Is it fine to write “void main()” or “main()” in C/C++?

The definition

	void main() { /* ... */ }

is not and never has been C++, nor has it even been C. See the ISO C++ standard 3.6.1[2] or the ISO C standard A conforming implementation accepts

	int main() { /* ... */ }


	int main(int argc, char* argv[]) { /* ... */ }

A conforming implementation may provide more versions of main(), but they must all have return type int. The int returned by main() is a way for a program to return a value to “the system” that invokes it. On systems that doesn’t provide such a facility the return value is ignored, but that doesn’t make “void main()” legal C++ or legal C. Even if your compiler accepts “void main()” avoid it, or risk being considered ignorant by C and C++ programmers.
In C++, main() need not contain an explicit return statement. In that case, the value returned is 0, meaning successful execution.
For example:

#include <iostream>
int main()
    std::cout << "This program returns the integer value 0\n";

Note also that neither ISO C++ nor C99 allows you to leave the type out of a declaration. That is, in contrast to C89 and ARM C++ ,”int” is not assumed where a type is missing in a declaration. Consequently:

#include <iostream>

main() { /* ... */ } 

is an error because the return type of main() is missing.


To summarize above, it is never a good idea to use “void main()” or just “main()” as it doesn’t confirm standards. It may be allowed by some compilers though.

Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above

GATE CS Corner    Company Wise Coding Practice

Recommended Posts:

Writing code in comment? Please use, generate link and share the link here.