This is an unofficial snapshot of the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG21 Core Issues List revision 112c. See for the official list.


1886. Language linkage for main()

Section:  [basic.start.main]     Status: CD4     Submitter: Richard Smith     Date: 2014-03-04

[Moved to DR at the May, 2015 meeting.]

There does not appear to be any restriction on giving main() an explicit language linkage, but it should probably be either ill-formed or conditionally-supported.

Proposed resolution (November, 2014):

  1. Change [basic.start.main] paragraph 2 as follows:

  2. An implementation shall not predefine the main function. This function shall not be overloaded. It Its type shall have C++ language linkage and it shall have a declared return type of type int, but otherwise its type is implementation-defined. An implementation shall allow both...
  3. Change [basic.start.main] paragraph 3 as follows:

  4. The function main shall not be used within a program. The linkage (6.6 []) of main is implementation-defined. A program that defines main as deleted or that declares main to be inline, static, or constexpr is ill-formed. The main function shall not be declared with a linkage-specification (9.11 []). A program that declares a variable main at global scope or that declares the name main with C language linkage (in any namespace) is ill-formed. The name main is not otherwise reserved...