, 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 a pointer to the list of matched pathnames. The first pointer after the last pathname is NULL.

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.


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]);




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


The structure elements gl_pathc and gl_offs are declared as size_t in glibc 2.1, as they should according to POSIX.2, but are declared as int in libc4, libc5 and glibc 2.0.  


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