What is system() in c programming?

system function in c is used to run Shell commands which cannot be directly executed by the c program.

This function is defined in stdlib.h header file.


int system(char const *COMMAND);

Return value

It returns status of the command or -1 on error.

Example program for system() in c

int main()
   printf("command processor is not present \n");
  return 0;


system in c output
system function in c output

Code explanation

The system() executes the shell command “ls”, if it is present on your system.

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What does system() returns?

This function executes shell commands if they are present on your system.