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FMTMSG(3)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 FMTMSG(3)



NAME
       fmtmsg - print formatted error messages

SYNOPSIS
       #include <fmtmsg.h>

       int fmtmsg(long classification, const char *label,
                  int severity, const char *text,
                  const char *action, const char *tag);

DESCRIPTION
       This  function  displays  a message described by its arguments on the device(s) specified in the classification
       argument.  For messages written to stderr, the format depends on the MSGVERB environment variable.

       The label argument identifies the source of the message.  The string must consist of two colon separated  parts
       where the first part has not more than 10 and the second part not more than 14 characters.

       The text argument describes the condition of the error.

       The  action  argument  describes possible steps to recover from the error.  If it is printed, it is prefixed by
       "TO FIX: ".

       The tag argument is a reference to the online documentation where more information can  be  found.   It  should
       contain the label value and a unique identification number.

   Dummy arguments
       Each  of  the arguments can have a dummy value.  The dummy classification value MM_NULLMC (0L) does not specify
       any output, so nothing is printed.  The dummy severity value NO_SEV (0) says that no severity is supplied.  The
       values  MM_NULLLBL,  MM_NULLTXT,  MM_NULLACT,  MM_NULLTAG  are synonyms for ((char *) 0), the empty string, and
       MM_NULLSEV is a synonym for NO_SEV.

   The classification argument
       The classification argument is the sum of values describing 4 types of information.

       The first value defines the output channel.

       MM_PRINT    Output to stderr.

       MM_CONSOLE  Output to the system console.

       MM_PRINT | MM_CONSOLE
                   Output to both.

       The second value is the source of the error:

       MM_HARD     A hardware error occurred.

       MM_FIRM     A firmware error occurred.

       MM_SOFT     A software error occurred.

       The third value encodes the detector of the problem:

       MM_APPL     It is detected by an application.

       MM_UTIL     It is detected by a utility.

       MM_OPSYS    It is detected by the operating system.

       The fourth value shows the severity of the incident:

       MM_RECOVER  It is a recoverable error.

       MM_NRECOV   It is a non-recoverable error.

   The severity argument
       The severity argument can take one of the following values:

       MM_NOSEV    No severity is printed.

       MM_HALT     This value is printed as HALT.

       MM_ERROR    This value is printed as ERROR.

       MM_WARNING  This value is printed as WARNING.

       MM_INFO     This value is printed as INFO.

       The numeric values are between 0 and 4.  Using addseverity(3) or the environment variable SEV_LEVEL you can add
       more levels and strings to print.

RETURN VALUE
       The function can return 4 values:

       MM_OK       Everything went smooth.

       MM_NOTOK    Complete failure.

       MM_NOMSG    Error writing to stderr.

       MM_NOCON    Error writing to the console.

ENVIRONMENT
       The  environment  variable MSGVERB ("message verbosity") can be used to suppress parts of the output to stderr.
       (It does not influence output to the console.)  When this variable is defined, is non-NULL, and is a colon-sep-
       arated  list  of valid keywords, then only the parts of the message corresponding to these keywords is printed.
       Valid keywords are "label", "severity", "text", "action" and "tag".

       The environment variable SEV_LEVEL can be used to introduce new severity levels.  By  default,  only  the  five
       severity  levels described above are available.  Any other numeric value would make fmtmsg() print nothing.  If
       the user puts SEV_LEVEL with a format like

              SEV_LEVEL=[description[:description[:...]]]

       in the environment of the process before the first call to fmtmsg(), where each description is of the form

              severity-keyword,level,printstring

       then fmtmsg() will also accept the indicated values for the level (in addition to the standard levels 0-4), and
       use the indicated printstring when such a level occurs.

       The  severity-keyword part is not used by fmtmsg() but it has to be present.  The level part is a string repre-
       sentation of a number.  The numeric value must be a number greater than 4.  This value  must  be  used  in  the
       severity  argument  of  fmtmsg()  to  select this class.  It is not possible to overwrite any of the predefined
       classes.  The printstring is the string printed when a message of this class is processed by fmtmsg().

VERSIONS
       fmtmsg() is provided in glibc since version 2.1.

CONFORMING TO
       The functions fmtmsg() and addseverity(3), and environment variables MSGVERB and SEV_LEVEL come from System  V.
       The function fmtmsg() and the environment variable MSGVERB are described in POSIX.1-2001.

NOTES
       System  V and Unixware man pages tell us that these functions have been replaced by "pfmt() and addsev()" or by
       "pfmt(), vpfmt(), lfmt(), and vlfmt()", and will be removed later.

EXAMPLE
       #include <stdio.h>
       #include <stdlib.h>
       #include <fmtmsg.h>

       int
       main(void)
       {
           long class = MM_PRINT | MM_SOFT | MM_OPSYS | MM_RECOVER;
           int err;

           err = fmtmsg(class, "util-linux:mount", MM_ERROR,
                       "unknown mount option", "See mount(8).",
                       "util-linux:mount:017");
           switch (err) {
           case MM_OK:
               break;
           case MM_NOTOK:
               printf("Nothing printed\n");
               break;
           case MM_NOMSG:
               printf("Nothing printed to stderr\n");
               break;
           case MM_NOCON:
               printf("No console output\n");
               break;
           default:
               printf("Unknown error from fmtmsg()\n");
           }
           exit(EXIT_SUCCESS);
       }

       The output should be:

           util-linux:mount: ERROR: unknown mount option
           TO FIX: See mount(8).  util-linux:mount:017

       and after

           MSGVERB=text:action; export MSGVERB

       the output becomes:

           unknown mount option
           TO FIX: See mount(8).

SEE ALSO
       addseverity(3), perror(3)

COLOPHON
       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project,  and  informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.



                                  2008-06-14                         FMTMSG(3)