strcmp - Man Page

compare two strings


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.


#include <string.h>

int strcmp(const char *s1, const char *s2);


The functionality described on this reference page is aligned with the ISO C standard. Any conflict between the requirements described here and the ISO C standard is unintentional. This volume of POSIX.1-2017 defers to the ISO C standard.

The strcmp() function shall compare the string pointed to by s1 to the string pointed to by s2.

The sign of a non-zero return value shall be determined by the sign of the difference between the values of the first pair of bytes (both interpreted as type unsigned char) that differ in the strings being compared.

Return Value

Upon completion, strcmp() shall return an integer greater than, equal to, or less than 0, if the string pointed to by s1 is greater than, equal to, or less than the string pointed to by s2, respectively.


No errors are defined.

The following sections are informative.


Checking a Password Entry

The following example compares the information read from standard input to the value of the name of the user entry. If the strcmp() function returns 0 (indicating a match), a further check will be made to see if the user entered the proper old password. The crypt() function shall encrypt the old password entered by the user, using the value of the encrypted password in the passwd structure as the salt. If this value matches the value of the encrypted passwd in the structure, the entered password oldpasswd is the correct user's password. Finally, the program encrypts the new password so that it can store the information in the passwd structure.

#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>
int valid_change;
struct passwd *p;
char user[100];
char oldpasswd[100];
char newpasswd[100];
char savepasswd[100];
if (strcmp(p->pw_name, user) == 0) {
    if (strcmp(p->pw_passwd, crypt(oldpasswd, p->pw_passwd)) == 0) {
        strcpy(savepasswd, crypt(newpasswd, user));
        p->pw_passwd = savepasswd;
        valid_change = 1;
    else {
        fprintf(stderr, "Old password is not valid\n");

Application Usage




Future Directions


See Also


The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2017, <string.h>

Referenced By

hcreate(3p), localeconv(3p), strcoll(3p), string.h(0p), strncmp(3p), strxfrm(3p).

2017 IEEE/The Open Group POSIX Programmer's Manual