When reading in a password, it is desirable to avoid displaying it on
the screen, to help keep it secret. The following function handles this
in a convenient way.
— Function: char * getpass (const char *prompt)
getpass outputs prompt, then reads a string in from the
terminal without echoing it. It tries to connect to the real terminal,
/dev/tty, if possible, to encourage users not to put plaintext
passwords in files; otherwise, it uses stdin and stderr.
getpass also disables the INTR, QUIT, and SUSP characters on the
terminal using the ISIG terminal attribute (see Local Modes).
The terminal is flushed before and after getpass, so that
characters of a mistyped password are not accidentally visible.
In other C libraries, getpass may only return the first
PASS_MAX bytes of a password. The GNU C library has no limit, so
PASS_MAX is undefined.
The prototype for this function is in unistd.h. PASS_MAX
would be defined in limits.h.
This precise set of operations may not suit all possible situations. In
this case, it is recommended that users write their own getpass
substitute. For instance, a very simple substitute is as follows:
my_getpass (char **lineptr, size_t *n, FILE *stream)
struct termios old, new;
/* Turn echoing off and fail if we can't. */
if (tcgetattr (fileno (stream), &old) != 0)
new = old;
new.c_lflag &= ~ECHO;
if (tcsetattr (fileno (stream), TCSAFLUSH, &new) != 0)
/* Read the password. */
nread = getline (lineptr, n, stream);
/* Restore terminal. */
(void) tcsetattr (fileno (stream), TCSAFLUSH, &old);
The substitute takes the same parameters as getline
(see Line Input); the user must print any prompt desired.
Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License