bsearch(3) — Linux manual page


bsearch(3)              Library Functions Manual              bsearch(3)

NAME         top

       bsearch - binary search of a sorted array

LIBRARY         top

       Standard C library (libc, -lc)

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <stdlib.h>

       void *bsearch(const void key[.size], const void base[.size * .nmemb],
                     size_t nmemb, size_t size,
                     int (*compar)(const void [.size], const void [.size]));

DESCRIPTION         top

       The bsearch() function searches an array of nmemb objects, the
       initial member of which is pointed to by base, for a member that
       matches the object pointed to by key.  The size of each member of
       the array is specified by size.

       The contents of the array should be in ascending sorted order
       according to the comparison function referenced by compar.  The
       compar routine is expected to have two arguments which point to
       the key object and to an array member, in that order, and should
       return an integer less than, equal to, or greater than zero if
       the key object is found, respectively, to be less than, to match,
       or be greater than the array member.

RETURN VALUE         top

       The bsearch() function returns a pointer to a matching member of
       the array, or NULL if no match is found.  If there are multiple
       elements that match the key, the element returned is unspecified.

ATTRIBUTES         top

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see
       │ Interface                           Attribute     Value   │
       │ bsearch()                           │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe │

STANDARDS         top

       C11, POSIX.1-2008.

HISTORY         top

       POSIX.1-2001, C89, C99, SVr4, 4.3BSD.

EXAMPLES         top

       The example below first sorts an array of structures using
       qsort(3), then retrieves desired elements using bsearch().

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

       #define ARRAY_SIZE(arr)  (sizeof((arr)) / sizeof((arr)[0]))

       struct mi {
           int         nr;
           const char  *name;

       static struct mi  months[] = {
           { 1, "jan" }, { 2, "feb" }, { 3, "mar" }, { 4, "apr" },
           { 5, "may" }, { 6, "jun" }, { 7, "jul" }, { 8, "aug" },
           { 9, "sep" }, {10, "oct" }, {11, "nov" }, {12, "dec" }

       static int
       compmi(const void *m1, const void *m2)
           const struct mi *mi1 = m1;
           const struct mi *mi2 = m2;

           return strcmp(mi1->name, mi2->name);

       main(int argc, char *argv[])
           qsort(months, ARRAY_SIZE(months), sizeof(months[0]), compmi);
           for (size_t i = 1; i < argc; i++) {
               struct mi key;
               struct mi *res;

      = argv[i];
               res = bsearch(&key, months, ARRAY_SIZE(months),
                             sizeof(months[0]), compmi);
               if (res == NULL)
                   printf("'%s': unknown month\n", argv[i]);
                   printf("%s: month #%d\n", res->name, res->nr);

SEE ALSO         top

       hsearch(3), lsearch(3), qsort(3), tsearch(3)

Linux man-pages (unreleased)     (date)                       bsearch(3)

Pages that refer to this page: hsearch(3)lsearch(3)qsort(3)tsearch(3)