C++ – n equivalent to WinAPI’s MAX_PATH under linux/unix


If I want to allocate a char array (in C) that is guaranteed to be large enough to hold any valid absolute path+filename, how big does it need to be.

On Win32, there is the MAX_PATH define. What is the equivalent for Unix/linux?

Best Answer

There is a PATH_MAX, but it is a bit problematic. From the bugs section of the realpath(3) man page:

The POSIX.1-2001 standard version of this function is broken by design, since it is impossible to determine a suitable size for the output buffer, resolved_path. According to POSIX.1-2001 a buffer of size PATH_MAX suffices, but PATH_MAX need not be a defined constant, and may have to be obtained using pathconf(3). And asking pathconf(3) does not really help, since, on the one hand POSIX warns that the result of pathconf(3) may be huge and unsuitable for mallocing memory, and on the other hand pathconf(3) may return -1 to signify that PATH_MAXis not bounded.