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

       getpwnam, getpwnam_r, getpwuid, getpwuid_r - get password file entry

       #include <sys/types.h>
       #include <pwd.h>

       struct passwd *getpwnam(const char *name);

       struct passwd *getpwuid(uid_t uid);

       int getpwnam_r(const char *name, struct passwd *pwd,
                      char *buf, size_t buflen, struct passwd **result);

       int getpwuid_r(uid_t uid, struct passwd *pwd,
                      char *buf, size_t buflen, struct passwd **result);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       getpwnam_r(), getpwuid_r():

       The  getpwnam() function returns a pointer to a structure containing the broken-out fields
       of the record in the password database (e.g., the local password  file  /etc/passwd,  NIS,
       and LDAP) that matches the username name.

       The  getpwuid() function returns a pointer to a structure containing the broken-out fields
       of the record in the password database that matches the user ID uid.

       The passwd structure is defined in <pwd.h> as follows:

           struct passwd {
               char   *pw_name;       /* username */
               char   *pw_passwd;     /* user password */
               uid_t   pw_uid;        /* user ID */
               gid_t   pw_gid;        /* group ID */
               char   *pw_gecos;      /* user information */
               char   *pw_dir;        /* home directory */
               char   *pw_shell;      /* shell program */

       See passwd(5) for more information about these fields.

       The getpwnam_r() and getpwuid_r() functions obtain the same information as getpwnam()  and
       getpwuid(),  but store the retrieved passwd structure in the space pointed to by pwd.  The
       string fields pointed to by the members of the passwd structure are stored in  the  buffer
       buf  of  size  buflen.   A  pointer to the result (in case of success) or NULL (in case no
       entry was found or an error occurred) is stored in *result.

       The call


       returns either -1, without changing errno, or an initial suggested size for buf.  (If this
       size  is  too small, the call fails with ERANGE, in which case the caller can retry with a
       larger buffer.)

       The getpwnam() and getpwuid() functions return a pointer to a passwd structure, or NULL if
       the  matching  entry  is  not  found or an error occurs.  If an error occurs, errno is set
       appropriately.  If one wants to check errno after the call,  it  should  be  set  to  zero
       before the call.

       The return value may point to a static area, and may be overwritten by subsequent calls to
       getpwent(3), getpwnam(), or getpwuid().  (Do not pass the returned pointer to free(3).)

       On success, getpwnam_r() and getpwuid_r() return zero, and set  *result  to  pwd.   If  no
       matching  password  record  was found, these functions return 0 and store NULL in *result.
       In case of error, an error number is returned, and NULL is stored in *result.

       0 or ENOENT or ESRCH or EBADF or EPERM or ...
              The given name or uid was not found.

       EINTR  A signal was caught.

       EIO    I/O error.

       EMFILE The maximum number (OPEN_MAX) of files was open already in the calling process.

       ENFILE The maximum number of files was open already in the system.

       ENOMEM Insufficient memory to allocate passwd structure.

       ERANGE Insufficient buffer space supplied.

       The user password database mostly refers to /etc/passwd.  However, with recent systems  it
       also  refers to network wide databases using NIS, LDAP and other local files as configured
       in /etc/nsswitch.conf.

              local password database file

              System Databases and Name Service Switch configuration file

   Multithreading (see pthreads(7))
       The getpwnam() and getpwuid() functions are not thread-safe.

       The getpwnam_r() and getpwuid_r() functions are thread-safe.

       SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.  The pw_gecos field is not specified in POSIX, but is  present
       on most implementations.

       The  formulation  given above under "RETURN VALUE" is from POSIX.1-2001.  It does not call
       "not found" an error, and hence does not specify what value errno might have in this situ‐
       ation.   But that makes it impossible to recognize errors.  One might argue that according
       to POSIX errno should be left unchanged if an entry is not found.  Experiments on  various
       UNIX-like  systems  show that lots of different values occur in this situation: 0, ENOENT,
       EBADF, ESRCH, EWOULDBLOCK, EPERM, and probably others.

       The pw_dir field contains the name of the initial working directory of  the  user.   Login
       programs  use  the value of this field to initialize the HOME environment variable for the
       login shell.  An application that wants to determine  its  user's  home  directory  should
       inspect  the  value  of HOME (rather than the value getpwuid(getuid())->pw_dir) since this
       allows the user to modify their notion of "the home directory" during a login session.  To
       determine  the  (initial)  home  directory  of another user, it is necessary to use getpw‐
       nam("username")->pw_dir or similar.

       The program below demonstrates the use of getpwnam_r() to find the full username and  user
       ID for the username supplied as a command-line argument.

       #include <pwd.h>
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <unistd.h>
       #include <errno.h>

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
           struct passwd pwd;
           struct passwd *result;
           char *buf;
           size_t bufsize;
           int s;

           if (argc != 2) {
               fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s username\n", argv[0]);

           bufsize = sysconf(_SC_GETPW_R_SIZE_MAX);
           if (bufsize == -1)          /* Value was indeterminate */
               bufsize = 16384;        /* Should be more than enough */

           buf = malloc(bufsize);
           if (buf == NULL) {

           s = getpwnam_r(argv[1], &pwd, buf, bufsize, &result);
           if (result == NULL) {
               if (s == 0)
                   printf("Not found\n");
               else {
                   errno = s;

           printf("Name: %s; UID: %ld\n", pwd.pw_gecos, (long) pwd.pw_uid);

       endpwent(3),  fgetpwent(3),  getgrnam(3), getpw(3), getpwent(3), getspnam(3), putpwent(3),
       setpwent(3), nsswitch.conf(5), passwd(5)

       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                                         2013-07-22                                GETPWNAM(3)

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