catgets — get message from a message catalog


#include <nl_types.h>
char *catgets( nl_catd catalog,
  int set_number,
  int message_number,
  const char *message);


catgets() reads the message message_number, in set set_number, from the message catalog identified by catalog, where catalog is a catalog descriptor returned from an earlier call to catopen(3). The fourth argument, message, points to a default message string which will be returned by catgets() if the identified message catalog is not currently available. The message-text is contained in an internal buffer area and should be copied by the application if it is to be saved or modified. The return string is always terminated with a null byte ('\0').


On success, catgets() returns a pointer to an internal buffer area containing the null-terminated message string. On failure, catgets() returns the value message.


For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface Attribute Value
catgets() Thread safety MT-Safe


POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.


The catgets() function is available only in and above. The Jan 1987 X/Open Portability Guide specifies a more subtle error return: message is returned if the message catalog specified by catalog is not available, while an empty string is returned when the message catalog is available but does not contain the specified message. These two possible error returns seem to be discarded in SUSv2 in favor of always returning message.


catopen(3), setlocale(3)


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  Copyright 1993 Mitchum DSouza <>

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