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.\" Copyright (c) 1990, 1991, 1993
.\"	The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.
.\"
.\" This code is derived from software contributed to Berkeley by
.\" the American National Standards Committee X3, on Information
.\" Processing Systems.
.\"
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.\" modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
.\" are met:
.\" 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
.\"    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
.\" 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
.\"    notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
.\"    documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
.\" 3. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors
.\"    may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software
.\"    without specific prior written permission.
.\"
.\" THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND
.\" ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE
.\" IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE
.\" ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE
.\" FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL
.\" DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS
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.\" HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
.\" LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY
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.\" SUCH DAMAGE.
.\"
.\"     @(#)system.3	8.1 (Berkeley) 6/4/93
.\" $FreeBSD$
.\"
.Dd July 25, 2015
.Dt SYSTEM 3
.Os
.Sh NAME
.Nm system
.Nd pass a command to the shell
.Sh LIBRARY
.Lb libc
.Sh SYNOPSIS
.In stdlib.h
.Ft int
.Fn system "const char *string"
.Sh DESCRIPTION
The
.Fn system
function
hands the argument
.Fa string
to the command interpreter
.Xr sh 1 .
The calling process waits for the shell
to finish executing the command,
ignoring
.Dv SIGINT
and
.Dv SIGQUIT ,
and blocking
.Dv SIGCHLD .
.Pp
If
.Fa string
is a
.Dv NULL
pointer,
.Fn system
will return non-zero if the command interpreter
.Xr sh 1
is available, and zero if it is not.
.Sh RETURN VALUES
The
.Fn system
function
returns the exit status of the shell as returned by
.Xr waitpid 2 ,
or \-1 if an error occurred when invoking
.Xr fork 2
or
.Xr waitpid 2 .
A return value of 127 means the execution of the shell
failed.
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr sh 1 ,
.Xr execve 2 ,
.Xr fork 2 ,
.Xr waitpid 2 ,
.Xr popen 3 ,
.Xr posix_spawn 3
.Sh STANDARDS
The
.Fn system
function
conforms to
.St -isoC
and is expected to be
.St -p1003.2
compatible.
.Sh SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS
The
.Fn system
function is easily misused in a manner that enables a malicious
user to run arbitrary command,
because all meta-characters supported by
.Xr sh 1
would be honored.
User supplied parameters should always be carefully santized
before they appear in
.Fa string.