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GETLOGIN(2)		    BSD	System Calls Manual		   GETLOGIN(2)

     getlogin, getlogin_r, setlogin -- get/set login name

     Standard C	Library	(libc, -lc)

     #include <unistd.h>

     char *

     getlogin_r(char *name, size_t len);

     setlogin(const char *name);

     The getlogin() routine returns the	login name of the user associated with
     the current session, as previously	set by setlogin().  The	name is	nor-
     mally associated with a login shell at the	time a session is created, and
     is	inherited by all processes descended from the login shell.  (This is
     true even if some of those	processes assume another user ID, for example
     when su(1)	is used.)

     The getlogin_r() function provides	the same service as getlogin(),	how-
     ever the caller must provide the buffer name with length len bytes	to
     hold the result.  The buffer should be at least MAXLOGNAME	bytes in

     setlogin()	sets the login name of the user	associated with	the current
     session to	name.  This call is restricted to the super-user, and is nor-
     mally used	only when a new	session	is being created on behalf of the
     named user	(for example, at login time, or	when a remote shell is in-

     NOTE: There is only one login name	per session.

     It	is CRITICALLY important	to ensure that setlogin() is only ever called
     after the process has taken adequate steps	to ensure that it is detached
     from its parent's session.	 The ONLY way to do this is via	the setsid()
     function.	The daemon() function calls setsid() which is an ideal way of
     detaching from a controlling terminal and forking into the	background.

     In	particular, neither ioctl(ttyfd, TIOCNOTTY, ...)  nor setpgid(...)  is
     sufficient	to create a new	session.

     Once a parent process has called setsid(),	it is acceptable for some
     child of that process to then call	setlogin(), even though	it is not the
     session leader.  Beware, however, that ALL	processes in the session will
     change their login	name at	the same time, even the	parent.

     This is different from traditional	UNIX privilege inheritance and as such
     can be counter-intuitive.

     Since the setlogin() routine is restricted	to the super-user, it is as-
     sumed that	(like all other	privileged programs) the programmer has	taken
     adequate precautions to prevent security violations.

     If	a call to getlogin() succeeds, it returns a pointer to a null-termi-
     nated string in a static buffer.  If the name has not been	set, it	re-
     turns NULL.

     If	a call to setlogin() succeeds, a value of 0 is returned.  If
     setlogin()	fails, a value of -1 is	returned and an	error code is placed
     in	the global location errno.

     The getlogin_r() function returns zero if successful, or the error	number
     upon failure.

     The following errors may be returned by these calls:

     [EFAULT]		The name parameter gave	an invalid address.

     [EINVAL]		The name parameter pointed to a	string that was	too
			long.  Login names are limited to MAXLOGNAME (from
			<sys/param.h>) characters, currently 16.

     [EPERM]		The caller tried to set	the login name and was not the

     [ERANGE]		The size of the	buffer is smaller than the result to
			be returned.


     The getlogin() and	getlogin_r() functions conform to ISO/IEC 9945-1:1996

     The getlogin() function first appeared in 4.4BSD.

     Login names are limited in	length by setlogin().  However,	lower limits
     are placed	on login names elsewhere in the	system (UT_NAMESIZE in

     In	earlier	versions of the	system,	getlogin() failed unless the process
     was associated with a login terminal.  The	current	implementation (using
     setlogin()) allows	getlogin to succeed even when the process has no con-
     trolling terminal.	 In earlier versions of	the system, the	value returned
     by	getlogin() could not be	trusted	without	checking the user ID.  Porta-
     ble programs should probably still	make this check.

BSD				January	6, 2009				   BSD


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