alloca man page on Gentoo

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

NAME
       alloca - allocate memory that is automatically freed

SYNOPSIS
       #include <alloca.h>

       void *alloca(size_t size);

DESCRIPTION
       The  alloca() function allocates size bytes of space in the stack frame
       of the caller.  This temporary space is automatically  freed  when  the
       function that called alloca() returns to its caller.

RETURN VALUE
       The  alloca()  function returns a pointer to the beginning of the allo‐
       cated space.  If the allocation causes stack overflow, program behavior
       is undefined.

ATTRIBUTES
   Multithreading (see pthreads(7))
       The alloca() function is thread-safe.

CONFORMING TO
       This function is not in POSIX.1-2001.

       There  is  evidence  that  the  alloca() function appeared in 32V, PWB,
       PWB.2, 3BSD, and 4BSD.  There is a man page for it  in  4.3BSD.	 Linux
       uses the GNU version.

NOTES
       The  alloca() function is machine- and compiler-dependent.  For certain
       applications, its use can improve efficiency compared  to  the  use  of
       malloc(3)  plus free(3).	 In certain cases, it can also simplify memory
       deallocation in applications  that  use	longjmp(3)  or	siglongjmp(3).
       Otherwise, its use is discouraged.

       Because	the  space allocated by alloca() is allocated within the stack
       frame, that space is automatically freed	 if  the  function  return  is
       jumped over by a call to longjmp(3) or siglongjmp(3).

       Do not attempt to free(3) space allocated by alloca()!

   Notes on the GNU version
       Normally,  gcc(1) translates calls to alloca() with inlined code.  This
       is not done when either the -ansi, -std=c89, -std=c99, or the  -std=c11
       option  is  given and the header <alloca.h> is not included.  Otherwise
       (without an -ansi or -std=c* option) the glibc  version	of  <stdlib.h>
       includes <alloca.h> and that contains the lines:

	   #ifdef  __GNUC__
	   #define alloca(size)	  __builtin_alloca (size)
	   #endif

       with messy consequences if one has a private version of this function.

       The  fact  that the code is inlined means that it is impossible to take
       the address of this function, or to change its behavior by linking with
       a different library.

       The  inlined  code often consists of a single instruction adjusting the
       stack pointer, and does not check for stack overflow.  Thus,  there  is
       no NULL error return.

BUGS
       There  is  no  error  indication if the stack frame cannot be extended.
       (However, after a failed allocation, the program is likely to receive a
       SIGSEGV signal if it attempts to access the unallocated space.)

       On many systems alloca() cannot be used inside the list of arguments of
       a function call, because the stack space	 reserved  by  alloca()	 would
       appear  on  the stack in the middle of the space for the function argu‐
       ments.

SEE ALSO
       brk(2), longjmp(3), malloc(3)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.63 of the Linux  man-pages  project.   A
       description  of	the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
       be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

GNU				  2013-10-07			     ALLOCA(3)
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