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UNIX/LINUX Command – cpp


cccp, cpp—The GNU C-compatible compiler preprocessor


cccp [–$][–A predicate [( value )]] [ –C ][–D name [ = definition ]][–dD][–dM][–I\ directory ][–H ][–I– ][–imacros file ][–include file ][–idirafter dir ][–iprefix prefix ][–iwithprefix dir ][ –lang–c][–lang–c++][–lang–objc ][–lang–objc++ ][–lint ][–M[–MG ]] [ –MM[–MG ]] [ –MD file ][–MMD file ][–nostdinc ][ –nostdinc++][–P][–pedantic ][–pedantic–errors ][–traditional ][ –trigraphs ][–U name ][–undef ][–Wtrigraphs ][–Wcomment ][ –Wall ][–Wtraditional ][ infile |– ][ outfile |– ]


The C preprocessor is a macro processor that is used automatically by the C compiler to transform your program before actual compilation. It is called a macro processor because it allows you to define macros, which are brief abbreviations for longer constructs.

The C preprocessor provides four separate facilities that you can use as you see fit:

* Inclusion of header files. These are files of declarations that can be substituted into your program.

* Macro expansion. You can define macros, which are abbreviations for arbitrary fragments of C code, and then the C preprocessor will replace the macros with their definitions throughout the program.

* Conditional compilation. Using special preprocessing directives, you can include or exclude parts of the program according to various conditions.

* Line control. If you use a program to combine or rearrange source files into an intermediate file which is then compiled, you can use line control to inform the compiler of where each source line originally came from.

C preprocessors vary in some details. For a full explanation of the GNU C preprocessor, see the info file cpp.info, or the manual The C Preprocessor . Both of these are built from the same documentation source file, cpp.texinfo. The GNU C preprocessor provides a superset of the features of ANSI Standard C.

ANSI Standard C requires the rejection of many harmless constructs commonly used by today’s C programs. Such incompatibility would be inconvenient for users, so the GNU C preprocessor is configured to accept these constructs by default. Strictly speaking, to get ANSI Standard C, you must use the options –trigraphs, –undef, and –pedantic, but in practice the consequences of having strict ANSI Standard C make it undesirable to do this.

When you use the C preprocessor, you will usually not have to invoke it explicitly: the C compiler will do so automatically. However, the preprocessor is sometimes useful individually.

When you call the preprocessor individually, either name (cpp or cccp) will do; they are completely synonymous.

The C preprocessor expects two filenames as arguments, infile and outfile. The preprocessor reads infile together with any other files it specifies with #include. All the output generated by the combined input files is written in outfile. Either infile or outfile may be –, which as infile means to read from standard input and as outfile means to write to standard output. Also, if outfile or both filenames are omitted, the standard output and standard input are used for the omitted filenames.


Here is a table of command options accepted by the C preprocessor. These options can also be given when compiling a C program; they are passed along automatically to the preprocessor when it is invoked by the compiler.

