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Allocating Cleared Space

The function calloc allocates memory and clears it to zero. It is declared in `stdlib.h'.

Function: void * calloc (size_t count, size_t eltsize)

This function allocates a block long enough to contain a vector of count elements, each of size eltsize. Its contents are cleared to zero before calloc returns.

You could define calloc as follows:

void *
calloc (size_t count, size_t eltsize)
{
  size_t size = count * eltsize;
  void *value = malloc (size);
  if (value != 0)
    memset (value, 0, size);
  return value;
}

We rarely use calloc today, because it is equivalent to such a simple combination of other features that are more often used. It is a historical holdover that is not quite obsolete.

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