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

This file is not printed in the book; it is a supplementary file for Chapter 22.

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 signals/demo_SIGFPE.c

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

/* demo_SIGFPE.c

   Demonstrate the generation of the SIGFPE signal.

   Usage: demo_SIGFPE [optstr]

   The main program executes code the generates a SIGFPE signal. Before doing
   so, the program optionally ignores and/or blocks SIGFPE. If 'optstr'
   contains 'i', then SIGFPE is ignored, otherwise it is caught by a handler.
   If 'optstr' contains 'b', then SIGFPE is blocked before it is delivered.
   The behavior that occurs when SIGFPE is generated depends on the kernel
   version (Linux 2.6 is different from Linux 2.4 and earlier).

   NOTE: Don't compile this program with optimization, as the arithmetic
   below is likely to be optimized away completely, with the result that
   we don't get SIGFPE at all.
#define _GNU_SOURCE     /* Get strsignal() declaration from <string.h> */
#include <string.h>
#include <signal.h>
#include <stdbool.h>
#include "tlpi_hdr.h"
static void
sigfpeCatcher(int sig)
    printf("Caught signal %d (%s)\n", sig, strsignal(sig));
                                /* UNSAFE (see Section 21.1.2) */
    sleep(1);                   /* Slow down execution of handler */
main(int argc, char *argv[])
    /* If no command-line arguments specified, catch SIGFPE, else ignore it */

    if (argc > 1 && strchr(argv[1], 'i') != NULL) {
        printf("Ignoring SIGFPE\n");
        if (signal(SIGFPE, SIG_IGN) == SIG_ERR)     errExit("signal");
    } else {
        printf("Catching SIGFPE\n");

        struct sigaction sa;
        sa.sa_flags = SA_RESTART;
        sa.sa_handler = sigfpeCatcher;
        if (sigaction(SIGFPE, &sa, NULL) == -1)

    bool blocking = argc > 1 && strchr(argv[1], 'b') != NULL;
    sigset_t prevMask;
    if (blocking) {
        printf("Blocking SIGFPE\n");

        sigset_t blockSet;
        sigaddset(&blockSet, SIGFPE);
        if (sigprocmask(SIG_BLOCK, &blockSet, &prevMask) == -1)

    printf("About to generate SIGFPE\n");
    int x, y;
    y = 0;
    x = 1 / y;
    y = x;      /* Avoid complaints from "gcc -Wunused-but-set-variable" */

    if (blocking) {
        printf("Sleeping before unblocking\n");
        printf("Unblocking SIGFPE\n");
        if (sigprocmask(SIG_SETMASK, &prevMask, NULL) == -1)

    printf("Shouldn't get here!\n");


Download signals/demo_SIGFPE.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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