GLOB(3)                   BSD Library Functions Manual                   GLOB(3)

     glob, globfree — generate pathnames matching a pattern

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

     #include <glob.h>

     glob(const char *pattern, int flags,
         const int (*errfunc)(const char *, int), glob_t *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 contains
     at least the following fields:

     typedef struct {
             int gl_pathc;           /* count of total paths so far */
             int gl_matchc;          /* count of paths matching pattern */
             int 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 filename
     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 defined in

     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 pointers,
                      followed by gl_pathc pathname pointers, followed by a NULL

     GLOB_ERR         Causes glob() to return when it encounters a directory
                      that it cannot open or read.  Ordinarily, glob() continues
                      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()
                      returns a list consisting of only pattern, with the number
                      of total pathnames is set to 1, and the number of matched
                      pathnames set to 0.

     GLOB_NOSORT      By default, the pathnames are sorted in ascending ASCII
                      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

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

     GLOB_MAGCHAR     Set by the glob() function if the pattern included
                      globbing 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
                      characters ``*'', ``?'' or ``[''.  GLOB_NOMAGIC is
                      provided to simplify implementing the historic csh(1)
                      globbing behavior and should probably not be used anywhere

     GLOB_NOESCAPE    Disable the use of the backslash (‘\’) character for

     GLOB_TILDE       Expand patterns that start with ‘~’ to user name home

     GLOB_LIMIT       Limit the amount of memory used by matches to ARG_MAX This
                      option should be set for programs that can be coerced to 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).  This
     may be unintuitive: a pattern like ‘*/Makefile’ will try to stat(2)
     ‘foo/Makefile’ even if ‘foo’ is not a directory, resulting in a call to
     errfunc.  The error routine can suppress this action by testing for ENOENT
     and ENOTDIR; however, the GLOB_ERR flag will still cause an immediate
     return when this happens.

     If errfunc returns non-zero, glob() stops the scan and returns GLOB_ABORTED
     after setting gl_pathc and gl_pathv to reflect any paths already 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

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

     The historical GLOB_QUOTE flag is no longer supported.  Per IEEE Std
     1003.2-1992 (“POSIX.2”), backslash escaping of special characters is the
     default behaviour; it may be disabled by specifying the GLOB_NOESCAPE flag.

     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
                   invocation of glob().

     gl_flags      contains a copy of the flags parameter 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_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 does not match any existing pathname, and
                      GLOB_NOCHECK was not set int flags.

     GLOB_NOSPACE     An attempt to allocate memory failed, or if errno was 0
                      GLOB_LIMIT was specified in the flags and ARG_MAX patterns
                      were matched.

     The historical GLOB_ABEND return constant is no longer supported.  Portable
     applications should use the GLOB_ABORTED constant instead.

     The arguments pglob->gl_pathc and pglob->gl_pathv are still set as
     specified above.

     HOME  If defined, used as the home directory of the current user in tilde

     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), regexp(3)

     The glob() function is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (“POSIX.2”)
     compatible with the exception that the flags GLOB_ALTDIRFUNC, GLOB_BRACE
     gl_matchc and gl_flags should not be used by applications striving for
     strict POSIX conformance.

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

     Patterns longer than MAXPATHLEN may cause unchecked errors.

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

BSD                              March 31, 1998                              BSD