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


calloc - a memory allocator


#include <stdlib.h>

void *calloc(size_t
nelem, size_t elsize);


[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 calloc() function shall allocate unused space for an array of nelem elements each of whose size in bytes is elsize. The space shall be initialized to all bits 0.

The order and contiguity of storage allocated by successive calls to calloc() is unspecified. The pointer returned if the allocation succeeds shall be suitably aligned so that it may be assigned to a pointer to any type of object and then used to access such an object or an array of such objects in the space allocated (until the space is explicitly freed or reallocated). Each such allocation shall yield a pointer to an object disjoint from any other object. The pointer returned shall point to the start (lowest byte address) of the allocated space. If the space cannot be allocated, a null pointer shall be returned. If the size of the space requested is 0, the behavior is implementation-defined: the value returned shall be either a null pointer or a unique pointer.


Upon successful completion with both nelem and elsize non-zero, calloc() shall return a pointer to the allocated space. If either nelem or elsize is 0, then either a null pointer or a unique pointer value that can be successfully passed to free() shall be returned. Otherwise, it shall return a null pointer [CX] [Option Start]  and set errno to indicate the error. [Option End]


The calloc() function shall fail if:

[CX] [Option Start] Insufficient memory is available. [Option End]

The following sections are informative.




There is now no requirement for the implementation to support the inclusion of <malloc.h>.






free(), malloc(), realloc() , the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, <stdlib.h>


First released in Issue 1. Derived from Issue 1 of the SVID.

Issue 6

Extensions beyond the ISO C standard are marked.

The following new requirements on POSIX implementations derive from alignment with the Single UNIX Specification:

End of informative text.

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