puts() functions are input/output functions in the C programming language. However, I must inform you that the
gets() function is considered unsafe and has been deprecated since the C11 standard due to its potential to cause buffer overflow vulnerabilities. It is highly recommended to avoid using
gets() and use safer alternatives instead.
Here’s a brief explanation of both functions:
gets()function was traditionally used to read a line of text from the standard input (keyboard) and store it as a string in a character array. However, it has no way of knowing the size of the destination array, which makes it prone to buffer overflow errors. This is because
gets()reads characters from input until it encounters a newline character (‘\n’) or the end of the input file, and it stores these characters into the provided buffer without any bounds checking. Consequently, if the input exceeds the size of the buffer, it can overwrite adjacent memory locations, leading to unpredictable behavior and security vulnerabilities.
Example usage of
char buffer; printf("Enter a string: "); gets(buffer); // Unsafe: potential buffer overflow
puts()function is used to write a null-terminated string to the standard output (usually the console). It takes a character array (string) as an argument and displays it on the output screen followed by a newline character. Unlike
puts()does not suffer from buffer overflow vulnerabilities since it does not accept any user input.
Example usage of
char str = "Hello, World!"; puts(str); // Outputs "Hello, World!"
In modern C programming, it is recommended to use safer alternatives to
gets(), such as
scanf(), which allow you to specify the maximum number of characters to read and provide more control over input limits. Similarly,
printf() is often used instead of
puts() for writing formatted output.