Nokia nmake 11 CPP(1)


cpp − standalone C preprocessor


/lib/cpp [ option ... ] [ ifile [ ofile ] ]


cpp is the standalone preprocessor that is automatically invoked by the cc(1) command. Although primarily intended for the C language, there are several options that support preprocessing of other languages.

cpp accepts two optional file name arguments. ifile and ofile are respectively the input and output for the preprocessor, defaulting to standard input and standard output if not specified. WARNING: this is a non-standard file argument syntax that is required by some C compiler implementations.

preprocesses one of two dialects. Each of them has three modes - strict , transition , and C++ :


The default dialect ansi provides a conforming implementation, with extensions, of the preprocessing translation stages defined in the ANSI C standard. Refer to this document for detailed descriptions. The macro __STDC__ is predefined in this dialect.


This dialect provides almost complete compatibility with the old (Reiser) cpp. Non-supported features of old cpp appear in the diagnostics when possible. The macro __STDC__ is not predefined in this dialect. Refer to the Compatibility section below for a description of differences between this and the ansi dialect.

The dialects may have a strict interpretation, controlled by the −D−S option. When the strict mode is in effect, warning diagnostics are issued when dialect extensions are used in non-hosted files (see the −I−H option below).

The macro __STDPP__ is predefined to be 1 in all dialects.

The options are processed in order from left to right. Options issuing directives are executed after "pp_default.h" is read. The options are:


SVR4 assertion. arg is the name of assertion. This option is equivalent to the directive #assert arg.


Do not strip comments from the input files.


Additional cpp options accepted by most versions of cc(1). arg may be:


Preprocess the compatibility dialect.


Set the debug trace level to level. See the pp:debug pragma below.


Change the name of the input file reported in the line control information to filename.


Mark all files hosted. See the −I−H option below.


Change the directive name for line number control output directives to line-directive. The line number control output directives are of the form #line-directive line "file". The defaults are line if line-directive is omitted, and null if the −D−L option is omitted.


Mark all files to be included only once. See the allmultiple and multiple pragmas below.


Enable the passthrough mode. Specifies the passthrough mode, especially useful for preprocessing other languages (e.g., nmake(1)). This option is not suitable for C language processing. In this mode:

comments are removed

space characters are preserved on output

#(...) results are not enclosed in ""

\ escapes the special meaning of " and ’

\newline is removed only in directives

" and ’ constants may contain newlines


Produce a checkpoint dump of ifile in ofile. ifile will be searched for in all -I directories. A checkpoint dump file requires no preprocessing; it contains a fully preprocessed text section followed by a dump of the macro definitions. Checkpoint dump files may be subject to #include directives just as normal text files. Performance will most likely be improved for source files that reference large collections of common, stable header files.


Preprocess for transition mode.


Provide a strict dialect interpretation. See the pp:strict pragma below.


Enable the internal debugging test test. test may be 1, 2 or 3 (both 1 and 2). A diagnostic indicating the behavior of selected tests is issued.


Produce additional compatibility diagnostics relating to the current dialect.


Set the default definition probe key to probe. In the absence of pp_default.h probe is used to generate the information using probe(1).


Preprocess for the C++ language. See the pp:plusplus pragma below.


Invert the sense of the corresponding option from above.


Equivalent to the directive #pragma pp:option value.


Enters the preprocessing directive directive from the command line.


Equivalent to the directive #define #predicate([args]).


Equivalent to the directive #define name value. value defaults to 1 if omitted.


No effect. Provides compatibility with some versions of cc(1).


Print the included reference files in stderr. This is for System V compatibility.


Include file related options. arg may be:

Cause "" include files to be searched for in all −I directories and <> include files to be searched for only in the −I directories listed after −I−. The standard include directory is always searched last for both include file forms. This allows the directory of the including file (see the −Idir option below) to be replaced by a list of directories for "" include files. To first search for "" include files in the directory of ifile specify −I directory(ifile) −I− ..., where directory(ifile) is the directory portion of the ifile file name. (See Makerules(1) for directory prefix of include files in Scan Rule).


This is for C++. Any -Idir after -I-C will be marked as C source. This is equivalent to pp:cdir pragma below.


Use the default definitions from file rather than pp_default.h. If file is omitted then no default definitions file is read. file is read using the −I−R mechanism described below.


