/SUBSYSTEM (Specify Subsystem)


For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017, see Visual Studio 2017 Documentation.


An application that runs in the Windows boot environment. For more information about boot applications, see About BCD.

Win32 character-mode application. The operating system provides a console for console applications. If main or wmain is defined for native code, int main(array<String ^> ^) is defined for managed code, or you build the application completely by using /clr:safe, CONSOLE is the default.

Extensible Firmware Interface
The EFI_* subsystems. See the EFI specification for more information. For example, see the Intel Web site. The minimum version and default version is 1.0.

Kernel mode drivers for Windows NT. This option is usually reserved for Windows system components. If /DRIVER:WDM is specified, NATIVE is the default.

Application that runs with the POSIX subsystem in Windows NT.

Application does not require a console, probably because it creates its own windows for interaction with the user. If WinMain or wWinMain is defined for native code, or WinMain(HISTANCE *, HINSTANCE *, char *, int) or wWinMain(HINSTANCE *, HINSTANCE *, wchar_t *, int) is defined for managed code, WINDOWS is the default.

Major and minor (optional)
Specify the minimum required version of the subsystem. The arguments are decimal numbers in the range 0 through 65,535. See the Remarks for more information. There are no upper bounds for version numbers.

The /SUBSYSTEM option specifies the environment for the executable.

The choice of subsystem affects the entry point symbol (or entry point function) that the linker will select.

The optional minimum and default major and minor version numbers for the subsystems are as follows.

CONSOLE5.01 (x86) 5.02 (x64) 6.02 (ARM)6.00 (x86, x64) 6.02 (ARM)
WINDOWS5.01 (x86) 5.02 (x64) 6.02 (ARM)6.00 (x86, x64) 6.02 (ARM)
NATIVE (with DRIVER:WDM)1.00 (x86) 1.10 (x64, ARM)1.00 (x86) 1.10 (x64, ARM)
NATIVE (without /DRIVER:WDM)4.00 (x86) 5.02 (x64) 6.02 (ARM)4.00 (x86) 5.02 (x64) 6.02 (ARM)

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. Select the Linker folder.

  3. Select the System property page.

  4. Modify the SubSystem property.

To set this linker option programmatically

Setting Linker Options
Linker Options