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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for regexec (redhat section 3)

REGCOMP(3)				      Linux Programmer's Manual 				   REGCOMP(3)

regcomp, regexec, regerror, regfree - POSIX regex functions
#include <sys/types.h> #include <regex.h> int regcomp(regex_t *preg, const char *regex, int cflags); int regexec(const regex_t *preg, const char *string, size_t nmatch, regmatch_t pmatch[], int eflags); size_t regerror(int errcode, const regex_t *preg, char *errbuf, size_t errbuf_size); void regfree(regex_t *preg);
regcomp is used to compile a regular expression into a form that is suitable for subsequent regexec searches. regcomp is supplied with preg, a pointer to a pattern buffer storage area; regex, a pointer to the null-termi- nated string and cflags, flags used to determine the type of compilation. All regular expression searching must be done via a compiled pattern buffer, thus regexec must always be sup- plied with the address of a regcomp initialized pattern buffer. cflags may be the bitwise-or of one or more of the following: REG_EXTENDED Use POSIX Extended Regular Expression syntax when interpreting regex. If not set, POSIX Basic Regular Expression syntax is used. REG_ICASE Do not differentiate case. Subsequent regexec searches using this pattern buffer will be case insensi- tive. REG_NOSUB Support for substring addressing of matches is not required. The nmatch and pmatch parameters to regexec are ignored if the pattern buffer supplied was compiled with this flag set. REG_NEWLINE Match-any-character operators don't match a newline. A non-matching list ([^...]) not containing a newline does not match a newline. Match-beginning-of-line operator (^) matches the empty string immediately after a newline, regardless of whether eflags, the execution flags of regexec, contains REG_NOTBOL. Match-end-of-line operator ($) matches the empty string immediately before a newline, regardless of whether eflags contains REG_NOTEOL.
regexec is used to match a null-terminated string against the precompiled pattern buffer, preg. nmatch and pmatch are used to provide information regarding the location of any matches. eflags may be the bitwise-or of one or both of REG_NOTBOL and REG_NOTEOL which cause changes in matching behaviour described below. REG_NOTBOL The match-beginning-of-line operator always fails to match (but see the compilation flag REG_NEWLINE above) This flag may be used when different portions of a string are passed to regexec and the begin- ning of the string should not be interpreted as the beginning of the line. REG_NOTEOL The match-end-of-line operator always fails to match (but see the compilation flag REG_NEWLINE above) BYTE OFFSETS Unless REG_NOSUB was set for the compilation of the pattern buffer, it is possible to obtain substring match addressing information. pmatch must be dimensioned to have at least nmatch elements. These are filled in by regexec with substring match addresses. Any unused structure elements will contain the value -1. The regmatch_t structure which is the type of pmatch is defined in regex.h. typedef struct { regoff_t rm_so; regoff_t rm_eo; } regmatch_t; Each rm_so element that is not -1 indicates the start offset of the next largest substring match within the string. The relative rm_eo element indicates the end offset of the match.
regerror is used to turn the error codes that can be returned by both regcomp and regexec into error message strings. regerror is passed the error code, errcode, the pattern buffer, preg, a pointer to a character string buffer, errbuf, and the size of the string buffer, errbuf_size. It returns the size of the errbuf required to contain the null-terminated error message string. If both errbuf and errbuf_size are non-zero, errbuf is filled in with the first errbuf_size - 1 characters of the error message and a terminating null.
Supplying regfree with a precompiled pattern buffer, preg will free the memory allocated to the pattern buffer by the compiling process, regcomp.
regcomp returns zero for a successful compilation or an error code for failure. regexec returns zero for a successful match or REG_NOMATCH for failure.
The following errors can be returned by regcomp: REG_BADRPT Invalid use of repetition operators such as using `*' as the first character. REG_BADBR Invalid use of back reference operator. REG_EBRACE Un-matched brace interval operators. REG_EBRACK Un-matched bracket list operators. REG_ERANGE Invalid use of the range operator, eg. the ending point of the range occurs prior to the starting point. REG_ECTYPE Unknown character class name. REG_ECOLLATE Invalid collating element. REG_EPAREN Un-matched parenthesis group operators. REG_ESUBREG Invalid back reference to a subexpression. REG_EEND Non specific error. This is not defined by POSIX.2. REG_EESCAPE Trailing backslash. REG_BADPAT Invalid use of pattern operators such as group or list. REG_ESIZE Compiled regular expression requires a pattern buffer larger than 64Kb. This is not defined by POSIX.2. REG_ESPACE The regex routines ran out of memory.
regex(7), GNU regex manual
1998-05-08 REGCOMP(3)

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