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POSIX Manual Pages


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.


endgrent, getgrent, setgrent — group database entry functions


#include <grp.h>

void endgrent(void); struct group *getgrent(void); void setgrent(void);


The getgrent() function shall return a pointer to a structure containing the broken-out fields of an entry in the group database. When first called, getgrent() shall return a pointer to a group structure containing the first entry in the group database. Thereafter, it shall return a pointer to a group structure containing the next group structure in the group database, so successive calls may be used to search the entire database.
An implementation that provides extended security controls may impose further implementation-defined restrictions on accessing the group database. In particular, the system may deny the existence of some or all of the group database entries associated with groups other than those groups associated with the caller and may omit users other than the caller from the list of members of groups in database entries that are returned.
The setgrent() function shall rewind the group database to allow repeated searches.
The endgrent() function may be called to close the group database when processing is complete.
These functions need not be thread-safe.


When first called, getgrent() shall return a pointer to the first group structure in the group database. Upon subsequent calls it shall return the next group structure in the group database. The getgrent() function shall return a null pointer on end-of-file or an error and errno may be set to indicate the error.
The application shall not modify the structure to which the return value points, nor any storage areas pointed to by pointers within the structure. The returned pointer, and pointers within the structure, might be invalidated or the structure or the storage areas might be overwritten by a subsequent call to getgrgid(), getgrnam(), or getgrent().


The getgrent() function may fail if:
EINTR A signal was caught during the operation.
EIO An I/O error has occurred.
EMFILE All file descriptors available to the process are currently open.
ENFILE The maximum allowable number of files is currently open in the system.
The following sections are informative.




These functions are provided due to their historical usage. Applications should avoid dependencies on fields in the group database, whether the database is a single file, or where in the file system name space the database resides. Applications should use getgrnam() and getgrgid() whenever possible because it avoids these dependencies.






endpwent(), getgrgid(), getgrnam(), getlogin()
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2008, <grp.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 Electrical 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 .
Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see .
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