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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     lint - a C program verifier

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     lint  [-abceghprvxzHFV]  [-s|-t]   [-i|-nu]   [-Dname[=def]]
          [-Idirectory]  [-Ldirectory] [-llibrary] [-ooutputfile]
file ...
     lint  [-abceghprvzHFV]  [-s|-t]   -Clibrary   [-Dname[=def]]
          [-Uname] file ...

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     lint  attempts  to  detect  features  of the named C program
files that are
     likely to be bugs, non-portable, or wasteful.  It also  performs stricter
     type  checking than the C compiler.  lint runs the C preprocessor as its
     first phase, with the preprocessor symbol  lint  defined  to
allow certain
     questionable  code to be altered or skipped by lint.  Therefore, this symbol
 should be thought of as a reserved  word  for  all  code
that is to be
     checked by lint.

     Among the possible problems that are currently noted are unreachable
     statements, loops not entered at the top, variables declared
and not
     used,  and  logical expressions with constant values.  Function calls are
     checked for inconsistencies, such as calls to functions that
return values
  in some places and not in others, functions called with
varying numbers
 of arguments, function calls that pass arguments  of  a
type other
     than  the  type  the  function expects to receive, functions
whose values are
     not used, and calls to functions not returning  values  that
use the nonexistent
 return value of the function.

     Filename  arguments  ending with .c are taken to be C source
files.  Filename
 arguments with names ending with .ln are  taken  to  be
the result of
     an earlier invocation of lint, with either the -i, -o, or -C
option in
     effect.  The .ln files are  analogous  to  the  .o  (object)
files produced by
     cc(1)  from  .c  files.  lint also accepts special libraries
specified with
     the -l option, which contain definitions of library routines
and variables.

     lint  takes  all the .c, .ln, and llib-llibrary.ln (lint library) files and
     processes them in command-line order.  By default, lint  appends the standard
  C  lint library (llib-lc.ln), if it exists, to the end
of the list of
     files.  When the -i option is used, the .ln  files  are  ignored.  Also,
     when  the  -o  or  -i options are used, the llib-llibrary.ln
files are ignored.
  When the -i option is omitted  the  second  pass  of
lint checks this
     list of files for mutual compatibility.  At this point, if a
     stems not from a given source file, but from one of its  included files,
     the  source  filename will be printed followed by a question

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Report assignments of long values to variables  that
are not long.

     -aa      Additional to -a, report all assignments of integer
values to
             other integer values which cause implicit  narrowing

     -b       Report  break  statements  that  cannot be reached.
This is not the
             default because, unfortunately, most lex(1) and many
yacc(1) outputs
 produce many such complaints.

     -c       Complain about casts which have questionable portability.

     -e      Complain about unusual operations on enum-Types  and
             of enum- and integer-Types.

     -g       Don't  print warnings for some extensions of gcc(1)
to the C language.
  Currently these are nonconstant initializers
in automatic
             aggregate  initializations, arithmetic on pointer to
void, zero
             sized structures, subscripting of non-lvalue arrays,
             overriding  old style function declarations and long
long integer
             types.  The -g flag also turns on the  keywords  asm
and inline
             (alternate  keywords  with  leading  underscores for
both asm and
             inline are always available).

     -h      Apply a number of heuristic tests to attempt to  intuit bugs, improve
 style, and reduce waste.

     -i       Produce a .ln file for every .c file on the command
line.  These
             .ln files are the product of lint's first pass only,
and are not
             checked for compatibility between functions.

     -n       Do not check compatibility against the standard library.

     -p      Attempt to check portability of code  to  other  dialects of C.

     -r      In case of redeclarations report the position of the

     -s      Strict ANSI C mode.  Issue warnings and  errors  required by ANSI
             C.   Also  do  not  produce  warnings for constructs
which behave differently
 in traditional C and ANSI C.  With  the  -s
             __STRICT_ANSI__  is a predefined preprocessor macro.

     -t      Traditional C mode.  __STDC__ is not  predefined  in
this mode.
             Warnings  are  printed for constructs not allowed in
traditional C.
             Warnings for constructs which behave differently  in
traditional C
             and  ANSI C are suppressed.  Preprocessor macros describing the
             machine type (e.g., sun3) and  machine  architecture
(e.g., m68k)
             are  defined  without  leading  and  trailing underscores.  The keywords
 const, volatile and signed are  not  available
in traditional
             C mode (although the alternate keywords with leading
             still are).

     -u      Do not complain about functions and  external  variables used and
             not  defined, or defined and not used (this is suitable for running
 lint on a subset of files comprising part of  a
larger program).

     -v       Suppress complaints about unused arguments in functions.

     -x      Report variables referred to by extern declarations,
but never

     -z       Do not complain about structures that are never defined (for example,
 using a structure pointer without knowing its

             Create    a    lint    library    with    the   name
llib-llibrary.ln.  This library
 is built from all .c and .ln input files.  After all global
             definitions  of  functions  and  variables  in these
files are written
             to the newly created library, lint checks all  input
files, including
  libraries specified with the -l option, for
mutual compatibility.

