```RAND(3)                   Linux Programmer's Manual                  RAND(3)
```

## NAME         top

```       rand, rand_r, srand - pseudo-random number generator
```

## SYNOPSIS         top

```       #include <stdlib.h>

int rand(void);

int rand_r(unsigned int *seedp);

void srand(unsigned int seed);

Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

rand_r():
Since glibc 2.24:
_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 199506L
Glibc 2.23 and earlier
_POSIX_C_SOURCE
```

## DESCRIPTION         top

```       The rand() function returns a pseudo-random integer in the range 0 to
RAND_MAX inclusive (i.e., the mathematical range [0, RAND_MAX]).

The srand() function sets its argument as the seed for a new sequence
of pseudo-random integers to be returned by rand().  These sequences
are repeatable by calling srand() with the same seed value.

If no seed value is provided, the rand() function is automatically
seeded with a value of 1.

The function rand() is not reentrant, since it uses hidden state that
is modified on each call.  This might just be the seed value to be
used by the next call, or it might be something more elaborate.  In
order to get reproducible behavior in a threaded application, this
state must be made explicit; this can be done using the reentrant
function rand_r().

Like rand(), rand_r() returns a pseudo-random integer in the range
[0, RAND_MAX].  The seedp argument is a pointer to an unsigned int
that is used to store state between calls.  If rand_r() is called
with the same initial value for the integer pointed to by seedp, and
that value is not modified between calls, then the same pseudo-random
sequence will result.

The value pointed to by the seedp argument of rand_r() provides only
a very small amount of state, so this function will be a weak pseudo-
```

## RETURN VALUE         top

```       The rand() and rand_r() functions return a value between 0 and
RAND_MAX (inclusive).  The srand() function returns no value.
```

## ATTRIBUTES         top

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

┌──────────────────────────┬───────────────┬─────────┐
│Interface                 │ Attribute     │ Value   │
├──────────────────────────┼───────────────┼─────────┤
│rand(), rand_r(), srand() │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe │
└──────────────────────────┴───────────────┴─────────┘
```

## CONFORMING TO         top

```       The functions rand() and srand() conform to SVr4, 4.3BSD, C89, C99,
POSIX.1-2001.  The function rand_r() is from POSIX.1-2001.
POSIX.1-2008 marks rand_r() as obsolete.
```

## NOTES         top

```       The versions of rand() and srand() in the Linux C Library use the
same random number generator as random(3) and srandom(3), so the
lower-order bits should be as random as the higher-order bits.
However, on older rand() implementations, and on current
implementations on different systems, the lower-order bits are much
less random than the higher-order bits.  Do not use this function in
applications intended to be portable when good randomness is needed.
```

## EXAMPLE         top

```       POSIX.1-2001 gives the following example of an implementation of
rand() and srand(), possibly useful when one needs the same sequence
on two different machines.

static unsigned long next = 1;

/* RAND_MAX assumed to be 32767 */
int myrand(void) {
next = next * 1103515245 + 12345;
return((unsigned)(next/65536) % 32768);
}

void mysrand(unsigned int seed) {
next = seed;
}

The following program can be used to display the pseudo-random
sequence produced by rand() when given a particular seed.

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int
main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
int j, r, nloops;
unsigned int seed;

if (argc != 3) {
fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <seed> <nloops>\n", argv[0]);
exit(EXIT_FAILURE);
}

seed = atoi(argv[1]);
nloops = atoi(argv[2]);

srand(seed);
for (j = 0; j < nloops; j++) {
r =  rand();
printf("%d\n", r);
}

exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
}
```

```       drand48(3), random(3)
```

## COLOPHON         top

```       This page is part of release 4.15 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the