Find Length of a Linked List (Iterative and Recursive)

Write a C function to count number of nodes in a given singly linked list.

linkedlist_find_length

For example, the function should return 5 for linked list 1->3->1->2->1.



Iterative Solution

1) Initialize count as 0 
2) Initialize a node pointer, current = head.
3) Do following while current is not NULL
     a) current = current -> next
     b) count++;
4) Return count 

Following are C/C++, Java and Python implementations of above algorithm to find count of nodes.

C/C++

// Iterative C program to find length or count of nodes in a linked list
#include<stdio.h>
#include<stdlib.h>
  
/* Link list node */
struct Node
{
    int data;
    struct Node* next;
};
  
/* Given a reference (pointer to pointer) to the head
  of a list and an int, push a new node on the front
  of the list. */
void push(struct Node** head_ref, int new_data)
{
    /* allocate node */
    struct Node* new_node =
            (struct Node*) malloc(sizeof(struct Node));
  
    /* put in the data  */
    new_node->data  = new_data;
  
    /* link the old list off the new node */
    new_node->next = (*head_ref);
  
    /* move the head to point to the new node */
    (*head_ref)    = new_node;
}
  
/* Counts no. of nodes in linked list */
int getCount(struct Node* head)
{
    int count = 0;  // Initialize count
    struct Node* current = head;  // Initialize current
    while (current != NULL)
    {
        count++;
        current = current->next;
    }
    return count;
}
  
/* Drier program to test count function*/
int main()
{
    /* Start with the empty list */
    struct Node* head = NULL;
  
    /* Use push() to construct below list
     1->2->1->3->1  */
    push(&head, 1);
    push(&head, 3);
    push(&head, 1);
    push(&head, 2);
    push(&head, 1);
  
    /* Check the count function */
    printf("count of nodes is %d", getCount(head));
    return 0;
}

Java

// Java program to count number of nodes in a linked list
  
/* Linked list Node*/
class Node
{
    int data;
    Node next;
    Node(int d)  { data = d;  next = null; }
}
  
// Linked List class
class LinkedList
{
    Node head;  // head of list
  
    /* Inserts a new Node at front of the list. */
    public void push(int new_data)
    {
        /* 1 & 2: Allocate the Node &
                  Put in the data*/
        Node new_node = new Node(new_data);
  
        /* 3. Make next of new Node as head */
        new_node.next = head;
  
        /* 4. Move the head to point to new Node */
        head = new_node;
    }
  
    /* Returns count of nodes in linked list */
    public int getCount()
    {
        Node temp = head;
        int count = 0;
        while (temp != null)
        {
            count++;
            temp = temp.next;
        }
        return count;
    }
  
    /* Drier program to test above functions. Ideally
       this function should be in a separate user class.
       It is kept here to keep code compact */
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        /* Start with the empty list */
        LinkedList llist = new LinkedList();
        llist.push(1);
        llist.push(3);
        llist.push(1);
        llist.push(2);
        llist.push(1);
  
        System.out.println("Count of nodes is " +
                           llist.getCount());
    }
}

Python

# A complete working Python program to find length of a
# Linked List iteratively
  
# Node class
class Node:
    # Function to initialise the node object
    def __init__(self, data):
        self.data = data # Assign data
        self.next = None # Initialize next as null
  
  
# Linked List class contains a Node object
class LinkedList:
  
    # Function to initialize head
    def __init__(self):
        self.head = None
  
  
    # This function is in LinkedList class. It inserts
    # a new node at the beginning of Linked List.
    def push(self, new_data):
  
        # 1 & 2: Allocate the Node &
        #     Put in the data
        new_node = Node(new_data)
  
        # 3. Make next of new Node as head
        new_node.next = self.head
  
        # 4. Move the head to point to new Node
        self.head = new_node
  
  
    # This function counts number of nodes in Linked List
    # iteratively, given 'node' as starting node.
    def getCount(self):
        temp = self.head # Initialise temp
        count = 0 # Initialise count
  
        # Loop while end of linked list is not reached
        while (temp):
            count += 1
            temp = temp.next
        return count
  
  
# Code execution starts here
if __name__=='__main__':
    llist = LinkedList()
    llist.push(1)
    llist.push(3)
    llist.push(1)
    llist.push(2)
    llist.push(1)
    print ("Count of nodes is :",llist.getCount())


Output:

count of nodes is 5



Recursive Solution



int getCount(head)
1) If head is NULL, return 0.
2) Else return 1 + getCount(head->next) 

Following are C/C++, Java and Python implementations of above algorithm to find count of nodes.