Include files found in −I directories listed after −I−H are marked hosted. If directory is specified then all −I directories, including directory itself, listed after −Idirectory are marked hosted. Most warning diagnostics are relaxed for hosted files. Files found in the standard include file directory (−I−S below) are marked hosted by default. If −D−H (−D+H) is specified then all files are marked hosted (non-hosted) regardless of the −I−H option.


Initialization files, (e.g., pp_default.h, −I−R ), are searched for in directory before the default standard include directory.


Ignore "..." quoted #include file names listed in file file, or, if charsuffix is specified, the file named by either changing characters following char in the input file base name to suffix or appending charsuffix to the input file name if it does not contain char. #include on any of the listed files will be ignored. Only the last −I−I option takes effect. If file is omitted then the option is ignored.


Read the contents of file using #include "file". file and all files included by file are marked hosted even if −D+H is specified. Line sync output is also disabled for these files.


Set the standard include file directory to dir. This directory is the last place searched for all include file forms. The default standard include file directory is /usr/include. Only one standard include directory may be specified.


Read the contents of file before the input file. The output of file from cpp is used in the input file.


Invert the sense of the corresponding -option from above


"" include files not beginning with / are first searched for in the directory of the including file, then in the directories named in −I options and finally the standard directory. <> include files use the same search order as "" files except that <> files are not searched for in the directory of the including file. The directory of the including file can be replaced by a possibly empty list of directories using the −I− option described above. (NOTE: dir cannot start with the character.)


Output the file dependencies in makefile assertion format. This is for BSD compatibility.


Preprocess without producing line control information.


Truncate macro names for compatibility with non-flexname (8 character) compilation systems. This is equivalent to pp:truncate pragma below.


Equivalent to the directive #undef name.


Prints the cpp version in stderr.


Set the System V standard preprocessing dialect to dialect. dialect may be one of:


The default ansi dialect.


The ansi strict mode (ANSI conforming). −D−S is preferred.


The C++ mode.


The compatibility transition and C++ mode.


The compatibility strict mode.


The old cpp.


The compatibility transition mode. −D−C is preferred.

The following table summarizes the mode(s) that each dialect represents:

dialect compatibility transition strict C++
a 0 1 0 0
A|c 0 0 1 0
F 0 0 0 1
f 1 1 0 1
k|s 1 0 1 0
o 1 0 0 0
t 1 1 0 0


Set the standard include file directory to dir. −I−Sdir is preferred.

directives are a single line (after all \newline sequences have been removed) starting with # as the first non-space character on the line. A space character is any one of space, tab, vertical-tab or formfeed. vertical-tab and formfeed are not valid between the initial # and the terminating newline. Any number of space and tab characters may appear between the initial # and the directive name. All tokens in directives are significant; trailing tokens, sometimes used as commentary in other implementations, must be enclosed in /* ... */. The #include, #if, #ifdef, #ifndef and #macdef directives can be nested, although the nesting levels must balance within files. In the following an identifier matches the regular expression [a−zA−Z_][a−zA−Z_0−9]* and must not be immediately preceded by [0−9].

The directives are:
name token-string

Replace subsequent instances of name with token-string.

#define name(arg, ..., arg) token-string

Replace subsequent instances of name followed by a (, a list of comma-separated set of tokens, and a ) by token-string, where each occurrence of an arg in the token-string is replaced by the expanded value of the corresponding set of tokens in the comma-separated list. The argument replaced token-string is then re-scanned for further macro replacement. Notice that there can be no space between name and ( in the definition. Formal arguments appearing in single or double quoted strings are replaced by the corresponding unexpanded actual argument text only in the compatibility dialect. Macro recursion is inhibited by not expanding a macro name appearing in its own definition.

If the last formal argument is followed by the ... token then it is replaced by the expanded value of all remaining actual arguments and intervening , tokens from the macro call. If there is only one formal argument then the macro may be called with no actual arguments, otherwise there must be at least one actual argument for the last formal argument.

The token # in token-string causes the immediately following formal argument to be replaced by the unexpanded value of the corresponding actual argument enclosed in double quotes. The token ## in token-string concatenates the space separated tokens immediately preceding and following the ## token. The resulting token is not checked for further macro expansions. Formal arguments preceding ## or following ## and # are replaced by the unexpanded value of the corresponding actual argument.

