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NAME

       rand, rand_r, srand - pseudo-random number generator

SYNOPSIS

       #include <stdlib.h>

       int rand(void);

       int rand_r(unsigned int *seedp);

       void srand(unsigned int seed);

   Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       rand_r(): _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 1 || _XOPEN_SOURCE || _POSIX_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION

       The  rand()  function returns a pseudo-random integer in the range 0 to
       RAND_MAX inclusive (i.e., the mathematical range [0, RAND_MAX]).

       The srand() function sets its argument as the seed for a  new  sequence
       of  pseudo-random  integers  to be returned by rand().  These sequences
       are repeatable by calling srand() with the same seed value.

       If no seed value is provided,  the  rand()  function  is  automatically
       seeded with a value of 1.

       The  function  rand()  is  not  reentrant or thread-safe, since it uses
       hidden state that is modified on each call.  This  might  just  be  the
       seed  value  to be used by the next call, or it might be something more
       elaborate.  In  order  to  get  reproducible  behavior  in  a  threaded
       application,  this  state must be made explicit; this can be done using
       the reentrant function rand_r().

       Like rand(), rand_r() returns a  pseudo-random  integer  in  the  range
       [0, RAND_MAX].  The seedp argument is a pointer to an unsigned int that
       is used to store state between calls.  If rand_r() is called  with  the
       same  initial value for the integer pointed to by seedp, and that value
       is not modified between calls, then  the  same  pseudo-random  sequence
       will result.

       The  value pointed to by the seedp argument of rand_r() provides only a
       very small amount of state, so this function will  be  a  weak  pseudo-
       random generator.  Try drand48_r(3) instead.

RETURN VALUE

       The rand() and rand_r() functions return a value between 0 and RAND_MAX
       (inclusive).  The srand() function returns no value.

CONFORMING TO

       The functions rand() and srand() conform to  SVr4,  4.3BSD,  C89,  C99,
       POSIX.1-2001.     The   function   rand_r()   is   from   POSIX.1-2001.
       POSIX.1-2008 marks rand_r() as obsolete.

NOTES

       The versions of rand() and srand() in the Linux C Library use the  same
       random number generator as random(3) and srandom(3), so the lower-order
       bits should be as random as the higher-order bits.  However,  on  older
       rand()  implementations,  and  on  current implementations on different
       systems, the lower-order bits are much less  random  than  the  higher-
       order  bits.   Do  not use this function in applications intended to be
       portable when good randomness is needed.  (Use random(3) instead.)

EXAMPLE

       POSIX.1-2001 gives the following example of an implementation of rand()
       and  srand(),  possibly  useful when one needs the same sequence on two
       different machines.

           static unsigned long next = 1;

           /* RAND_MAX assumed to be 32767 */
           int myrand(void) {
               next = next * 1103515245 + 12345;
               return((unsigned)(next/65536) % 32768);
           }

           void mysrand(unsigned seed) {
               next = seed;
           }

       The following program can be used to display the pseudo-random sequence
       produced by rand() when given a particular seed.

           #include <stdlib.h>
           #include <stdio.h>

           int
           main(int argc, char *argv[])
           {
               int j, r, nloops;
               unsigned int seed;

               if (argc != 3) {
                   fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <seed> <nloops>\n", argv[0]);
                   exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
               }

               seed = atoi(argv[1]);
               nloops = atoi(argv[2]);

               srand(seed);
               for (j = 0; j < nloops; j++) {
                   r =  rand();
                   printf("%d\n", r);
               }

               exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
           }

SEE ALSO

       drand48(3), random(3)

COLOPHON

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       description of the project, and information about reporting  bugs,  can
       be found at http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/.

                                  2010-10-01                           RAND(3)