             Define name for cpp(1), as if by  a  #define  directive.  If no definition
 is given, name is defined as 1.

             Add directory to the list of directories in which to
search for
             include files.

             Include the lint library llib-llibrary.ln.

             Search  for  lint   libraries   in   directory   and
directory/lint before
             searching the standard place.

     -F       Print pathnames of files.  lint normally prints the
             without the path.

     -H      If a complaint stems  from  an  included  file  lint
prints the name
             of the included file instead of the source file name
followed by
             a question mark.

             Name the output file outputfile.   The  output  file
produced is the
             input  that  is given to lint's second pass.  The -o
option simply
             saves this file in the named output file.  If the -i
option is
             also used the files are not checked for compatibility.  To produce
 a llib-llibrary.ln without extraneous messages,
use of the
             -u  option is suggested.  The -v option is useful if
the source
             file(s) for the lint library are just  external  interfaces.

     -Uname   Remove  any initial definition of name for the preprocessor.

     -V      Print the command  lines  constructed  by  the  controller program to
             run  the  C preprocessor and lint's first and second

     Input Grammar    [Toc]    [Back]

     lint's first pass reads standard C source files.  lint  recognizes the
     following C comments as commands.

     /* ARGSUSEDn */
                 makes  lint check only the first n arguments for
usage; a
                 missing n is taken to be  0  (this  option  acts
like the -v option
 for the next function).

                 suppress complaints about constant operands  for
the next expression.

     /* FALLTHRU */ or /* FALLTHROUGH */
                 suppress complaints about fall through to a case
or default
                 labelled statement.  This  directive  should  be
placed immediately
 preceding the label.

     /* LINTLIBRARY */
                 At  the  beginning of a file, mark all functions
and variables
                 defined in this file as  used.   Also  shut  off
complaints about
                 unused function arguments.

     /* LINTED [comment] */ or /* NOSTRICT [comment] */
                 Suppresses  any  intra-file warning except those
dealing with
                 unused variables or functions.   This  directive
should be
                 placed  on  the line immediately preceding where
the lint warning

     /* LONGLONG */
                 Suppress complaints about use of long long integer types.

     /* NOTREACHED */
                 At  appropriate points, inhibit complaints about
                 code.  (This comment is  typically  placed  just
after calls to
                 functions like exit(3)).

     /* PRINTFLIKEn */
                 makes  lint  check  the first (n-1) arguments as
usual.  The n-
                 th argument is interpreted as  a  printf  format
string that is
                 used to check the remaining arguments.

     /* PROTOLIBn */
                 causes lint to treat function declaration prototypes as function
 definitions if n is non-zero.  This  directive can only
                 be  used  in conjunction with the /* LINTLIBRARY
*/ directive.
                 If n is zero, function prototypes will be treated normally.

     /* SCANFLIKEn */
                 makes  lint  check  the first (n-1) arguments as
usual.  The n-
                 th argument is interpreted  as  a  scanf  format
string that is
                 used to check the remaining arguments.

     /* VARARGSn */
                 Suppress the usual checking for variable numbers
of arguments
                 in the following function declaration.  The data
types of the
                 first  n  arguments  are checked; a missing n is
taken to be 0.

     The behavior of the -i and the -o options allows for  incremental use of
     lint  on  a  set  of C source files.  Generally, one invokes
lint once for
     each source file with the -i option.  Each of these  invocations produces
     a  .ln  file that corresponds to the .c file, and prints all
messages that
     are about just that source file.  After all the source files
have been
     separately  run through lint, it is invoked once more (without the -i option),
 listing all the .ln files with the  needed  -llibrary
options.  This
     will  print all the inter-file inconsistencies.  This scheme
works well
     with make(1); it allows make(1) to be used to lint only  the
source files
     that  have  been  modified  since  the  last time the set of
source files were

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

     LIBDIR      the directory where the lint libraries specified
by the
                 -llibrary  option  must exist.  If this environment variable is
                 undefined,     then     the     default     path
/usr/libdata/lint will be
                 used to search for the libraries.

     TMPDIR       usually the path for temporary files can be redefined by setting
 this environment variable.

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     /usr/libexec/lint[12]             programs
     /usr/libdata/lint/llib-lposix.ln  prebuilt POSIX C lint  library
     /usr/libdata/lint/llib-lstdc.ln    prebuilt  ANSI/ISO C lint
     /tmp/lint*                        temporaries

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     cc(1), cpp(1), make(1)

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Jochen Pohl

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The routines exit(3), longjmp(3) and other functions that do
not return
     are  not  understood; this causes various incorrect diagnostics.

     Static functions which are used only before their first  extern declaration
 are reported as unused.

     Libraries  created by the -o option will, when used in later
lint runs,
     cause certain errors that were reported when  the  libraries
were created
     to  be reported again, and cause line numbers and file names
from the
     original source used to create those libraries to be reported in error
     messages.   For  these reasons, it is recommended to use the
-C option to
     create lint libraries.

OpenBSD     3.6                         August      28,      1994
[ Back ]
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