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RocketLink!--> Man page versions:

STRLCPY(3)                OpenBSD Programmer's Manual               STRLCPY(3)

     strlcpy, strlcat - size-bounded string copying and concatenation

     #include <string.h>

     strlcpy(char *dst, const char *src, size_t size);

     strlcat(char *dst, const char *src, size_t size);

     The strlcpy() and strlcat() functions copy and concatenate strings re-
     spectively.  They are designed to be safer, more consistent, and less er-
     ror prone replacements for strncpy(3) and strncat(3).  Unlike those func-
     tions, strlcpy() and strlcat() take the full size of the buffer (not just
     the length) and guarantee to NUL-terminate the result (as long as size is
     larger than 0).  Note that you should include a byte for the NUL in size.

     The strlcpy() function copies up to size - 1 characters from the NUL-ter-
     minated string src to dst, NUL-terminating the result.

     The strlcat() function appends the NUL-terminated string src to the end
     of dst. It will append at most size - strlen(dst) - 1 bytes, NUL-termi-
     nating the result.

     The strlcpy() and strlcat() functions return the total length of the
     string they tried to create.  For strlcpy() that means the length of src.
     For strlcat() that means the initial length of dst plus the length of
     src. While this may seem somewhat confusing it was done to make trunca-
     tion detection simple.

     The following code fragment illustrates the simple case:

           char *s, *p, buf[BUFSIZ];


           (void)strlcpy(buf, s, sizeof(buf));
           (void)strlcat(buf, p, sizeof(buf));

     To detect truncation, perhaps while building a pathname, something like
     the following might be used:

           char *dir, *file, pname[MAXPATHNAMELEN];


           if (strlcpy(pname, dir, sizeof(pname)) >= sizeof(pname))
                   goto toolong;
           if (strlcat(pname, file, sizeof(pname)) >= sizeof(pname))
                   goto toolong;

     Since we know how many characters we copied the first time, we can speed
     things up a bit by using a copy instead on an append:

           char *dir, *file, pname[MAXPATHNAMELEN];
           size_t n;


           n = strlcpy(pname, dir, sizeof(pname));
           if (n >= sizeof(pname))
                   goto toolong;
           if (strlcpy(pname + n, file, sizeof(pname) - n) >= sizeof(pname) - n)
                   goto toolong;

     However, one may question the validity of such optimizations, as they de-
     feat the whole purpose of strlcpy() and strlcat().  As a matter of fact,
     the first version of this manual page got it wrong.

     snprintf(3),  strncat(3),  strncpy(3)

OpenBSD 2.6                      June 22, 1998                               2

Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.

(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)

[Detailed Topics]
OpenBSD sources for strlcpy(3)

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