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NAME

       strcat, strncat - concatenate two strings

SYNOPSIS

       #include <string.h>

       char *strcat(char *dest, const char *src);

       char *strncat(char *dest, const char *src, size_t n);

DESCRIPTION

       The  strcat()  function  appends  the  src  string  to  the  dest  string, overwriting the
       terminating null byte ('\0') at the end of dest, and then adds a  terminating  null  byte.
       The  strings  may  not overlap, and the dest string must have enough space for the result.
       If dest is not large enough, program behavior is  unpredictable;  buffer  overruns  are  a
       favorite avenue for attacking secure programs.

       The strncat() function is similar, except that

       *  it will use at most n bytes from src; and

       *  src does not need to be null-terminated if it contains n or more bytes.

       As with strcat(), the resulting string in dest is always null-terminated.

       If  src  contains n or more bytes, strncat() writes n+1 bytes to dest (n from src plus the
       terminating null byte).  Therefore, the size of dest must be at least strlen(dest)+n+1.

       A simple implementation of strncat() might be:

           char *
           strncat(char *dest, const char *src, size_t n)
           {
               size_t dest_len = strlen(dest);
               size_t i;

               for (i = 0 ; i < n && src[i] != '\0' ; i++)
                   dest[dest_len + i] = src[i];
               dest[dest_len + i] = '\0';

               return dest;
           }

RETURN VALUE

       The strcat() and strncat() functions return a pointer to the resulting string dest.

ATTRIBUTES

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

       ┌────────────────────┬───────────────┬─────────┐
       │InterfaceAttributeValue   │
       ├────────────────────┼───────────────┼─────────┤
       │strcat(), strncat() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe │
       └────────────────────┴───────────────┴─────────┘

CONFORMING TO

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, C89, C99, SVr4, 4.3BSD.

NOTES

       Some systems (the BSDs, Solaris, and others) provide the following function:

           size_t strlcat(char *dest, const char *src, size_t size);

       This function appends the null-terminated string src to the string dest, copying  at  most
       size-strlen(dest)-1  from src, and adds a terminating null byte to the result, unless size
       is less than strlen(dest).  This function fixes the buffer overrun  problem  of  strcat(),
       but  the  caller must still handle the possibility of data loss if size is too small.  The
       function returns the length of the string strlcat() tried to create; if the  return  value
       is  greater  than  or equal to size, data loss occurred.  If data loss matters, the caller
       must either check the arguments before the  call,  or  test  the  function  return  value.
       strlcat()  is  not  present in glibc and is not standardized by POSIX, but is available on
       Linux via the libbsd library.

EXAMPLE

       Because strcat() and strncat() must find the null byte that  terminates  the  string  dest
       using  a  search  that  starts at the beginning of the string, the execution time of these
       functions scales according to the length of the string dest.  This can be demonstrated  by
       running  the  program  below.   (If the goal is to concatenate many strings to one target,
       then manually copying the bytes from each source string while maintaining a pointer to the
       end of the target string will provide better performance.)

   Program source

       #include <string.h>
       #include <time.h>
       #include <stdio.h>

       int
       main(int argc, char *argv[])
       {
       #define LIM 4000000
           int j;
           char p[LIM + 1];    /* +1 for terminating null byte */
           time_t base;

           base = time(NULL);
           p[0] = '\0';

           for (j = 0; j < LIM; j++) {
               if ((j % 10000) == 0)
                   printf("%d %ld\n", j, (long) (time(NULL) - base));
               strcat(p, "a");
           }
       }

SEE ALSO

       bcopy(3), memccpy(3), memcpy(3), strcpy(3), string(3), strncpy(3), wcscat(3), wcsncat(3)

COLOPHON

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       project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of  this  page,  can  be
       found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.