#define #predicate(argument)

Makes the assertion #predicate(argument) that may be tested only in #if or #elif directive expressions. predicate must be an identifier and argument may be any balanced parenthesis sequence of tokens not containing newline. The assertion in no way conflicts with the #define macro name space. Space character sequences in argument are canonicalized into single space characters and macro expansion is inhibited on both predicate and argument during predicate assertion and evaluation. Within #if expressions, #predicate(argument) evaluates to 1 if #define #predicate(argument) has been specified; otherwise it evaluates to 0. Likewise, #predicate() evaluates to 1 if any assertion has been made on predicate. Multiple assertions on predicate are allowed, with all such assertions evaluating to 1 in #if expressions.

#macdef name...

Defines the multi-line macro name. A matching #endmac ends the definition. Nesting is allowed. As with #define, name may have arguments. The definition body may contain directives; these directives are not executed until the macro is expanded.

#elif constant-expression

Allows multiple alternate branches for the #if directive. constant-expression evaluation is the same as for #if.


Reverses the sense of the test directive matching this directive. If lines previous to this directive are ignored then the following lines will appear in the output.


Ends a section of lines begun by a test directive (#if, #ifdef, or #ifndef). Each test directive must have a matching #endif.

#error [message]

Emits message as a cpp error diagnostic and terminates preprocessing immediately. The default message is user error.

#if constant-expression

Subsequent lines will appear in the output if and only if constant-expression evaluates to non-zero. All non-assignment C operators are valid in constant-expression. Operator precedence is the same as in the C language. Computations are done using long int and unsigned long int arithmetic on the host machine; floating point computations are not supported. Any macros in constant-expression are expanded before the expression is evaluated. The builtin predicate defined(name) tests if the macro name name has been defined. The builtin predicate exists(file) tests if file can be found using #include search rules. file must be enclosed in "" or <>. exists accepts additional optional quoted string arguments that are : separated lists of directories to search for the existence of file. The normal #include search rules are overridden in this case. The builtin predicate strcmp(token1,token2) compares the macro expanded string values of token1 and token2 using the strcmp(3) library function. Only these operators, functions, predicates, integer constants and names may be used in constant-expression. In particular, the sizeof and , (comma) operators are not valid in this context.

#ifdef name

The lines following will appear in the output if name has been the subject of a previous #define without being the subject of an intervening #undef.

#ifndef name

The lines following will not appear in the output if name has been the subject of a previous #define without being the subject of an intervening #undef.

#include <filename>

The standard include directories (see the −I option above) are searched for a header identified uniquely by filename, and the directive is replaced by the entire contents of the header. If the allmultiple pragma is off then subsequent #include references to the header named by filename are ignored unless the header contains a #pragma multiple directive that was processed during the first inclusion of the header. Any macros on the directive line are first expanded before the directive is processed.

#include "filename"

The directory of the including file (see the −I option above) is searched for a source file identified uniquely by filename, and the directive is replaced by the entire contents of the source file. If the allmultiple pragma is off then subsequent #include references to the source file named by filename are ignored unless the source file contains a #pragma multiple directive that was processed during the first inclusion of the source file. Any macros on the directive line are first expanded before the directive is processed. If the source file search fails then the directive is reprocessed as if it were #include <filename>.

#let identifier = constant-expression

Defines the macro identifier to be the value of the evaluated constant-expression, where constant-expression is the same as for the #if directive. Macro redefinition diagnostics are suppressed for macros defined by #let.

#line integer-constant ["filename"]

Outputs line control information for the next pass. integer-constant is the line number of the next line and filename is the originating file. The current file name is set to filename if specified. Any macros on the directive line are first expanded before the directive is processed.

#pragma [pass:][no]option [args ...]

Sets preprocessor and compiler control options. Use of #pragma should be limited to hosted files as the interpretation varies between compiler implementations. A warning diagnostic is issued when #pragma directive is encountered in a non-hosted file. This directive is completely ignored for non-hosted files in the strict ansi dialect. If pass is pp then the option is used and verified and is not passed on, else if pass is omitted then the option is used and passed on, otherwise the option is passed on and not used. #pragma arguments are not checked for macro expansions. If no is present then option is turned off. Pass specific pragmas should not omit pass:. Options specified on the command line override options in the default include file. The cpp specific options are:

Marks all include files multiple. This is the default.


