GETCWD(3)                 (2018-04-30)                  GETCWD(3)

          getcwd, getwd, get_current_dir_name - get current working

          #include <unistd.h>

          char *getcwd(char *buf, size_t size);

          char *getwd(char *buf);

          char *get_current_dir_name(void);

     Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see


              Since glibc 2.12:
                  (_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500) && ! (_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L)
                      || /* Glibc since 2.19: */ _DEFAULT_SOURCE
                      || /* Glibc versions <= 2.19: */ _BSD_SOURCE
              Before glibc 2.12:
                  _BSD_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500

          These functions return a null-terminated  string  containing
          an  absolute  pathname that is the current working directory
          of the calling process.  The pathname  is  returned  as  the
          function result and via the argument buf, if present.

          The getcwd() function copies an  absolute  pathname  of  the
          current  working  directory  to the array pointed to by buf,
          which is of length size.

          If the length of the absolute pathname of the current  work-
          ing  directory, including the terminating null byte, exceeds
          size bytes, NULL is returned, and errno is set to ERANGE; an
          application  should  check  for  this  error, and allocate a
          larger buffer if necessary.

          As  an  extension  to  the  POSIX.1-2001  standard,  glibc's
          getcwd() allocates the buffer dynamically using malloc(3) if
          buf is NULL.  In this case, the  allocated  buffer  has  the
          length  size  unless  size is zero, when buf is allocated as
          big as necessary.  The caller should  free(3)  the  returned

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          get_current_dir_name() will malloc(3) an array big enough to
          hold the absolute pathname of the current working directory.
          If the environment variable PWD is set,  and  its  value  is
          correct,  then  that  value  will  be  returned.  The caller
          should free(3) the returned buffer.

          getwd() does not malloc(3) any  memory.   The  buf  argument
          should  be  a  pointer  to  an array at least PATH_MAX bytes
          long.  If the length of the absolute pathname of the current
          working  directory,  including  the  terminating  null byte,
          exceeds PATH_MAX bytes, NULL is returned, and errno  is  set
          to  ENAMETOOLONG.   (Note that on some systems, PATH_MAX may
          not be a compile-time constant; furthermore, its  value  may
          depend on the filesystem, see pathconf(3).)  For portability
          and security reasons, use of getwd() is deprecated.

          On success, these functions return a  pointer  to  a  string
          containing  the  pathname  of the current working directory.
          In the case of getcwd() and getwd() this is the  same  value
          as buf.

          On failure, these functions return NULL, and errno is set to
          indicate the error.  The contents of the array pointed to by
          buf are undefined on error.

               Permission to read or search a component of  the  file-
               name was denied.

               buf points to a bad address.

               The size argument  is  zero  and  buf  is  not  a  null

               getwd(): buf is NULL.

               getwd(): The size of the null-terminated absolute path-
               name string exceeds PATH_MAX bytes.

               The current working directory has been unlinked.

               Out of memory.


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               The size argument is less than the length of the  abso-
               lute  pathname  of the working directory, including the
               terminating null byte.  You need to allocate  a  bigger
               array and try again.

          For an explanation of the terms used in  this  section,  see
          attributes(7).     allbox;    lbw22    lb    lb   l   l   l.
          Interface Attribute Value T{ getcwd(),  getwd()  T}   Thread
          safety  MT-Safe    T{   get_current_dir_name()   T}   Thread
          safety  MT-Safe env

          getcwd()  conforms  to  POSIX.1-2001.   Note  however   that
          POSIX.1-2001  leaves the behavior of getcwd() unspecified if
          buf is NULL.

          getwd() is  present  in  POSIX.1-2001,  but  marked  LEGACY.
          POSIX.1-2008  removes  the  specification  of  getwd().  Use
          getcwd() instead.  POSIX.1-2001 does not define  any  errors
          for getwd().

          get_current_dir_name() is a GNU extension.

          Under Linux, these functions make use of the getcwd() system
          call  (available since Linux 2.1.92).  On older systems they
          would query /proc/self/cwd. If both  system  call  and  proc
          filesystem  are missing, a generic implementation is called.
          Only in that case can these  calls  fail  under  Linux  with

          These functions are often used to save the location  of  the
          current working directory for the purpose of returning to it
          later.  Opening the  current  directory  (".")  and  calling
          fchdir(2)  to  return  is usually a faster and more reliable
          alternative when  sufficiently  many  file  descriptors  are
          available, especially on platforms other than Linux.

        C library/kernel differences
          On Linux, the kernel provides a getcwd() system call,  which
          the  functions  described in this page will use if possible.
          The system call takes the  same  arguments  as  the  library
          function  of  the  same name, but is limited to returning at
          most PATH_MAX bytes.  (Before Linux 3.12, the limit  on  the
          size  of the returned pathname was the system page size.  On
          many architectures, PATH_MAX and the system  page  size  are
          both  4096 bytes, but a few architectures have a larger page
          size.)  If the length of the pathname of the current working
          directory  exceeds  this  limit,  then the system call fails
          with the error ENAMETOOLONG.   In  this  case,  the  library
          functions fall back to a (slower) alternative implementation

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          that returns the full pathname.

          Following a change in Linux 2.6.36, the pathname returned by
          the  getcwd()  system  call will be prefixed with the string
          "(unreachable)" if the current directory is  not  below  the
          root  directory  of  the  current process (e.g., because the
          process set a new filesystem root  using  chroot(2)  without
          changing  its  current  directory  into the new root).  Such
          behavior can also be  caused  by  an  unprivileged  user  by
          changing the current directory into another mount namespace.
          When dealing with pathname from untrusted  sources,  callers
          of  the  functions  described  in  this page should consider
          checking whether the returned pathname starts  with  '/'  or
          '('  to avoid misinterpreting an unreachable path as a rela-
          tive pathname.

          Since the Linux 2.6.36 change that added "(unreachable)"  in
          the  circumstances described above, the glibc implementation
          of getcwd() has failed to conform to POSIX  and  returned  a
          relative pathname when the API contract requires an absolute
          pathname.  With glibc 2.27 onwards this is corrected;  call-
          ing getcwd() from such a pathname will now result in failure
          with ENOENT.

          pwd(1), chdir(2), fchdir(2),  open(2),  unlink(2),  free(3),

          This page is part of release 5.10  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

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