–P Inhibit generation of # lines with line-number information in the output from the preprocessor. This might be useful when running the preprocessor on something that is not C code and will be sent to a program which might be confused by the # lines.
–C Do not discard comments: pass them through to the output file. Comments appearing in arguments of a macro call will be copied to the output before the expansion of the macro call.
–traditional Try to imitate the behavior of old-fashioned C, as opposed to ANSI C.
–trigraphs Process ANSI standard trigraph sequences. These are three-character sequences, all starting with ??, that are defined by ANSI C to stand for single characters. For example, ??/ stands for \, so ??/n is a character constant for a newline. Strictly speaking, the GNU C preprocessor does not support all programs in ANSI Standard C unless –trigraphs is used, but if you ever notice the difference, it will be with relief. You don’t want to know any more about trigraphs.
–pedantic Issue warnings required by the ANSI C standard in certain cases such as when text other than a comment follows #else or #endif.
–pedantic–errors Like –pedantic, except that errors are produced rather than warnings.
–Wtrigraphs Warn if any trigraphs are encountered (assuming they are enabled).
–Wcomment Warn whenever a comment-start sequence /* appears in a comment. (Both forms have the –Wcomments same effect.)
–Wall Requests both –Wtrigraphs and –Wcomment (but not –Wtraditional).
–Wtraditional Warn about certain constructs that behave differently in traditional and ANSI C.
–I directory Add the directory directory to the end of the list of directories to be searched for header files. This can be used to override a system header file, substituting your own version, since these directories are searched before the system header file directories. If you use more than one –I option, the directories are scanned in left-to-right order; the standard system directories come after.
–I– Any directories specified with –I options before the –I– option are searched only for the case of #include “ file “; they are not searched for #include < file >.
If additional directories are specified with –I options after the –I–, these directories are searched for all #include directives.
In addition, the –I– option inhibits the use of the current directory as the first search directory for #include “ file “. Therefore, the current directory is searched only if it is requested explicitly with –I followed by a period (.). Specifying both –I– and –I. allows you to control precisely which directories are searched before the current one and which are searched after.
–nostdinc Do not search the standard system directories for header files. Only the directories you have specified with –I options (and the current directory, if appropriate) are searched.
–nostdinc++ Do not search for header files in the C++-specific standard directories, but do still search the other standard directories. (This option is used when building libg++.)
–D name Predefine name as a macro, with definition 1.
–D name=definition Predefine name as a macro, with definition definition. There are no restrictions on the contents of definition, but if you are invoking the preprocessor from a shell or shell-like program, you may need to use the shell’s quoting syntax to protect characters such as spaces that have a meaning in the shell syntax. If you use more than one –D for the same name, the rightmost definition takes effect.
–U name Do not predefine name. If both –U and –D are specified for one name, the –U beats the –D and the name is not predefined.
–undef Do not predefine any nonstandard macros.
–A name(value) Assert (in the same way as the #assert directive) the predicate name with tokenlist value . Remember to escape or quote the parentheses on shell command lines. You can use –A- to disable all predefined assertions; it also undefines all predefined macros.
–dM Instead of outputting the result of preprocessing, output a list of #define directives for all the macros defined during the execution of the preprocessor, including predefined macros. This gives you a way of finding out what is predefined in your version of the preprocessor; assuming you have no file foo.h, the command
touch foo.h; cpp –dM foo.h
will show the values of any predefined macros.
–dD Like –dM except in two respects: it does not include the predefined macros, and it outputs both the #define directives and the result of preprocessing. Both kinds of output go to the standard output file.
–M[–MG] Instead of outputting the result of preprocessing, output a rule suitable for make describing the dependencies of the main source file. The preprocessor outputs one make rule containing the object filename for that source file, a colon, and the names of all the included files. If there are many included files then the rule is split into several lines using \\ (newline).
–MG says to treat missing header files as generated files and assume they live in the same directory as the source file. It must be specified in addition to –M.
This feature is used in automatic updating of makefiles.
–MM[–MG] Like –M but mention only the files included with #include “ file “. System header files included with #include < file > are omitted.
–MDfile Like –M but the dependency information is written to file. This is in addition to compiling the file as specified. –MD does not inhibit ordinary compilation the way –M does.
When invoking gcc, do not specify the file argument. gcc will create filenames made by replacing .c with .d at the end of the input filenames.
In Mach, you can use the utility md to merge multiple files into a single dependency file suitable for using with the make command.
–MMDfile Like –M except mention only user header files, not system header files.
–H Print the name of each header file used, in addition to other normal activities.
–imacros file Process file as input, discarding the resulting output, before processing the regular input file. Because the output generated from file is discarded, the only effect of –imacros file is to make the macros defined in file available for use in the main input. The preprocessor evaluates any –D and –U options on the command line before processing –imacros file.
–include file Process file as input, and include all the resulting output, before processing the regular input file.
-idirafter dir Add the directory dir to the second include path. The directories on the second include path are searched when a header file is not found in any of the directories in the main include path (the one that –I adds to).
-iprefix prefix Specify prefix as the prefix for subsequent –iwithprefix options.
-iwithprefix dir Add a directory to the second include path. The directory’s name is made by concatenating prefix and dir, where prefix was specified previously with –iprefix.
–lang-c, –lang-c++, –lang-objc, –lang-objc++ Specify the source language. –lang-c++ makes the preprocessor handle C++ comment syntax, and includes extra default include directories for C++, and –lang-objc enables the Objective C #import directive. –lang-c explicitly turns off both of these extensions, and –lang-objc++ enables both. These options are generated by the compiler driver gcc, but not passed from the gcc command line.
–lint Look for commands to the program checker lint embedded in comments, and emit them preceded by #pragma lint. For example, the comment /* NOTREACHED */ becomes #pragma lint NOTREACHED. This option is available only when you call cpp directly; gcc will not pass it from its command line.
–$ Forbid the use of $ in identifiers. This is required for ANSI conformance. gcc automatically supplies this option to the preprocessor if you specify –ansi, but gcc doesn’t recognize the –$ option itself; to use it without the other effects of –ansi, you must call the preprocessor directly.

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