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Linker Options

LINK.exe links Common Object File Format (COFF) object files and libraries to create an executable (.exe) file or a dynamic-link library (DLL).

The following table lists options for LINK.exe. For more information about LINK, see:

On the command line, linker options are not case-sensitive—for example, /base and /BASE mean the same thing.

You can use the comment pragma to specify some linker options.

Option

Purpose

@

Specifies a response file.

/ALIGN

Specifies the alignment of each section.

/ALLOWBIND

Specifies that a DLL cannot be bound.

/ALLOWISOLATION

Specifies behavior for manifest lookup.

/APPCONTAINER

Specifies whether the app must run within an appcontainer process environment.

/ASSEMBLYDEBUG

Adds the DebuggableAttribute to a managed image.

/ASSEMBLYLINKRESOURCE

Creates a link to a managed resource.

/ASSEMBLYMODULE

Specifies that a Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL) module should be imported into the assembly.

/ASSEMBLYRESOURCE

Embeds a managed resource file in an assembly.

/BASE

Sets a base address for the program.

/CGTHREADS

Sets number of cl.exe threads to use for optimization and code generation when link-time code generation is specified.

/CLRIMAGETYPE

Sets the type (IJW, pure, or safe) of a CLR image.

/CLRSUPPORTLASTERROR

Preserves the last error code of functions that are called through the P/Invoke mechanism.

/CLRTHREADATTRIBUTE

Specifies the threading attribute to apply to the entry point of your CLR program.

/CLRUNMANAGEDCODECHECK

Specifies whether the linker will apply the SuppressUnmanagedCodeSecurity attribute to linker-generated PInvoke stubs that call from managed code into native DLLs.

/DEBUG

Creates debugging information.

/DEF

Passes a module-definition (.def) file to the linker.

/DEFAULTLIB

Searches the specified library when external references are resolved.

/DELAY

Controls the delayed loading of DLLs.

/DELAYLOAD

Causes the delayed loading of the specified DLL.

/DELAYSIGN

Partially signs an assembly.

/DLL

Builds a DLL.

/DRIVER

Creates a kernel mode driver.

/DYNAMICBASE

Specifies whether to generate an executable image that can be randomly rebased at load time by using the address space layout randomization (ASLR) feature.

/ENTRY

Sets the starting address.

/errorReport

Reports internal linker errors to Microsoft.

/EXPORT

Exports a function.

/FIXED

Creates a program that can be loaded only at its preferred base address.

/FORCE

Forces a link to complete even with unresolved symbols or symbols defined more than once.

/FUNCTIONPADMIN

Creates an image that can be hot patched.

/HEAP

Sets the size of the heap, in bytes.

/HIGHENTROPYVA

Specifies support for high-entropy 64-bit address space layout randomization (ASLR).

/IDLOUT

Specifies the name of the .idl file and other MIDL output files.

/IGNORE

Suppresses output of specified linker warnings.

/IGNOREIDL

Prevents the processing of attribute information into an .idl file.

/IMPLIB

Overrides the default import library name.

/INCLUDE

Forces symbol references.

/INCREMENTAL

Controls incremental linking.

/INTEGRITYCHECK

Specifies that the module requires a signature check at load time.

/KEYCONTAINER

Specifies a key container to sign an assembly.

/KEYFILE

Specifies a key or key pair to sign an assembly.

/LARGEADDRESSAWARE

Tells the compiler that the application supports addresses larger than two gigabytes

/LIBPATH

Enables user override of the environmental library path.

/LTCG

Specifies link-time code generation.

/MACHINE

Specifies the target platform.

/MANIFEST

Creates a side-by-side manifest file and optionally embeds it in the binary.

/MANIFESTDEPENDENCY

Specifies a <dependentAssembly> section in the manifest file.

/MANIFESTFILE

Changes the default name of the manifest file.

/MANIFESTINPUT

Specifies a manifest input file for the linker to process and embed in the binary. You can use this option multiple times to specify more than one manifest input file.

/MANIFESTUAC

Specifies whether User Account Control (UAC) information is embedded in the program manifest.

/MAP

Creates a mapfile.

/MAPINFO

Includes the specified information in the mapfile.

/MERGE

Combines sections.

/MIDL

Specifies MIDL command-line options.

/NOASSEMBLY

Suppresses the creation of a .NET Framework assembly.

/NODEFAULTLIB

Ignores all (or the specified) default libraries when external references are resolved.

/NOENTRY

Creates a resource-only DLL.

/NOLOGO

Suppresses the startup banner.

/NXCOMPAT

Marks an executable as verified to be compatible with the Windows Data Execution Prevention feature.

/OPT

Controls LINK optimizations.

/ORDER

Places COMDATs into the image in a predetermined order.

/OUT

Specifies the output file name.

/PDB

Creates a program database (PDB) file.

/PDBALTPATH

Uses an alternate location to save a PDB file.

/PDBSTRIPPED

Creates a program database (PDB) file that has no private symbols.

/PGD

Specifies a .pgd file for profile-guided optimizations.

/PROFILE

Produces an output file that can be used with the Performance Tools profiler.

/RELEASE

Sets the Checksum in the .exe header.

/SAFESEH

Specifies that the image will contain a table of safe exception handlers.

/SECTION

Overrides the attributes of a section.

/STACK

Sets the size of the stack in bytes.

/STUB

Attaches an MS-DOS stub program to a Win32 program.

/SUBSYSTEM

Tells the operating system how to run the .exe file.

/SWAPRUN

Tells the operating system to copy the linker output to a swap file before it is run.

/TLBID

Specifies the resource ID of the linker-generated type library.

/TLBOUT

Specifies the name of the .tlb file and other MIDL output files.

/TSAWARE

Creates an application that is designed specifically to run under Terminal Server.

/VERBOSE

Prints linker progress messages.

/VERSION

Assigns a version number.

/WINMD

Enables generation of a Windows Runtime Metadata file.

/WINMDFILE

Specifies the file name for the Windows Runtime Metadata (winmd) output file that's generated by the /WINMD linker option.

/WINMDKEYFILE

Specifies a key or key pair to sign a Windows Runtime Metadata file.

/WINMDKEYCONTAINER

Specifies a key container to sign a Windows Metadata file.

/WINMDDELAYSIGN

Partially signs a Windows Runtime Metadata (.winmd) file by placing the public key in the winmd file.

/WX

Treats linker warnings as errors.

For more information, see Compiler-Controlled LINK Options.

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