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explain_program_name(3) Library Functions Manual explain_program_name(3)


explain_program_name - manipulate the program name


#include <libexplain/libexplain.h>

const char *explain_program_name_get(void);
void explain_program_name_set(const char *name);
void explain_program_name_assemble(int yesno);


These functions may be used to manipulate libexplain's idea of the command name of the current process, and whether or not that name is included in error messages.


const char *explain_program_name_get(void);

The explain_program_name_get function may be used to obtain the command name of the calling process. Depending on how capable /proc is on your system, or, failing that, how capable lsof(1) is on your system, this may or may not produce a sensible result. It works well on Linux.

pointer to string containing the command name (no slashes) of the calling process.


void explain_program_name_set(const char *name);

The explain_program_name_set function may be used to set the libexplain libraries' idea of the command name of the calling process, setting the string to be returned by the explain_program_name_get(3) function. This overrides the automatic behavior, which can be quite desirable in commands that can be invoked with more than one name, e.g. if they are a hard link synonym.

This also sets the option to include the program name in all of the error messages issued by the explain_*_or_die(3) functions.

The name of the calling process. Only the basename will be used if a path containing slashes is given.


void explain_program_name_assemble(int yesno);

The explain_program_name_assemble function is used to control whether or not the name of the calling process is to be included in error messages issued by the explain_*_or_die(3) functions. If not explicitly set, is controlled by the EXPLAIN_OPTIONS environment variable, or defaults to true if not set there either.

non‐zero (true) to have program name included, zero (false) to have program name excluded.


libexplain version 1.4
Copyright (C) 2008 Peter Miller


Written by Peter Miller <>