FNMATCH(3P) POSIX Programmer's Manual FNMATCH(3P)PROLOG
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux
implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding
Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may
not be implemented on Linux.
NAMEfnmatch — match a filename string or a pathname
int fnmatch(const char *pattern, const char *string, int flags);
The fnmatch() function shall match patterns as described in the Shell
and Utilities volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 2.13.1, Patterns Matching
a Single Character and Section 2.13.2, Patterns Matching Multiple Char‐
acters. It checks the string specified by the string argument to see
if it matches the pattern specified by the pattern argument.
The flags argument shall modify the interpretation of pattern and
string. It is the bitwise-inclusive OR of zero or more of the flags
defined in <fnmatch.h>. If the FNM_PATHNAME flag is set in flags, then
a <slash> character ('/') in string shall be explicitly matched by a
<slash> in pattern; it shall not be matched by either the <asterisk> or
<question-mark> special characters, nor by a bracket expression. If the
FNM_PATHNAME flag is not set, the <slash> character shall be treated as
an ordinary character.
If FNM_NOESCAPE is not set in flags, a <backslash> character in pattern
followed by any other character shall match that second character in
string. In particular, "\\" shall match a <backslash> in string. If
FNM_NOESCAPE is set, a <backslash> character shall be treated as an
If FNM_PERIOD is set in flags, then a leading <period> ('.') in string
shall match a <period> in pattern; as described by rule 2 in the Shell
and Utilities volume of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 2.13.3, Patterns Used for
Filename Expansion where the location of ``leading'' is indicated by
the value of FNM_PATHNAME:
* If FNM_PATHNAME is set, a <period> is ``leading'' if it is the
first character in string or if it immediately follows a <slash>.
* If FNM_PATHNAME is not set, a <period> is ``leading'' only if it is
the first character of string.
If FNM_PERIOD is not set, then no special restrictions are placed on
matching a period.
If string matches the pattern specified by pattern, then fnmatch()
shall return 0. If there is no match, fnmatch() shall return
FNM_NOMATCH, which is defined in <fnmatch.h>. If an error occurs,
fnmatch() shall return another non-zero value.
No errors are defined.
The following sections are informative.
The fnmatch() function has two major uses. It could be used by an
application or utility that needs to read a directory and apply a pat‐
tern against each entry. The find utility is an example of this. It can
also be used by the pax utility to process its pattern operands, or by
applications that need to match strings in a similar manner.
The name fnmatch() is intended to imply filename match, rather than
pathname match. The default action of this function is to match file‐
name strings, rather than pathnames, since it gives no special signifi‐
cance to the <slash> character. With the FNM_PATHNAME flag, fnmatch()
does match pathnames, but without tilde expansion, parameter expansion,
or special treatment for a <period> at the beginning of a filename.
This function replaced the REG_FILENAME flag of regcomp() in early pro‐
posals of this volume of POSIX.1‐2008. It provides virtually the same
functionality as the regcomp() and regexec() functions using the
REG_FILENAME and REG_FSLASH flags (the REG_FSLASH flag was proposed for
regcomp(), and would have had the opposite effect from FNM_PATHNAME),
but with a simpler function and less system overhead.
SEE ALSOglob(), Section 2.6, Word Expansions
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, <fnmatch.h>
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
-- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electri‐
cal and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is
POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online
at http://www.unix.org/online.html .
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IEEE/The Open Group 2013 FNMATCH(3P)