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

       strerror, strerror_r - return string describing error number

       #include <string.h>

       char *strerror(int errnum);

       int strerror_r(int errnum, char *buf, size_t buflen);
                   /* XSI-compliant */

       char *strerror_r(int errnum, char *buf, size_t buflen);
                   /* GNU-specific */

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

       The XSI-compliant version of strerror_r() is provided if:
       (_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 600) && ! _GNU_SOURCE
       Otherwise, the GNU-specific version is provided.

       The strerror() function returns a pointer to a string that describes the
       error code passed in the argument errnum, possibly using the LC_MESSAGES
       part of the current locale to select the appropriate language.  (For
       example, if errnum is EINVAL, the returned description will "Invalid
       argument".)  This string must not be modified by the application, but may
       be modified by a subsequent call to strerror().  No library function,
       including perror(3), will modify this string.

       The strerror_r() function is similar to strerror(), but is thread safe.
       This function is available in two versions: an XSI-compliant version
       specified in POSIX.1-2001 (available since glibc 2.3.4, but not POSIX-
       compliant until glibc 2.13), and a GNU-specific version (available since
       glibc 2.0).  The XSI-compliant version is provided with the feature test
       macros settings shown in the SYNOPSIS; otherwise the GNU-specific version
       is provided.  If no feature test macros are explicitly defined, then
       (since glibc 2.4) _POSIX_SOURCE is defined by default with the value
       200112L, so that the XSI-compliant version of strerror_r() is provided by

       The XSI-compliant strerror_r() is preferred for portable applications.
       It returns the error string in the user-supplied buffer buf of length

       The GNU-specific strerror_r() returns a pointer to a string containing
       the error message.  This may be either a pointer to a string that the
       function stores in buf, or a pointer to some (immutable) static string
       (in which case buf is unused).  If the function stores a string in buf,
       then at most buflen bytes are stored (the string may be truncated if
       buflen is too small and errnum is unknown).  The string always includes a
       terminating null byte ('\0').

       The strerror() and the GNU-specific strerror_r() functions return the
       appropriate error description string, or an "Unknown error nnn" message
       if the error number is unknown.

       POSIX.1-2001 and POSIX.1-2008 require that a successful call to
       strerror() shall leave errno unchanged, and note that, since no function
       return value is reserved to indicate an error, an application that wishes
       to check for errors should initialize errno to zero before the call, and
       then check errno after the call.

       The XSI-compliant strerror_r() function returns 0 on success.  On error,
       a (positive) error number is returned (since glibc 2.13), or -1 is
       returned and errno is set to indicate the error (glibc versions before

       EINVAL The value of errnum is not a valid error number.

       ERANGE Insufficient storage was supplied to contain the error description

   Multithreading (see pthreads(7))
       The strerror() function is not thread-safe.

       The strerror_r() function is thread-safe.

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

       │Interface                  Attribute     Value                   │
       │strerror()                 │ Thread safety │ MT-Unsafe race:strerror │
       │strerror_r(), strerror_l() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe                 │
       The strerror_l() function first appeared in glibc 2.6.

       strerror() is specified by POSIX.1-2001, C89, C99.  strerror_r() is
       specified by POSIX.1-2001.

       The GNU-specific strerror_r() function is a nonstandard extension.

       POSIX.1-2001 permits strerror() to set errno if the call encounters an
       error, but does not specify what value should be returned as the function
       result in the event of an error.  On some systems, strerror() returns
       NULL if the error number is unknown.  On other systems, strerror()
       returns a string something like "Error nnn occurred" and sets errno to
       EINVAL if the error number is unknown.  C99 and POSIX.1-2008 require the
       return value to be non-NULL.

       err(3), errno(3), error(3), perror(3), strsignal(3)

       This page is part of release 3.53 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be
       found at

                                   2013-06-21                        STRERROR(3)