memcpy(3) — Linux manual page


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

NAME         top

       memcpy - copy memory area

SYNOPSIS         top

       #include <string.h>

       void *memcpy(void *restrict dest, const void *restrict src, size_t n);

DESCRIPTION         top

       The memcpy() function copies n bytes from memory area src to
       memory area dest.  The memory areas must not overlap.  Use
       memmove(3) if the memory areas do overlap.

RETURN VALUE         top

       The memcpy() function returns a pointer to dest.

ATTRIBUTES         top

       For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see

       │Interface                             Attribute     Value   │
       │memcpy()                              │ Thread safety │ MT-Safe │

CONFORMING TO         top

       POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, C89, C99, SVr4, 4.3BSD.

NOTES         top

       Failure to observe the requirement that the memory areas do not
       overlap has been the source of significant bugs.  (POSIX and the
       C standards are explicit that employing memcpy() with overlapping
       areas produces undefined behavior.)  Most notably, in glibc 2.13
       a performance optimization of memcpy() on some platforms
       (including x86-64) included changing the order in which bytes
       were copied from src to dest.

       This change revealed breakages in a number of applications that
       performed copying with overlapping areas.  Under the previous
       implementation, the order in which the bytes were copied had
       fortuitously hidden the bug, which was revealed when the copying
       order was reversed.  In glibc 2.14, a versioned symbol was added
       so that old binaries (i.e., those linked against glibc versions
       earlier than 2.14) employed a memcpy() implementation that safely
       handles the overlapping buffers case (by providing an "older"
       memcpy() implementation that was aliased to memmove(3)).

SEE ALSO         top

       bcopy(3), bstring(3), memccpy(3), memmove(3), mempcpy(3),
       strcpy(3), strncpy(3), wmemcpy(3)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of release 5.13 of the Linux man-pages project.
       A description of the project, information about reporting bugs,
       and the latest version of this page, can be found at

                               2021-03-22                      MEMCPY(3)

Pages that refer to this page: bcopy(3)bstring(3)cmsg(3)CPU_SET(3)memccpy(3)memmove(3)mempcpy(3)stpcpy(3)strcat(3)strcpy(3)wmemcpy(3)feature_test_macros(7)signal-safety(7)system_data_types(7)