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FNMATCH(3) Library Functions Manual FNMATCH(3)


fnmatchmatch filename or pathname using shell globbing rules


#include <fnmatch.h>
fnmatch(const char *pattern, const char *string, int flags);


The fnmatch() function matches patterns according to the globbing rules used by the shell. It checks the string specified by the string argument to see if it matches the pattern specified by the pattern argument.
The flags argument modifies the interpretation of pattern and string. The value of flags is the bitwise inclusive OR of any of the following constants, which are defined in the include file <fnmatch.h>.
Normally, every occurrence of a backslash (‘\’) followed by a character in pattern is replaced by that character. This is done to negate any special meaning for the character. If the FNM_NOESCAPE flag is set, a backslash character is treated as an ordinary character.
Slash characters in string must be explicitly matched by slashes in pattern. If this flag is not set, then slashes are treated as regular characters.
Leading periods in string must be explicitly matched by periods in pattern. If this flag is not set, then leading periods are treated as regular characters. The definition of “leading” is related to the specification of FNM_PATHNAME. A period is always leading if it is the first character in string. Additionally, if FNM_PATHNAME is set, a period is leading if it immediately follows a slash.
Ignore ‘/*’ rest after successful pattern matching.
Ignore case distinctions in both the pattern and the string.


The fnmatch() function returns zero if string matches the pattern specified by pattern, otherwise, it returns the value FNM_NOMATCH.


sh(1), glob(3), regex(3), glob(7)


The fnmatch() function conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (“POSIX.2”) and X/Open Portability Guide Issue 4, Version 2 (“XPG4.2”).
Note, however, that the flags FNM_LEADING_DIR and FNM_CASEFOLD are extensions and should not be used by applications striving for strict standards conformance.


A predecessor to fnmatch(), gmatch(), first appeared in the Programmer's Workbench (PWB/UNIX). The fnmatch() function first appeared in 4.4BSD.


The pattern ‘*’ matches the empty string, even if FNM_PATHNAME is specified.
January 21, 2014 OpenBSD-current