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man pages section 3: Basic Library Functions

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022



ecb_crypt, cbc_crypt, des_setparity, DES_FAILED - fast DES encryption


#include <rpc/des_crypt.h>

int ecb_crypt(char *key, char *data, unsigned datalen,
     unsigned mode);
int cbc_crypt(char *key, char *data, unsigned datalen,
     unsigned mode, char *ivec);
void des_setparity(char *key);
int DES_FAILED(int stat);


ecb_crypt() and cbc_crypt() implement the NIST Data Encryption Standard (DES). These routines are faster and more general purpose than crypt(3C). They also are able to utilize DES hardware if it is available. ecb_crypt() encrypts in ECB (Electronic Code Book) mode, which encrypts blocks of data independently. cbc_crypt() encrypts in CBC (Cipher Block Chaining) mode, which chains together successive blocks. CBC mode protects against insertions, deletions, and substitutions of blocks. Also, regularities in the clear text will not appear in the cipher text.

The first parameter, key, is the 8-byte encryption key with parity. To set the key's parity, which for DES is in the low bit of each byte, use des_setparity(). The second parameter, data, contains the data to be encrypted or decrypted. The third parameter, datalen, is the length in bytes of data, which must be a multiple of 8. The fourth parameter, mode, is formed by OR'ing together the DES_ENCRYPT or DES_DECRYPT to specify the encryption direction and DES_HW or DES_SW to specify software or hardware encryption. If DES_HW is specified, and there is no hardware, then the encryption is performed in software and the routine returns DESERR_NOHWDEVICE.

For cbc_crypt(), the parameter ivec is the 8-byte initialization vector for the chaining. It is updated to the next initialization vector upon successful return.

Return Values

Given a result status stat, the macro DES_FAILED is false only for the first two statuses.


No error.


Encryption succeeded, but done in software instead of the requested hardware.


An error occurred in the hardware or driver.


Bad parameter to routine.


The DES standard was officially withdrawn by NIST in 2005, and the algorithm is no longer recommended for modern usage. Oracle Solaris may remove the remaining support for single-DES in a future update. Please upgrade your applications to use more modern ciphers and hashes and longer key lengths, such as those provided by openssl(7).


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability
Obsolete Committed

See Also

crypt(3C), attributes(7), openssl(7)