size_t mbrtowc(wchar_t *pwc, const char *s, size_t n, mbstate_t *ps);
The main case for this function is when s is not NULL and pwc is not
NULL. In this case, the mbrtowc() function inspects at most n bytes of
the multibyte string starting at s, extracts the next complete multi-
byte character, converts it to a wide character and stores it at *pwc.
It updates the shift state *ps. If the converted wide character is not
L'\0' (the null wide character), it returns the number of bytes that
were consumed from s. If the converted wide character is L'\0', it
resets the shift state *ps to the initial state and returns 0.
If the n bytes starting at s do not contain a complete multibyte char-
acter, mbrtowc() returns (size_t) -2. This can happen even if n >=
MB_CUR_MAX, if the multibyte string contains redundant shift sequences.
If the multibyte string starting at s contains an invalid multibyte
sequence before the next complete character, mbrtowc() returns
(size_t) -1 and sets errno to EILSEQ. In this case, the effects on *ps
A different case is when s is not NULL but pwc is NULL. In this case
the mbrtowc() function behaves as above, except that it does not store
the converted wide character in memory.
A third case is when s is NULL. In this case, pwc and n are ignored.
If the conversion state represented by *ps denotes an incomplete multi-
byte character conversion, the mbrtowc() function returns (size_t) -1,
sets errno to EILSEQ, and leaves *ps in an undefined state. Otherwise,
the mbrtowc() function puts *ps in the initial state and returns 0.
In all of the above cases, if ps is a NULL pointer, a static anonymous
state known only to the mbrtowc() function is used instead. Otherwise,
*ps must be a valid mbstate_t object. An mbstate_t object a can be
initialized to the initial state by zeroing it, for example using
memset(&a, 0, sizeof(a));
The mbrtowc() function returns the number of bytes parsed from the
multibyte sequence starting at s, if a non-L'\0' wide character was
recognized. It returns 0, if a L'\0' wide character was recognized.
It returns (size_t) -1 and sets errno to EILSEQ, if an invalid multi-
byte sequence was encountered. It returns (size_t) -2 if it couldn't
parse a complete multibyte character, meaning that n should be
Multithreading (see pthreads(7))
The mbrtowc() function is thread-safe with exceptions. It is not
This page is part of release 3.54 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
GNU 2013-06-21 MBRTOWC(3)
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