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splint(1)                                                            splint(1)


       splint - A tool for statically checking C programs

       splint [options]

       Splint  is  a  tool for statically checking C programs for security vulnerabilities and common programming mis-
       takes. With minimal effort, Splint can be used as a better lint(1).If  additional  effort  is  invested  adding
       annotations  to  programs,  Splint can perform stronger checks than can be done by any standard lint.  For full
       documentation, please see  This man page only covers a few of the available options.

       -help Shows help


       These flags control directories and files used by Splint. They may be used from  the  command  line  or  in  an
       options  file,  but  may  not be used as control comments in the source code. Except where noted. they have the
       same meaning preceded by - or +.

       -tmpdir directory
             Set directory for writing temp files. Default is /tmp/.

       -I directory
             Add directory to path searched for C include files. Note there is no space after the I, to be  consistent
             with C preprocessor flags.

       -S directory
             Add directory to path search for .lcl specification files.

       -f file
             Load options file <file>. If this flag is used from the command line, the default ~/.splintrc file is not
             loaded. This flag may be used in an options file to load in another options file.

       -nof  Prevents the default options files (./.splintrc and ~/.splintrc) from being loaded. (Setting  -nof  over-
             rides +nof, causing the options files to be loaded normally.)

       -systemdirs directories
             Set  directories  for  system  files (default is "/usr/include"). Separate directories with colons (e.g.,
             "/usr/include:/usr/local/lib"). Flag settings propagate to files in a  system  directory.  If  -systemdi-
             rerrors is set, no errors are reported for files in system directories.


       These  flags  are used to define or undefine pre-processor constants.  The -I<directory> flag is also passed to
       the C pre-processor.

       -D initializer
             Passed to the C pre-processor.

       -U initializer
             Passed to the C pre-processor

       Libraries These flags control the creation and use of libraries.

       -dump file
             Save state in <file> for loading. The default extension .lcd is added if <file> has no extension.

       -load file
             Load state from <file> (created by -dump). The default extension .lcd is added if <file>  has  no  exten-
             sion. Only one library file may be loaded.

             By  default,  the  standard library is loaded if the -load flag is not used to load a user library. If no
             user library is loaded, one of the following flags may be used to select a  different  standard  library.
             Precede the flag by + to load the described library (or prevent a library from being loaded using nolib).
             See Apppendix F for information on the provided libraries.

             Do not load any library. This prevents the standard library from being loaded.

             Use the ANSI standard library (selected by default).

             Use strict version of the ANSI standard library.

             Use the POSIX standard library.

             Use the strict version of the POSIX standard library.

             Use UNIX version of standard library.

             Use the strict version of the UNIX standard library.


       These flags control what additional information is printed by Splint.  Setting  +<flag>  causes  the  described
       information to be printed; setting -<flag> prevents it. By default, all these flags are off.

             Send error messages to standard error (instead of standard out).

             Show  a  summary  of  all errors reported and suppressed. Counts of suppressed errors are not necessarily
             correct since turning a flag off may prevent some checking from  being  done  to  save  computation,  and
             errors that are not reported may propagate differently from when they are reported.

             Show file names are they are processed.

             Show list of uses of all external identifiers sorted by number of uses.

             Display number of lines processed and checking time.

             Display distribution of where checking time is spent.

             Suppress  herald  and error count. (If quiet is not set, Splint prints out a herald with version informa-
             tion before checking begins, and a line summarizing the total number of errors reported.)

             Print out the standard library filename and creation information.

       -limit number
             At most <number> similar errors are reported consecutively. Further errors are suppressed, and a  message
             showing the number of suppressed messages is printed.

       Expected Errors

       Normally,  Splint  will  expect  to  report  no  errors.  The  exit status will be success (0) if no errors are
       reported, and failure if any errors are reported. Flags can be used to set  the  expected  number  of  reported
       errors.   Because  of  the provided error suppression mechanisms, these options should probably not be used for
       final checking real programs but may be useful in developing programs using make.

       -expect <number>
             Exactly <number> code errors are expected. Splint will exit with failure exit status unless <number> code
             errors are detected.

       -Message Format
             These  flags  control how messages are printed. They may be set at the command line, in options files, or
             locally in syntactic comments. The linelen and limit flags may be preceded by + or - with the same  mean-
             ing;  for  the  other  flags, + turns on the describe printing and - turns it off. The box to the left of
             each flag gives its default value.

             Show column number where error is found. Default: +

             Show name of function (or macro) definition containing error. The function name is  printed  once  before
             the first message detected in that function. Default: +

             Show all possible alternate types (see Section 8.2.2). Default: -

             Use file(line) format in messages.

             Provide  hints  describing  an  error and how a message may be suppressed for the first error reported in
             each error class. Default: +

             Provide hints for all errors reported, even if the hint has already been displayed  for  the  same  error
             class. Default: -

       -linelen number
             Set  length  of maximum message line to <number> characters. Splint will split messages longer than <num-
             ber> characters long into multiple lines. Default: 80

       Mode Selector Flags

       Mode selects flags set the mode checking flags to predefined values. They provide a quick coarse-grain  way  of
       controlling  what classes of errors are reported. Specific checking flags may be set after a mode flag to over-
       ride the mode settings. Mode flags may be used locally, however the mode settings will override  specific  com-
       mand  line flag settings. A warning is produced if a mode flag is used after a mode checking flag has been set.

       These are brief descriptions to give a general idea of what each mode does. To see the complete  flag  settings
       in each mode, use splint -help modes. A mode flag has the same effect when used with either + or -.

       -weak Weak  checking,  intended for typical unannotated C code. No modifies checking, macro checking, rep expo-
             sure, or clean interface checking is done. Return values of type int may be ignored. The types bool, int,
             char and user-defined enum types are all equivalent. Old style declarations are unreported.

             The  default  mode.  All  checking  done  by weak, plus modifies checking, global alias checking, use all
             parameters, using released storage, ignored return values or any type, macro checking, unreachable  code,
             infinite  loops,  and  fall-through cases. The types bool, int and char are distinct.  Old style declara-
             tions are reported.

             Moderately strict checking. All checking done by standard, plus must modification checking, rep exposure,
             return alias, memory management and complete interfaces.

             Absurdly  strict  checking.  All checking done by checks, plus modifications and global variables used in
             unspecified functions, strict standard library, and strict typing of C operators. A special  reward  will
             be  presented to the first person to produce a real program that produces no errors with strict checking.

       If you need to get in contact with the authors send email to

       or visit


                   A tool for statically checking C programs         splint(1)