return from main

This is a discussion on return from main within the C Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; A return value of 0 from main signals all is fine any other value indicates some sort of error but ...

  1. #1
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    return from main

    A return value of 0 from main signals all is fine any other value indicates some sort of error but where do these returns from main go to I know they go to the operating system but where and why because my program/compiler will indicate any errors if there are any.

    thanks for the help.
    learner wanting to be a master.

  2. #2
    B26354 Deckard's Avatar
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    Obtaining this value depends on the operating system you are using. In POSIX systems such as Linux, this is shell dependant as well. Which OS are you using? If you are using *nix, which shell?

    You might also think about posting your question in the DOS/Windows/Linux message board if you are using one of those operating systems.
    Last edited by Deckard; 01-11-2002 at 12:47 PM.
    Jason Deckard

  3. #3
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    Re: return from main

    Originally posted by Unregistered
    A return value of 0 from main signals all is fine any other value indicates some sort of error but where do these returns from main go to I know they go to the operating system but where and why because my program/compiler will indicate any errors if there are any.

    thanks for the help.
    learner wanting to be a master.
    The return used to be good for .BAT files as you could test the success of a command and branch the rest of the script accrodingly............

  4. #4
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    The program you run is a childprocess in an environment, in some cases this environment is the OS, but in other cases it can be some other program. The return-value of main informs the environment of how the program has finished.

    Note that main is just a function, just as for example fopen is. When using fopen you check the result, if it is NULL, then you know that something has gone wrong. And with main it's the same case. If it sends back FALSE, than the environment knows that something has gone wrong.

    FALSE can be 1 or 0 or even some other value, since main returns an int. You should check the documentation of the environment to find out how it interprets the return value.

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