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BASENAME(3P) POSIX Programmer's Manual BASENAME(3P)

This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

basename — return the last component of a pathname

#include <libgen.h>
char *basename(char *path);

The basename() function shall take the pathname pointed to by path and return a pointer to the final component of the pathname, deleting any trailing '/' characters.

If the string pointed to by path consists entirely of the '/' character, basename() shall return a pointer to the string "/". If the string pointed to by path is exactly "//", it is implementation-defined whether '/' or "//" is returned.

If path is a null pointer or points to an empty string, basename() shall return a pointer to the string ".".

The basename() function may modify the string pointed to by path, and may return a pointer to internal storage. The returned pointer might be invalidated or the storage might be overwritten by a subsequent call to basename().

The basename() function need not be thread-safe.

The basename() function shall return a pointer to the final component of path.

No errors are defined.

The following sections are informative.

The following program fragment returns a pointer to the value lib, which is the base name of /usr/lib.

#include <libgen.h>
char *name = "/usr/lib";
char *base;
base = basename(name);

In the following table, the input string is the value pointed to by path, and the output string is the return value of the basename() function.
Input String Output String
"/usr/lib" "lib"
"/usr/" "usr"
"/" "/"
"///" "/"
"//usr//lib//" "lib"





The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1‐2008, <libgen.h>

The Shell and Utilities volume of POSIX.1‐2008, basename

Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at .

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2013 IEEE/The Open Group