fnmatch(3)fnmatch(3)NAMEfnmatch - Match filename patterns
const char *pattern,
const char *string,
int flags );
Standard C Library (libc)
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry stan‐
dards as follows:
fnmatch(): XPG4, XPG4-UNIX
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about
industry standards and associated tags.
Contains the pattern to which the string parameter is to be compared.
Contains the string to be compared against the pattern parameter. Con‐
tains a bit option specifying the configurable attributes of the com‐
parison to be performed by the fnmatch function.
The flags parameter modifies the interpretation of the pattern and
string parameters. It is the bitwise inclusive OR (|) of 0 (zero) or
more of the following options, which are defined in the fnmatch.h file.
Slash in the string parameter only matches slash in the pattern parame‐
ter. Leading period in the string parameter must be exactly matched by
period in the pattern parameter. Unless FNM_NOESCAPE is set, preceding
a character in pattern with a \ (backslash character) causes fnmatch()
to match that character in string. For example, \\ matches a backslash
in string. If FNM_NOESCAPE is set, \ (backslash) is interpreted as an
If the FNM_PATHNAME option is set in the flags parameter, a / (slash)
in the string parameter is explicitly matched by a / in the pattern
parameter. It is not matched by either the * (asterisk) or ? (ques‐
tion-mark) special characters, nor by a bracket expression. If the
FNM_PATHNAME option is not set, the / is treated as an ordinary charac‐
If FNM_PERIOD is set in the flags parameter, then a leading period in
the string parameter only matches a period in the pattern parameter; it
is not matched by either the asterisk or question-mark special charac‐
ters, nor by a bracket expression. A period is determined to be leading
according to the setting of the FNM_PATHNAME option, according to the
following rules: If the FNM_PATHNAME option is set, a period is leading
only if it is the first character in the string parameter or if it
immediately follows a slash. If the FNM_PATHNAME option is not set, a
period is leading only if it is the first character of the string
If FNM_PERIOD is not set, no special restrictions are placed on match‐
ing a period.
A \ (backslash character) quotes the next character, unless
FNM_NOESCAPE is set. If FNM_NOESCAPE is set, \ (backslash) is treated
The fnmatch() function checks the string specified by the string param‐
eter to see if it matches the pattern specified by the pattern parame‐
ter. This routine follows the match criteria of the glob() function.
The fnmatch function is useful when a program needs to perform pattern
matching, such as when a directory is to be searched for a particular
string (as is the case with the find command). A program like the pax
command can also use the fnmatch() function to perform its pattern
If the value in the string parameter matches the pattern specified by
the pattern parameter, then the fnmatch() function returns 0 (zero). If
there is no match, the fnmatch() function returns FNM_NOMATCH, which is
defined in the fnmatch.h file. If an error occurs, the fnmatch() func‐
tion returns a nonzero value.
Functions: glob(3), globfree(3), regcomp(3)