I wrote a program that implements a minimal shell and reads from standard input commands and executes them.

Is my implementation ok? I admit that I helped myself a lot with google. Could I have written a better implementation?

Also, I tried to check the program with the dash command, because they are similar. I tried to close the terminal with the key combination Ctrl + D, but it displays a different error and exit status. Why?


#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>
#define PRMTSIZ 255
#define MAXARGS 63
#define EXITCMD "exit"
int main()
    for (;;)
        char input[PRMTSIZ + 1] = {0x0};
        char * ptr = input;
        char * args[MAXARGS + 1] = {NULL};
        int wstatus;
        printf("%s", getuid() == 0 ? "# " : "$ ");
        // get data from user
if(fgets(input, PRMTSIZ, stdin) == NULL)
        if (*ptr == '\n')continue;
        const char delims[3] = " \n";
        /* get the first token */
        char * token = strtok(input, delims);
        /* walk through other tokens */
        for (int i = 0; token != NULL; i++)
            args[i] = token;
            token = strtok(NULL, delims);
        if (strcmp(EXITCMD, args[0]) == 0 ) return 0;
        // execute the command in child
        if (fork()==0)exit(execvp(args[0],args));
        // parent waits for child to complete before continuing
        if (!WIFEXITED(wstatus)) printf("<%d>", WIFEXITED(wstatus));

1 Answer 1

  • if (*ptr == '\n') is very opportunistic, and leads to a serious problem. An input like \n results in a segfault. You should honestly tokenize any input, and only then test what args[0] is.

  • It is easy to overflow an args array (try a a a ... for more than 64 times). A tokenizing loop should hard stop at 63rd token.

  • ptr is not really used anywhere.

  • wstatus is better be declared where it is used:

      int wstatus;
      if (!WIFEXITED(wstatus)) printf("<%d>", WIFEXITED(wstatus));
  • You shall not ignore fork errors. As a minimum,

      switch (fork()) {
              normal_parent_code(); // Like, wait()
          case 0:
              break; // or exit()
          case -1:
              handle_fork_error(); // At least. print strerror
  • I don't see any value in printing WIFEXITED(wstatus). Much better diagnostic would be

      if (fork() == 0) {
  • \$\begingroup\$ How can I rezolve the overflow? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 29, 2022 at 9:11

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