Article 84 - Data Structure - How to Implement Stack in C

This article describes an implementation of the Stack Structure.

For information about the Stack Structure, see Article 31 - Programming Data Structures.

To program a Stack, we need to understand the interface of a Stack.


  • Push Function
  • Pop Function
  • Is Empty Function


In this implementation, we use the Node structure from the Link List Article, see Article 83 - Data Structure - How to Implement Linked List in C.

Push Function

The Push Function adds an item to the Stack, the item goes on top of the Stack. We can use a linked list to implement a Stack and append/remove from the head of the list.

For information about the Linked List Structure, see Article 83 - Data Structure - How to Implement Linked List in C.

A function to push a node onto the Stack.

int push( Node ** stack, int content ){
    Node * node;
    if( !stack ){
        return -1;

    node = newNode( content );

    if( !node ){
        return -2;

    return addNode( stack, node );

Pop Function

Simply remove the node at the head of the list and return it, or return error if the list is empty.

A function to pop a node from the Stack.

int pop( Node ** stack, int * content ){   
    if( !stack || !content ){
        return -1;

    if( !*stack ){
        return -2;

    *content = (*stack)->content;

    return removeNode( stack, *stack );

Is Empty Function

Checking if the list is empty or null will determine if the Stack contains anything or not.

A function determine if the Stack is empty.

int isEmpty( Node * stack ){
    if( !stack ){
        return -1;

    if( !*stack ){
        return 0;

    return 1;

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