ERR(3) Library Functions Manual ERR(3)

NAME

err, verr, errc, verrc, errx, verrx, warn, vwarn, warnc, vwarnc, warnx, vwarnxformatted error messages

SYNOPSIS

#include <err.h>
void
err(int eval, const char *fmt, ...);
void
verr(int eval, const char *fmt, va_list args);
void
errc(int eval, int code, const char *fmt, ...);
void
verrc(int eval, int code, const char *fmt, va_list args);
void
errx(int eval, const char *fmt, ...);
void
verrx(int eval, const char *fmt, va_list args);
void
warn(const char *fmt, ...);
void
vwarn(const char *fmt, va_list args);
void
warnc(int code, const char *fmt, ...);
void
vwarnc(int code, const char *fmt, va_list args);
void
warnx(const char *fmt, ...);
void
vwarnx(const char *fmt, va_list args);

DESCRIPTION

The err() and warn() family of functions display a formatted error message on the standard error output. In all cases, the last component of the program name, followed by a colon (‘:’) character and a space, are output. The text that follows depends on the function being called. The fmt specification (and associated arguments) may be any format allowed by printf(3) or NULL. If the fmt argument is not NULL, the formatted error message is output.
In the case of the errx(), verrx(), warnx(), and vwarnx() functions only, no additional text is output, so the output looks like the following:
progname: fmt
The other functions all output an error message string affiliated with an error value (see strerror(3)), preceded by a colon character and a space if fmt is not NULL. That is, the output is as follows:
progname: fmt: error message string
if fmt is not NULL, or:
progname: error message string
if it is.
In the case of the err(), verr(), warn(), and vwarn() functions, the error value used is the current value of the global variable errno, while for the errc(), verrc(), warnc(), and vwarnc() function the argument code is used.
In all cases, the output is followed by a newline character.
The err(), verr(), errc(), verrc(), errx(), and verrx() functions do not return, but exit with the value of the argument eval.

EXAMPLES

Display the current errno information string and exit:
if ((p = malloc(size)) == NULL) 
	err(1, NULL); 
if ((fd = open(file_name, O_RDONLY, 0)) == -1) 
	err(1, "%s", file_name);
Display an error message and exit:
if (tm.tm_hour < START_TIME) 
	errx(1, "too early, wait until %s", start_time_string);
Warn of an error:
if ((fd = open(raw_device, O_RDONLY, 0)) == -1) 
	warnx("%s: %s: trying the block device", 
	    raw_device, strerror(errno)); 
if ((fd = open(block_device, O_RDONLY, 0)) == -1) 
	err(1, "%s", block_device);

SEE ALSO

exit(3), perror(3), printf(3), strerror(3)

HISTORY

The functions err(), errx(), verr(), verrx(), warn(), warnx(), vwarn(), and vwarnx() first appeared in 4.4BSD. The functions errc(), verrc(), warnc(), and vwarnc() first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0 and were ported to OpenBSD 5.6.

CAVEATS

It is important never to pass a string with user-supplied data as a format without using ‘%s’. An attacker can put format specifiers in the string to mangle the stack, leading to a possible security hole. This holds true even if the string has been built “by hand” using a function like snprintf(), as the resulting string may still contain user-supplied conversion specifiers for later interpolation by the err() and warn() functions.
Always be sure to use the proper secure idiom:
err(1, "%s", string);
April 23, 2014 OpenBSD 6.1