Subject: Re: getpw*_r standards
To: Nathan J. Williams <>
From: John Nemeth <>
List: current-users
Date: 04/11/2005 04:20:24
On Aug 31, 12:36pm, "Nathan J. Williams" wrote:
} (John Nemeth) writes:
} >      Any POSIX gurus here?  I'm wondering about standards compliance.
} > The POSIX definition of getpwnam_r is located here:
} > 
} >
} > 
} > At the above URL, there are no error codes listed that can be used to
} > indicate the entry wasn't found.
}     The getpwnam() function shall return a pointer to a struct passwd
}     with the structure as defined in <pwd.h> with a matching entry if
}     found. A null pointer shall be returned if the requested entry is
}     not found, or an error occurs. On error, errno shall be set to
}     indicate the error.
} That second sentence says to me that "entry not found" is not an
} error, so we're wrong, and that Solaris is doing the right thing. The
} rest of the standards text seems to back up that idea - the bit about
} having to set errno in advance if you want to check for an error is
} key, since it indicates that returning-NULL-but-not-setting-errno is
} valid behavior.

     Is errno defined in such a way that it is a per thread variable,
or is the concept of errno obselete in a threaded world?  Most (all?)
of the NetBSD userland isn't threaded, but I believe the *_r functions
were invented to make things work in a threaded world.

     getpwnam() doesn't have a return code.  It returns a pointer to
struct passwd, so the only thing it can do is return NULL and set
errno.  On the other hand, getpwnam_r() does have an explicit return
code (the pointer to struct passwd is a parameter).

}-- End of excerpt from "Nathan J. Williams"