C POSIX library

The C POSIX library is a specification of a C standard library for POSIX systems. It was developed at the same time as the ANSI C standard. Some effort was made to make POSIX compatible with standard C; POSIX includes additional functions to those introduced in standard C.

C POSIX library header files

Header fileDescriptionFirst released
<aio.h>Asynchronous input and outputIssue 5
<arpa/inet.h>Functions for manipulating numeric IP addresses (part of Berkeley sockets)Issue 6
<assert.h>Verify assumptionsIssue 1
<complex.h>Complex Arithmetic, see C mathematical functionsIssue 6
<cpio.h>Magic numbers for the cpio archive formatIssue 3
<ctype.h> Character types Issue 1
<dirent.h>Allows the opening and listing of directoriesIssue 2
<dlfcn.h>Dynamic linkingIssue 5
<errno.h>Retrieving Error NumberIssue 1
<fcntl.h>File opening, locking and other operationsIssue 1
<fenv.h>Floating-Point Environment (FPE), see C mathematical functionsIssue 6
<float.h>Floating-point types, see C data typesIssue 4
<fmtmsg.h>Message display structuresIssue 4
<fnmatch.h>Filename matchingIssue 4
<ftw.h>File tree traversalIssue 1
<glob.h>Pathname "globbing" (pattern-matching)Issue 4
<grp.h>User group information and controlIssue 1
<iconv.h>Codeset conversion facilityIssue 4
<inttypes.h>Fixed sized integer types, see C data typesIssue 5
<iso646.h>Alternative spellings, see C alternative tokensIssue 5
<langinfo.h>Language information constants – builds on C localization functionsIssue 2
<libgen.h>Pathname manipulationIssue 4
<limits.h>Implementation-defined constants, see C data typesIssue 1
<locale.h>Category macros, see C localization functionsIssue 3
<math.h>Mathematical declarations, see C mathematical functionsIssue 1
<monetary.h>String formatting of monetary unitsIssue 4
<mqueue.h>Message queueIssue 5
<ndbm.h>NDBM database operationsIssue 4
<net/if.h>Listing of local network interfacesIssue 6
<netdb.h>Translating protocol and host names into numeric addresses (part of Berkeley sockets)Issue 6
<netinet/in.h>Defines Internet protocol and address family (part of Berkeley sockets)Issue 6
<netinet/tcp.h>Additional TCP control options (part of Berkeley sockets)Issue 6
<nl_types.h>Localization message catalog functionsIssue 2
<poll.h>Asynchronous file descriptor multiplexingIssue 4
<pthread.h>Defines an API for creating and manipulating POSIX threadsIssue 5
<pwd.h>passwd (user information) access and controlIssue 1
<regex.h>Regular expression matchingIssue 4
<sched.h>Execution schedulingIssue 5
<search.h>Search tablesIssue 1
<semaphore.h>POSIX semaphoresIssue 5
<setjmp.h>Stack environment declarationsIssue 1
<signal.h>Signals, see C signal handlingIssue 1
<spawn.h>Process spawningIssue 6
<stdarg.h>Handle Variable Argument ListIssue 4
<stdbool.h>Boolean type and values, see C data typesIssue 6
<stddef.h>Standard type definitions, see C data typesIssue 4
<stdint.h>Integer types, see C data typesIssue 6
<stdio.h>Standard buffered input/output, see C file input/outputIssue 1
<stdlib.h>Standard library definitions, see C standard libraryIssue 3
<string.h>Several String Operations, see C string handlingIssue 1
<strings.h>Case-insensitive string comparisonsIssue 4
<stropts.h>Stream manipulation, including ioctlIssue 4
<sys/ipc.h>Inter-process communication (IPC)Issue 2
<sys/mman.h>Memory management, including POSIX shared memory and memory mapped filesIssue 4
<sys/msg.h>POSIX message queuesIssue 2
<sys/resource.h>Resource usage, priorities, and limitingIssue 4
<sys/select.h>Synchronous I/O multiplexingIssue 6
<sys/sem.h>XSI (SysV style) semaphoresIssue 2
<sys/shm.h>XSI (SysV style) shared memoryIssue 2
<sys/socket.h>Main Berkeley sockets headerIssue 6
<sys/stat.h>File information (stat et al.)Issue 1
<sys/statvfs.h>File System informationIssue 4
<sys/time.h>Time and date functions and structuresIssue 4
<sys/times.h>File access and modification timesIssue 1
<sys/types.h>Various data types used elsewhereIssue 1
<sys/uio.h>Vectored I/O operationsIssue 4
<sys/un.h>Unix domain socketsIssue 6
<sys/utsname.h>Operating system information, including unameIssue 1
<sys/wait.h>Status of terminated child processes (see wait)Issue 3
<syslog.h>System error loggingIssue 4
<tar.h>Magic numbers for the tar archive formatIssue 3
<termios.h>Allows terminal I/O interfacesIssue 3
<tgmath.h>Type-Generic Macros, see C mathematical functionsIssue 1
<time.h>Type-Generic Macros, see C date and time functionsIssue 1
<trace.h>Tracing of runtime behavior (DEPRECATED)Issue 6
<ulimit.h>Resource limiting (DEPRECATED in favor of <sys/resource.h>)Issue 1
<unistd.h>Various essential POSIX functions and constantsIssue 1
<utime.h>inode access and modification timesIssue 3
<utmpx.h>User accounting database functionsIssue 4
<wchar.h>Wide-Character Handling, see C string handlingIssue 4
<wctype.h>Wide-Character Classification and Mapping Utilities, see C character classificationIssue 5
<wordexp.h>Word-expansion like the shell would performIssue 4


  • Official List of headers in the POSIX library on opengroup.org
  • "Lists headers in the POSIX library". Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2007.
  • Description of the posix library from the Flux OSKit

Further reading

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