The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6
IEEE Std 1003.1, 2004 Edition
Copyright © 2001-2004 The IEEE and The Open Group, All Rights reserved.
A newer edition of this document exists here


fenv.h - floating-point environment


#include <fenv.h>


[CX] [Option Start] The functionality described on this reference page is aligned with the ISO C standard. Any conflict between the requirements described here and the ISO C standard is unintentional. This volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 defers to the ISO C standard. [Option End]

The <fenv.h> header shall define the following data types through typedef:

Represents the entire floating-point environment. The floating-point environment refers collectively to any floating-point status flags and control modes supported by the implementation.
Represents the floating-point status flags collectively, including any status the implementation associates with the flags. A floating-point status flag is a system variable whose value is set (but never cleared) when a floating-point exception is raised, which occurs as a side effect of exceptional floating-point arithmetic to provide auxiliary information. A floating-point control mode is a system variable whose value may be set by the user to affect the subsequent behavior of floating-point arithmetic.

The <fenv.h> header shall define the following constants if and only if the implementation supports the floating-point exception by means of the floating-point functions feclearexcept(), fegetexceptflag(), feraiseexcept(), fesetexceptflag(), and fetestexcept(). Each expands to an integer constant expression with values such that bitwise-inclusive ORs of all combinations of the constants result in distinct values.


The <fenv.h> header shall define the following constant, which is simply the bitwise-inclusive OR of all floating-point exception constants defined above:


The <fenv.h> header shall define the following constants if and only if the implementation supports getting and setting the represented rounding direction by means of the fegetround() and fesetround() functions. Each expands to an integer constant expression whose values are distinct non-negative vales.


The <fenv.h> header shall define the following constant, which represents the default floating-point environment (that is, the one installed at program startup) and has type pointer to const-qualified fenv_t. It can be used as an argument to the functions within the <fenv.h> header that manage the floating-point environment.


The following shall be declared as functions and may also be defined as macros. Function prototypes shall be provided.

int  feclearexcept(int);
int  fegetexceptflag(fexcept_t *, int);
int  feraiseexcept(int);
int  fesetexceptflag(const fexcept_t *, int);
int  fetestexcept(int);
int  fegetround(void);
int  fesetround(int);
int  fegetenv(fenv_t *);
int  feholdexcept(fenv_t *);
int  fesetenv(const fenv_t *);
int  feupdateenv(const fenv_t *);

The FENV_ACCESS pragma provides a means to inform the implementation when an application might access the floating-point environment to test floating-point status flags or run under non-default floating-point control modes. The pragma shall occur either outside external declarations or preceding all explicit declarations and statements inside a compound statement. When outside external declarations, the pragma takes effect from its occurrence until another FENV_ACCESS pragma is encountered, or until the end of the translation unit. When inside a compound statement, the pragma takes effect from its occurrence until another FENV_ACCESS pragma is encountered (including within a nested compound statement), or until the end of the compound statement; at the end of a compound statement the state for the pragma is restored to its condition just before the compound statement. If this pragma is used in any other context, the behavior is undefined. If part of an application tests floating-point status flags, sets floating-point control modes, or runs under non-default mode settings, but was translated with the state for the FENV_ACCESS pragma off, the behavior is undefined. The default state (on or off) for the pragma is implementation-defined. (When execution passes from a part of the application translated with FENV_ACCESS off to a part translated with FENV_ACCESS on, the state of the floating-point status flags is unspecified and the floating-point control modes have their default settings.)

The following sections are informative.


This header is designed to support the floating-point exception status flags and directed-rounding control modes required by the IEC 60559:1989 standard, and other similar floating-point state information. Also it is designed to facilitate code portability among all systems.

Certain application programming conventions support the intended model of use for the floating-point environment:

With these conventions, an application can safely assume default floating-point control modes (or be unaware of them). The responsibilities associated with accessing the floating-point environment fall on the application that does so explicitly.

Even though the rounding direction macros may expand to constants corresponding to the values of FLT_ROUNDS, they are not required to do so.

For example:

#include <fenv.h>
void f(double x)
    void g(double);
    void h(double);
    /* ... */
    g(x + 1);
    h(x + 1);
    /* ... */

If the function g() might depend on status flags set as a side effect of the first x+1, or if the second x+1 might depend on control modes set as a side effect of the call to function g(), then the application shall contain an appropriately placed invocation as follows:



The fexcept_t Type

fexcept_t does not have to be an integer type. Its values must be obtained by a call to fegetexceptflag(), and cannot be created by logical operations from the exception macros. An implementation might simply implement fexcept_t as an int and use the representations reflected by the exception macros, but is not required to; other representations might contain extra information about the exceptions. fexcept_t might be a struct with a member for each exception (that might hold the address of the first or last floating-point instruction that caused that exception). The ISO/IEC 9899:1999 standard makes no claims about the internals of an fexcept_t, and so the user cannot inspect it.

Exception and Rounding Macros

Macros corresponding to unsupported modes and rounding directions are not defined by the implementation and must not be defined by the application. An application might use #ifdef to test for this.




The System Interfaces volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, feclearexcept(), fegetenv(), fegetexceptflag(), fegetround(), feholdexcept(), feraiseexcept(), fesetenv(), fesetexceptflag(), fesetround(), fetestexcept(), feupdateenv()


First released in Issue 6. Included for alignment with the ISO/IEC 9899:1999 standard.

The return types for feclearexcept(), fegetexceptflag(), feraiseexcept(), fesetexceptflag(), fegetenv(), fesetenv(), and feupdateenv() are changed from void to int for alignment with the ISO/IEC 9899:1999 standard, Defect Report 202.

End of informative text.

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