C/C++

// Recursive C program to find length or count of nodes in a linked list
#include<stdio.h>
#include<stdlib.h>
  
/* Link list node */
struct Node
{
    int data;
    struct Node* next;
};
  
/* Given a reference (pointer to pointer) to the head
  of a list and an int, push a new node on the front
  of the list. */
void push(struct Node** head_ref, int new_data)
{
    /* allocate node */
    struct Node* new_node =
            (struct Node*) malloc(sizeof(struct Node));
  
    /* put in the data  */
    new_node->data  = new_data;
  
    /* link the old list off the new node */
    new_node->next = (*head_ref);
  
    /* move the head to point to the new node */
    (*head_ref)    = new_node;
}
  
/* Counts the no. of occurences of a node
   (search_for) in a linked list (head)*/
int getCount(struct Node* head)
{
    // Base case
    if (head == NULL)
        return 0;
  
    // count is 1 + count of remaining list
    return 1 + getCount(head->next);
}
  
/* Drier program to test count function*/
int main()
{
    /* Start with the empty list */
    struct Node* head = NULL;
  
    /* Use push() to construct below list
     1->2->1->3->1  */
    push(&head, 1);
    push(&head, 3);
    push(&head, 1);
    push(&head, 2);
    push(&head, 1);
  
    /* Check the count function */
    printf("count of nodes is %d", getCount(head));
    return 0;
}

Java

// Recursive Java program to count number of nodes in 
// a linked list
  
/* Linked list Node*/
class Node
{
    int data;
    Node next;
    Node(int d)  { data = d;  next = null; }
}
  
// Linked List class
class LinkedList
{
    Node head;  // head of list
  
    /* Inserts a new Node at front of the list. */
    public void push(int new_data)
    {
        /* 1 & 2: Allocate the Node &
                  Put in the data*/
        Node new_node = new Node(new_data);
  
        /* 3. Make next of new Node as head */
        new_node.next = head;
  
        /* 4. Move the head to point to new Node */
        head = new_node;
    }
  
    /* Returns count of nodes in linked list */
    public int getCountRec(Node node)
    {
        // Base case
        if (node == null)
            return 0;
  
        // Count is this node plus rest of the list
        return 1 + getCountRec(node.next);
    }
  
    /* Wrapper over getCountRec() */
    public int getCount()
    {
        return getCountRec(head);
    }
  
    /* Drier program to test above functions. Ideally
       this function should be in a separate user class.
       It is kept here to keep code compact */
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        /* Start with the empty list */
        LinkedList llist = new LinkedList();
        llist.push(1);
        llist.push(3);
        llist.push(1);
        llist.push(2);
        llist.push(1);
  
        System.out.println("Count of nodes is " +
                           llist.getCount());
    }
}

Python

# A complete working Python program to find length of a
# Linked List recursively
  
# Node class
class Node:
    # Function to initialise the node object
    def __init__(self, data):
        self.data = data  # Assign data
        self.next = None  # Initialize next as null
  
  
# Linked List class contains a Node object
class LinkedList:
  
    # Function to initialize head
    def __init__(self):
        self.head = None
  
  
    # This function is in LinkedList class. It inserts
    # a new node at the beginning of Linked List.
    def push(self, new_data):
  
        # 1 & 2: Allocate the Node &
        #        Put in the data
        new_node = Node(new_data)
  
        # 3. Make next of new Node as head
        new_node.next = self.head
  
        # 4. Move the head to point to new Node
        self.head = new_node
  
    # This function counts number of nodes in Linked List
    # recursively, given 'node' as starting node.
    def getCountRec(self, node):
        if (not node): # Base case
            return 0
        else:
            return 1 + self.getCountRec(node.next)
  
    # A wrapper over getCountRec()
    def getCount(self):
       return self.getCountRec(self.head)
  
# Code execution starts here
if __name__=='__main__':
    llist = LinkedList()
    llist.push(1)
    llist.push(3)
    llist.push(1)
    llist.push(2)
    llist.push(1)
    print 'Count of nodes is :',llist.getCount()


Output:

count of nodes is 5

This article is contributed by Ravi. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above



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