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main: Program Startup

A special function called main is the starting point of execution for all C and C++ programs. If you are writing code that adheres to the Unicode programming model, you can use the wide-character version of main, wmain.

The main function is not predefined by the compiler; rather, it must be supplied in the program text.

The declaration syntax for main is:

int main( );

or, optionally:

int main( int argc[ , char *argv[ ] [, char *envp[ ] ] ] );

Microsoft Specific

The declaration syntax for wmain is as follows:

int wmain( );

or, optionally:

int wmain( int argc[ , wchar_t *argv[ ] [, wchar_t *envp[ ] ] ] );

END Microsoft Specific

The types for argc and argv are defined by the language. The names argc, argv, and envp are traditional, but are not required by the compiler. See Argument Definitions for more information and for an example.

Alternatively, the main and wmain functions can be declared as returning void (no return value). If you declare main or wmain as returning void, you cannot return an exit code to the parent process or operating system using a return statement; to return an exit code when main or wmain is declared as void, you must use the exit function.

See Also

C++ Keywords | Using wmain Instead of main | main Function Restrictions

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