This is namespaces/demo_uts_namespaces.c, an example to accompany the book, The Linux Programming Interface.

This file is not printed in the book; it demonstrates Linux features that are not described in the book (typically features that have appeared since the book was published).

The source code file is copyright 2022, Michael Kerrisk, and is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3.

In the listing below, the names of Linux system calls and C library functions are hyperlinked to manual pages from the Linux man-pages project, and the names of functions implemented in the book are hyperlinked to the implementations of those functions.


Download namespaces/demo_uts_namespaces.c

  Cover of The Linux Programming Interface

Function list (Bold in this list means a function is not static)

/* demo_uts_namespaces.c

   Demonstrate the operation of UTS namespaces.

#define _GNU_SOURCE
#include <sys/wait.h>
#include <sys/utsname.h>
#include <sched.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <sys/mman.h>

/* A simple error-handling function: print an error message based
   on the value in 'errno' and terminate the calling process */

#define errExit(msg)    do { perror(msg); exit(EXIT_FAILURE); \
                        } while (0)
static int              /* Start function for cloned child */
childFunc(void *arg)
    /* Change hostname in UTS namespace of child */

    if (sethostname(arg, strlen(arg)) == -1)

    /* Retrieve and display hostname */

    struct utsname uts;
    if (uname(&uts) == -1)
    printf("uts.nodename in child:  %s\n", uts.nodename);

    /* Keep the namespace open for a while, by sleeping.
       This allows some experimentation--for example, another
       process might join the namespace. */


    return 0;           /* Terminates child */

#define STACK_SIZE (1024 * 1024)    /* Stack size for cloned child */
main(int argc, char *argv[])
    if (argc < 2) {
        fprintf(stderr, "Usage: %s <child-hostname>\n", argv[0]);

    char *stack = mmap(NULL, STACK_SIZE, PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE,
                 MAP_PRIVATE | MAP_ANONYMOUS | MAP_STACK, -1, 0);
    if (stack == MAP_FAILED)

    /* Create a child that has its own UTS namespace;
       the child commences execution in childFunc() */

    pid_t child_pid = clone(childFunc,
                          stack + STACK_SIZE, /* Assume stack grows downward */
                          CLONE_NEWUTS | SIGCHLD, argv[1]);
    if (child_pid == -1)
    printf("PID of child created by clone() is %ld\n", (long) child_pid);

    /* Parent falls through to here */

    sleep(1);           /* Give child time to change its hostname */

    /* Display the hostname in parent's UTS namespace. This will be
       different from the hostname in child's UTS namespace. */

    struct utsname uts;
    if (uname(&uts) == -1)
    printf("uts.nodename in parent: %s\n", uts.nodename);

    if (waitpid(child_pid, NULL, 0) == -1)      /* Wait for child */
    printf("child has terminated\n");



Download namespaces/demo_uts_namespaces.c

Note that, in most cases, the programs rendered in these web pages are not free standing: you'll typically also need a few other source files (mostly in the lib/ subdirectory) as well. Generally, it's easier to just download the entire source tarball and build the programs with make(1). By hovering your mouse over the various hyperlinked include files and function calls above, you can see which other source files this file depends on.

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