Linux Man Page Viewer
The following form allows you to view linux man pages.
The term "libc" is commonly used as a shorthand for the "standard C
library", a library of standard functions that can be used by all C
programs (and sometimes by programs in other languages). Because of
some history (see below), use of the term "libc" to refer to the stan-
dard C library is somewhat ambiguous on Linux.
By far the most widely used C library on Linux is the GNU C Library
often referred to as glibc. This is the C library that is nowadays
used in all major Linux distributions. It is also the C library whose
details are documented in the relevant pages of the man-pages project
(primarily in Section 3 of the manual). Documentation of glibc is also
available in the glibc manual, available via the command info libc.
Release 1.0 of glibc was made in September 1992. (There were earlier
0.x releases.) The next major release of glibc was 2.0, at the begin-
ning of 1997.
The pathname /lib/libc.so.6 (or something similar) is normally a sym-
bolic link that points to the location of the glibc library, and exe-
cuting this pathname will cause glibc to display various information
about the version installed on your system.
In the early to mid 1990s, there was for a while Linux libc, a fork of
glibc 1.x created by Linux developers who felt that glibc development
at the time was not sufficing for the needs of Linux. Often, this
library was referred to (ambiguously) as just "libc". Linux libc
released major versions 2, 3, 4, and 5 (as well as many minor versions
of those releases). For a while, Linux libc was the standard C library
in many Linux distributions. However, notwithstanding the original
motivations of the Linux libc effort, by the time glibc 2.0 was
released, it was clearly superior to Linux libc, and all major Linux
distributions that had been using Linux libc soon switched back to
glibc. (Since this switch occurred over a decade ago, man-pages no
longer takes care to document Linux libc details. Nevertheless, the
history is visible in vestiges of information about Linux libc that
remain in some manual pages, in particular, references to libc4 and
Other C libraries
There are various other less widely used C libraries for Linux. These
libraries are generally smaller than glibc, both in terms of features
and memory footprint, and often intended for building small binaries,
perhaps targeted at development for embedded Linux systems. Among such
libraries are uClibc (http://www.uclibc.org/) and dietlibc
(http://www.fefe.de/dietlibc/). Details of these libraries are gener-
ally not covered by the man-pages project.
syscalls(2), getauxval(3), proc(5), feature_test_macros(7), man-
pages(7), standards(7), vdso(7)