/ENTRY (Entry-Point Symbol)




A function that specifies a user-defined starting address for an .exe file or DLL.

The /ENTRY option specifies an entry point function as the starting address for an .exe file or DLL.

The function must be defined with the __stdcall calling convention. The parameters and return value depend on if the program is a console application, a windows application or a DLL. It is recommended that you let the linker set the entry point so that the C run-time library is initialized correctly, and C++ constructors for static objects are executed.

By default, the starting address is a function name from the C run-time library. The linker selects it according to the attributes of the program, as shown in the following table.

Function name

Default for

mainCRTStartup (or wmainCRTStartup)

An application using /SUBSYSTEM:CONSOLE; calls main (or wmain)

WinMainCRTStartup (or wWinMainCRTStartup)

An application using /SUBSYSTEM:WINDOWS; calls WinMain (or wWinMain), which must be defined with __stdcall


A DLL; calls DllMain, which must be defined with __stdcall, if it exists

If the /DLL or /SUBSYSTEM option is not specified, the linker selects a subsystem and entry point depending on whether main or WinMain is defined.

The functions main, WinMain, and DllMain are the three forms of the user-defined entry point.

When creating a managed image, the function specified with /ENTRY must have a signature of (LPVOID var1, DWORD var2, LPVOID var3).

For information on how to define your own DllMain entry point, see Run-Time Library Behavior .

To set this linker option in the Visual Studio development environment

  1. Open the project's Property Pages dialog box. For details, see Setting Visual C++ Project Properties.

  2. Click the Linker folder.

  3. Click the Advanced property page.

  4. Modify the Entry Point property.

To set this linker option programmatically