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       libc - overview of standard C libraries on Linux


       The  term  "libc"  is  commonly used as a shorthand for the "standard C
       library", a library of standard functions that can be  used  by  all  C
       programs  (and  sometimes  by programs in other languages).  Because of
       some history (see below), use of  the  term  "libc"  to  refer  to  the
       standard C library is somewhat ambiguous on Linux.

       By  far  the  most  widely used C library on Linux is the GNU C Library
       ⟨⟩, often referred to as glibc.   This
       is   the   C   library  that  is  nowadays  used  in  all  major  Linux
       distributions.  It is also the C library whose details  are  documented
       in  the relevant pages of the man-pages project (primarily in Section 3
       of the manual).  Documentation of glibc is also available in the  glibc
       manual,  available via the command info libc.  Release 1.0 of glibc was
       made in September 1992.  (There were earlier 0.x releases.)   The  next
       major release of glibc was 2.0, at the beginning of 1997.

       The  pathname  /lib/  (or  something  similar)  is  normally a
       symbolic link that points to the location of  the  glibc  library,  and
       executing this pathname will cause glibc to display various information
       about the version installed on your system.

   Linux libc
       In the early to mid 1990s, there was for a while Linux libc, a fork  of
       glibc  1.x  created by Linux developers who felt that glibc development
       at the time was not sufficing for the  needs  of  Linux.   Often,  this
       library  was  referred  to  (ambiguously)  as  just "libc".  Linux libc
       released major versions 2, 3, 4, and 5 (as well as many minor  versions
       of those releases).  For a while, Linux libc was the standard C library
       in many Linux distributions.

       However, notwithstanding the original motivations  of  the  Linux  libc
       effort,  by  the  time glibc 2.0 was released (in 1997), it was clearly
       superior to Linux libc, and all major Linux distributions that had been
       using  Linux  libc  soon  switched  back  to  glibc.  Since this switch
       occurred long ago, man-pages no longer takes  care  to  document  Linux
       libc  details.   Nevertheless,  the  history  is visible in vestiges of
       information about Linux libc that  remain  in  some  manual  pages,  in
       particular, references to libc4 and libc5.

   Other C libraries
       There  are various other less widely used C libraries for Linux.  These
       libraries are generally smaller than glibc, both in terms  of  features
       and  memory  footprint, and often intended for building small binaries,
       perhaps targeted at development for embedded Linux systems.  Among such
       libraries     are     uClibc⟩,     dietlibc⟩,   and   musl   libchttp://www.musl-⟩.   Details  of  these libraries are covered by the man-pages
       project, where they are known.


       syscalls(2),  getauxval(3),   proc(5),   feature_test_macros(7),   man-
       pages(7), standards(7), vdso(7)


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