memcmp - compare memory areas
int memcmp(const void *s1, const void *s2, size_t n);
The memcmp() function compares the first n bytes (each interpreted
as unsigned char) of the memory areas s1 and s2.
The memcmp() function returns an integer less than, equal to, or greater
than zero if the first n bytes of s1 is found, respectively, to
be less than, to match, or be greater than the first n bytes of
For a nonzero return value, the sign is determined by the sign of
the difference between the first pair of bytes (interpreted as unsigned
char) that differ in s1 and s2.
If n is zero, the return value is zero.
For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).
POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, C89, C99, SVr4, 4.3BSD.
Do not use memcmp() to compare security critical data, such as
cryptographic secrets, because the required CPU time depends on the number of
equal bytes. Instead, a function that performs comparisons in constant time is
required. Some operating systems provide such a function (e.g., NetBSD's
consttime_memequal()), but no such function is specified in POSIX. On
Linux, it may be necessary to implement such a function oneself.
This page is part of release 5.08 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest
version of this page, can be found at https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.