## table of contents

DRAND48(3) | Linux Programmer's Manual | DRAND48(3) |

# NAME¶

drand48, erand48, lrand48, nrand48, mrand48, jrand48, srand48, seed48, lcong48 - generate uniformly distributed pseudo-random numbers

# SYNOPSIS¶

#include <stdlib.h>

double drand48(void);

double erand48(unsigned shortxsubi[3]);

long lrand48(void);

long nrand48(unsigned shortxsubi[3]);

long mrand48(void);

long jrand48(unsigned shortxsubi[3]);

void srand48(longseedval);

unsigned short *seed48(unsigned shortseed16v[3]);

void lcong48(unsigned shortparam[7]);

All functions shown above: _XOPEN_SOURCE

|| /* Glibc since 2.19: */ _DEFAULT_SOURCE

|| /* Glibc versions <= 2.19: */ _SVID_SOURCE

# DESCRIPTION¶

These functions generate pseudo-random numbers using the linear congruential algorithm and 48-bit integer arithmetic.

The **drand48**() and **erand48**() functions return
nonnegative double-precision floating-point values uniformly distributed
over the interval [0.0, 1.0).

The **lrand48**() and **nrand48**() functions return
nonnegative long integers uniformly distributed over the interval
[0, 2^31).

The **mrand48**() and **jrand48**() functions return signed
long integers uniformly distributed over the interval
[-2^31, 2^31).

The **srand48**(), **seed48**(), and **lcong48**()
functions are initialization functions, one of which should be called before
using **drand48**(), **lrand48**() or **mrand48**(). The functions
**erand48**(), **nrand48**(), and **jrand48**() do not require an
initialization function to be called first.

All the functions work by generating a sequence of 48-bit
integers, *Xi*, according to the linear congruential formula:

Xn+1 = (aXn + c) mod m, where n >= 0

The parameter *m* = 2^48, hence 48-bit integer arithmetic is
performed. Unless **lcong48**() is called, *a* and *c* are
given by:

a = 0x5DEECE66Dc = 0xB

The value returned by any of the functions **drand48**(),
**erand48**(), **lrand48**(), **nrand48**(), **mrand48**() or
**jrand48**() is computed by first generating the next 48-bit *Xi*
in the sequence. Then the appropriate number of bits, according to the type
of data item to be returned, is copied from the high-order bits of *Xi*
and transformed into the returned value.

The functions **drand48**(), **lrand48**(), and
**mrand48**() store the last 48-bit *Xi* generated in an internal
buffer. The functions **erand48**(), **nrand48**(), and
**jrand48**() require the calling program to provide storage for the
successive *Xi* values in the array argument *xsubi*. The
functions are initialized by placing the initial value of *Xi* into the
array before calling the function for the first time.

The initializer function **srand48**() sets the high order
32-bits of *Xi* to the argument *seedval*. The low order 16-bits
are set to the arbitrary value 0x330E.

The initializer function **seed48**() sets the value of
*Xi* to the 48-bit value specified in the array argument
*seed16v*. The previous value of *Xi* is copied into an internal
buffer and a pointer to this buffer is returned by **seed48**().

The initialization function **lcong48**() allows the user to
specify initial values for *Xi*, *a*, and *c*. Array argument
elements *param[0-2]* specify *Xi*, *param[3-5]* specify
*a*, and *param[6]* specifies *c*. After **lcong48**() has
been called, a subsequent call to either **srand48**() or **seed48**()
will restore the standard values of *a* and *c*.

# ATTRIBUTES¶

For an explanation of the terms used in this section, see attributes(7).

Interface |
Attribute |
Value |

drand48 (), erand48 (), lrand48 (), nrand48 (), mrand48 (), jrand48 (), srand48 (), seed48 (), lcong48 () | Thread safety | MT-Unsafe race:drand48 |

The above functions record global state information for the random number generator, so they are not thread-safe.

# CONFORMING TO¶

POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008, SVr4.

# SEE ALSO¶

# COLOPHON¶

This page is part of release 5.10 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/.

2020-11-01 |