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Date: Thu, 7 May 2015 12:49:38 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
Subject: Re: fgetgrent_a questions/review

On Thu, May 07, 2015 at 05:53:43AM -0700, Kevin Bowling wrote:
> Hi,
> I borrowed the fget*ent_a functions to port libnss-cache to FreeBSD because
> the fgetent family of functions are not standard and the musl
> implementations looked clean and compact with a good license.
> I had to make a few changes which may be suitable for musl.  First, getline
> seems to resize the buffer as it pleases but this causes problems since the
> glibc implementation uses fgets and generally something higher up the call
> stack handles the resizing.  Second, the current musl implementation
> doesn't return ERANGE which was necessary to get the caller's (nsswitch)
> code to do the right thing to the buffer.

The way the code is factored in musl, with the internal function
(getgrent_a) being allocating/using getline, is very intentional.
Implementing getgrnam/getgrgid in terms of their *_r versions and
retrying on ERANGE would be possible (albeit inefficient), but
getgrent cannot be implemented that way because it will have messed up
the iterator state already. Minimal code duplication and runtime
efficiency is achieved by having the internal function always succeed
(except on resource errors like ENOMEM or EMFILE/ENFILE) and the
wrapper functions for the *_r interfaces attempt to copy the data into
the caller-provided buffer and report ERANGE if the data doesn't fit.

If a different factoring works better for your project, by all means
use it, but I don't think it would work for what musl needs.

> Finally, I wasn't quite sure what to do with mem and nmem in this case.  I
> made mem static, and pass nmem in in a wrapper function.. but I do not know
> if these are allocated and freed correctly used standalone like this?

I don't know what libnss-cache's API is like, but this sounds
unsuitable. It's definitely not thread-safe or library-safe


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