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NAME

       strcpy, strncpy - copy a string

SYNOPSIS

       #include <string.h>

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

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

DESCRIPTION

       The  strcpy() function copies the string pointed to by src, including the terminating null
       byte ('\0'), to the buffer pointed to by dest.  The  strings  may  not  overlap,  and  the
       destination  string  dest  must  be  large  enough  to receive the copy.  Beware of buffer
       overruns!  (See BUGS.)

       The strncpy() function is similar, except  that  at  most  n  bytes  of  src  are  copied.
       Warning:  If  there  is  no null byte among the first n bytes of src, the string placed in
       dest will not be null-terminated.

       If the length of src is less than n, strncpy() writes additional null  bytes  to  dest  to
       ensure that a total of n bytes are written.

       A simple implementation of strncpy() might be:

           char *
           strncpy(char *dest, const char *src, size_t n)
           {
               size_t i;

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

               return dest;
           }

RETURN VALUE

       The strcpy() and strncpy() functions return a pointer to the destination string dest.

ATTRIBUTES

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

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

CONFORMING TO

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

NOTES

       Some  programmers consider strncpy() to be inefficient and error prone.  If the programmer
       knows (i.e., includes code to test!)  that the size of dest is greater than the length  of
       src, then strcpy() can be used.

       One  valid  (and intended) use of strncpy() is to copy a C string to a fixed-length buffer
       while ensuring both that the buffer is not overflowed and that unused bytes in the  target
       buffer are zeroed out (perhaps to prevent information leaks if the buffer is to be written
       to media or transmitted to another process via an interprocess communication technique).

       If there is no terminating null byte in the first n bytes of src,  strncpy()  produces  an
       unterminated  string  in  dest.  If buf has length buflen, you can force termination using
       something like the following:

           strncpy(buf, str, buflen - 1);
           if (buflen > 0)
               buf[buflen - 1]= '\0';

       (Of course, the above  technique  ignores  the  fact  that,  if  src  contains  more  than
       buflen - 1 bytes, information is lost in the copying to dest.)

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

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

       This  function is similar to strncpy(), but it copies at most size-1 bytes to dest, always
       adds a terminating null byte, and does not pad the target with (further) null bytes.  This
       function  fixes  some of the problems of strcpy() and strncpy(), but the caller must still
       handle the possibility of data loss if size  is  too  small.   The  return  value  of  the
       function  is  the  length  of  src,  which allows truncation to be easily detected: if the
       return value is greater than or equal to size,  truncation  occurred.   If  loss  of  data
       matters,  the caller must either check the arguments before the call, or test the function
       return value.  strlcpy() is not present in glibc and is not standardized by POSIX, but  is
       available on Linux via the libbsd library.

BUGS

       If  the  destination string of a strcpy() is not large enough, then anything might happen.
       Overflowing fixed-length string  buffers  is  a  favorite  cracker  technique  for  taking
       complete  control  of the machine.  Any time a program reads or copies data into a buffer,
       the program first needs to check that there's enough space.  This may  be  unnecessary  if
       you  can  show  that overflow is impossible, but be careful: programs can get changed over
       time, in ways that may make the impossible possible.

SEE ALSO

       bcopy(3), memccpy(3), memcpy(3), memmove(3), stpcpy(3), stpncpy(3), strdup(3),  string(3),
       wcscpy(3), wcsncpy(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/.