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GLOB(3)                             Linux Programmer's Manual                             GLOB(3)

       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

       The results of a glob() call are stored in the structure pointed to by pglob.  This struc‐
       ture  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() attempts 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 process‐
              ing 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 back‐
              slash can be used to quote the following 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

              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, specifying  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  direc‐
              tory  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 directory of that user.  If the username is invalid, or the home directory
              cannot be determined, then no substitution is performed.

              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

              This  is  a  hint  to glob() that the caller is interested only in directories that
              match the pattern.  If the implementation can easily determine  file-type  informa‐
              tion,  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.

       POSIX.2, POSIX.1-2001.

       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 mal‐
       loc(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),

       This  page  is  part of release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the
       project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of  this  page,  can  be
       found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU                                         2014-08-19                                    GLOB(3)

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