ptsname man page

ptsname, ptsname_r — get the name of the slave pseudoterminal


#include <stdlib.h>

char *ptsname(int fd);
int ptsname_r(int fd, char *buf, size_t buflen);

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


Since glibc 2.24:
   _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
Glibc 2.23 and earlier:



The ptsname() function returns the name of the slave pseudoterminal device corresponding to the master referred to by fd.

The ptsname_r() function is the reentrant equivalent of ptsname(). It returns the name of the slave pseudoterminal device as a null-terminated string in the buffer pointed to by buf. The buflen argument specifies the number of bytes available in buf.

Return Value

On success, ptsname() returns a pointer to a string in static storage which will be overwritten by subsequent calls. This pointer must not be freed. On failure, NULL is returned.

On success, ptsname_r() returns 0. On failure, a nonzero value is returned and errno is set to indicate the error.



(ptsname_r() only) buf is NULL. (This error is returned only for glibc 2.25 and earlier.)


fd does not refer to a pseudoterminal master device.


(ptsname_r() only) buf is too small.


ptsname() is provided in glibc since version 2.1.


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

Interface Attribute Value
ptsname() Thread safety MT-Unsafe race:ptsname
ptsname_r() Thread safety MT-Safe

Conforming to

POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.

ptsname() is part of the UNIX 98 pseudoterminal support (see pts(4)).

ptsname_r() is a Linux extension, that is proposed for inclusion in the next major revision of POSIX.1 (Issue 8). A version of this function is documented on Tru64 and HP-UX, but on those implementations, -1 is returned on error, with errno set to indicate the error. Avoid using this function in portable programs.

See Also

grantpt(3), posix_openpt(3), ttyname(3), unlockpt(3), pts(4), pty(7)


This page is part of release 4.13 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

Referenced By

getpt(3), grantpt(3), ioctl_tty(2), posix_openpt(3), pts(4), pty(7), unlockpt(3).

The man page ptsname_r(3) is an alias of ptsname(3).

2017-09-15 Linux Programmer's Manual