memcmp (3) - Linux Man Pages
memcmp: compare memory areas
memcmp - compare memory areas
#include <string.h> int memcmp(const void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n);
DESCRIPTIONThe memcmp() function compares the first n bytes (each interpreted as unsigned char) of the memory areas s1 and s2.
RETURN VALUEThe memcmp() function returns an integer less than, equal to, or greater than zero if the first n bytes of s1 is found, respectively, to be less than, to match, or be greater than the first n bytes of s2.
For a nonzero return value, the sign is determined by the sign of the difference between the first pair of bytes (interpreted as unsigned char) that differ in s1 and s2.
ATTRIBUTESFor an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).
CONFORMING TOPOSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, C89, C99, SVr4, 4.3BSD.
Do not use memcmp() to compare security critical data, such as cryptographic secrets, because the required CPU time depends on the number of equal bytes. Instead, a function that performs comparisons in constant time is required. Some operating systems provide such a function (e.g., NetBSD's consttime_memequal()), but no such function is specified in POSIX. On Linux, it may be necessary to implement such a function oneself.
SEE ALSObcmp(3), bstring(3), strcasecmp(3), strcmp(3), strcoll(3), strncasecmp(3), strncmp(3), wmemcmp(3)
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