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GETPWENT(3)                Library Functions Manual                GETPWENT(3)

     getpwent, getpwent_r, getpwnam, getpwnam_r, getpwuid, getpwuid_r,
     setpassent, setpwent, endpwent -- password database operations

     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

     #include <&lt;pwd.h>&gt;

     struct passwd *

     getpwent_r(struct passwd *pw, char *buffer, size_t buflen, struct passwd

     struct passwd *
     getpwnam(const char *name);

     getpwnam_r(const char *name, struct passwd *pw, char *buffer, size_t
     buflen, struct passwd **result);

     struct passwd *
     getpwuid(uid_t uid);

     getpwuid_r(uid_t uid, struct passwd *pw, char *buffer, size_t buflen,
     struct passwd **result);

     setpassent(int stayopen);



     These functions operate on the password database which is described in
     passwd(5).  Each entry in the database is defined by the structure passwd
     found in the include file <pwd.h>:

           struct passwd {
                   char    *pw_name;       /* user name */
                   char    *pw_passwd;     /* encrypted password */
                   uid_t   pw_uid;         /* user uid */
                   gid_t   pw_gid;         /* user gid */
                   time_t  pw_change;      /* password change time */
                   char    *pw_class;      /* user login class */
                   char    *pw_gecos;      /* general information */
                   char    *pw_dir;        /* home directory */
                   char    *pw_shell;      /* default shell */
                   time_t  pw_expire;      /* account expiration */

     The functions getpwnam() and getpwuid() search the password database for
     the given user name pointed to by name or user id pointed to by uid
     respectively, always returning the first one encountered.  Identical user
     names or user ids may result in undefined behavior.

     The getpwent() function sequentially reads the password database and is
     intended for programs that wish to process the complete list of users.

     The functions getpwnam_r(), getpwuid_r(), and getpwent_r() act like their
     non re-entrant counterparts, updating the contents of pw and storing a
     pointer to that in result, and returning 0.  Storage used by pw is
     allocated from buffer, which is buflen bytes in size.  If the requested
     entry cannot be found, result will point to NULL and 0 will be returned.
     If an error occurs, a non-zero error number will be returned and result
     will point to NULL.  Calling getpwent_r() from multiple threads will
     result in each thread reading a disjoint portion of the password

     The setpassent() function accomplishes two purposes.  First, it causes
     getpwent() to ``rewind'' to the beginning of the database.  Additionally,
     if stayopen is non-zero, file descriptors are left open, significantly
     speeding up subsequent accesses for all of the functions.  (This latter
     functionality is unnecessary for getpwent() as it doesn't close its file
     descriptors by default.)

     It is dangerous for long-running programs to keep the file descriptors
     open as the database will become out of date if it is updated while the
     program is running.

     The setpwent() function is equivalent to setpassent() with an argument of

     The endpwent() function closes any open files.

     These functions have been written to ``shadow'' the password file, e.g.
     allow only certain programs to have access to the encrypted password.  If
     the process which calls them has an effective uid of 0, the encrypted
     password will be returned, otherwise, the password field of the returned
     structure will point to the string `*'.

     The functions getpwent(), getpwnam(), and getpwuid(), return a valid
     pointer to a passwd structure on success and a NULL pointer if the entry
     was not found or an error occured.  If an error occured, the global
     variable errno is set to indicate the nature of the failure.  The
     setpassent() function returns 0 on failure, setting the global variable
     errno to indicate the nature of the failure, and 1 on success.  The
     endpwent() and setpwent() functions have no return value.  The functions
     getpwnam_r(), getpwuid_r(), and getpwent_r() return 0 on success or entry
     not found, and non-zero on failure, setting the global variable errno to
     indicate the nature of the failure.

     /etc/pwd.db         The insecure password database file
     /etc/spwd.db        The secure password database file
     /etc/master.passwd  The current password file
     /etc/passwd         A Version 7 format password file

     The historic function setpwfile() which allowed the specification of
     alternative password databases, has been deprecated and is no longer

     The following error codes may be set in errno for getpwent, getpwent_r,
     getpwnam, getpwnam_r, getpwuid, getpwuid_r, and setpassent:

     [EINTR]            A signal was caught during the database search.

     [EIO]              An I/O error has occurred.

     [EMFILE]           The limit on open files for this process has been

     [ENFILE]           The system limit on open files has been reached.

     The following error code may be set in errno for getpwent_r, getpwnam_r,
     and getpwuid_r:

     [ERANGE]           The resulting struct passwd does not fit in the space
                        defined by buffer and buflen

     Other errno values may be set depending on the specific database

     getlogin(2), getgrent(3), nsswitch.conf(5), passwd(5), passwd.conf(5),
     pwd_mkdb(8), vipw(8)

     The getpwnam() and getpwuid(), functions conform to IEEE Std 1003.1-1990
     (``POSIX.1'').  The getpwnam_r() and getpwuid_r() functions conform to
     IEEE Std 1003.1c-1995 (``POSIX.1'').  The endpwent(), getpwent(), and
     setpwent() functions conform to X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4,
     Version 2 (``XPG4.2'') and IEEE Std 1003.1-2004 (``POSIX.1'') (XSI

     The getpwent, getpwnam, getpwuid, setpwent, and endpwent functions
     appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.  The setpassent function appeared in
     4.3BSD-Reno.  The functions getpwnam_r() and getpwuid_r() appeared in
     NetBSD 3.0.

     The functions getpwent(), getpwnam(), and getpwuid(), leave their results
     in an internal static object and return a pointer to that object.
     Subsequent calls to any of these functions will modify the same object.

     The functions getpwent(), endpwent(), setpassent(), and setpwent() are
     fairly useless in a networked environment and should be avoided, if
     possible.  getpwent() makes no attempt to suppress duplicate information
     if multiple sources are specified in nsswitch.conf(5).

NetBSD 6.1.5                    April 30, 2008                    NetBSD 6.1.5