Sets a mode that marks all macros defined by #define builtin. builtin macro definitions are not dumped by the −D−Q option.


Marks include files after this pragma as C source. This is for C++.


Sets the compatibility dialect.

debug number

Sets the debug trace level to number. Higher levels produce more output. Debug tracing is enabled only in debugging versions of the preprocessor.


Allows #else if, #else ifdef, and #else ifndef directives.

hostdir "dir"

Include files found in dir or after dir in the −I directory list are marked hosted.

id "string"

Adds the characters in string to the set of characters that may appear within an identifier name. For example, #pragma pp:id "$" causes sys$call to be tokenized as a single identifier. string is currently limited to "$". Once added a character cannot be deleted from the identifier set.

include "dir"

Equivalent to the −Idir command line option.


Specifies that line number control output directives are to contain an additional include file type argument. The line number control output directives are of the form #line-directive line "file" type where line-directive is set by the −D−L option (null by default), and type is 1 for include file push, 2 for include file pop and null otherwise.


Specifies that lines following this directive were produced by a −D−Q checkpoint dump. This option should not be used explicitly.

macref name type

Specifies that macro reference pragmas are to be emitted. name is the macro name and type is −2 for undef, −1 for a reference in #if, #ifdef or #ifndef, 0 for macro expansion and >0 (number of lines in the definition) for macro definition.

map [id ...] "/from/[,/to/]" [ "/old/new/[glnu]" ... ]

map allows unknown directives and pragma options to be mapped to other directives and rescanned. The optional id’s support the mapping of standard directives and options as well. In this case the standard directives and options may be accessed by __id__.

Each unknown directive line is space canonicalized and placed in a buffer that is subject to pp:map editing. This buffer contains the initial # and omits the trailing newline. from is an egrep(1) style regular expression, with the addition of the identifier delimiter operators < and >, and the proviso that ^ and $ match the beginning and end of string (rather than line). The expressions are delimited by / in the example, but any character may be used, as long as it is escaped within the expressions. The maps are searched, last in first out, for the longest from pattern that matches the unknown directive buffer. The ed(1) style substitute expressions for the longest from match are then applied left to right. The optional g substitutes all occurrences of old to new. l (u) converts new to lower (upper) case. n specifies that the substitute expression is to be applied only if all previous substitute expressions failed. The standard C escape sequences are recognized in all map patterns. In particular, \n translates to newline, allowing a single directive line to be mapped into many lines. After all substitutions have been applied the resulting buffer is pushed back onto the input token stream and rescanned. The original directive line number is preserved during the rescan.
If any of the mapped lines start with ## then the text between ## and the next newline is copied verbatim to the output. If the resulting buffer is empty then the input directive is ignored.
If to is also specified then the nested construct from to to is matched.
For example,

#pragma pp:map "/#(pragma )?ident>/"

causes #pragma ident ... and #ident ... directives to be silently ignored and

#pragma pp:map "/#pragma lint:/" ",#pragma lint:(.*),##/*\1*/,u"

maps #pragma lint:argsused to /*ARGSUSED*/ on output.

If the allmultiple option is on then the #include directive ensures that each header and source file is included at most one time. A #pragma multiple directive, when processed during the first inclusion of the header (source file), causes all subsequent #include directives on that header (source file) to re-read the contents of the header (source file).


Enable C++ comments.


Preprocess for C++. See Additional Processing below.


Macroes defined after this pragma are marked as predefined.


Enable prefixinclude feature to look for nested include files using the directory prefix from the parents include directive. This option is on by default when -I- is specified and supports #include "file.h" compatibility when using -I-. When enabled, if main.c uses #include "dir/file1.h" and file1.h uses #include "file2.h", the preprocessor first searches for dir/file2.h and if not found searches for file2.h. The directory prefix may also be inherited if the parent file itself inherited the prefix. When not enabled no directory prefix is ever inherited.


Input source files that set the prototyped option will be filtered using the proto(1) transformations.


Sets a mode that marks all macros defined by #define or undefined by #undef readonly. A readonly macro cannot be redefined by either #define or #undef.

reserved name[=value] ...

The name arguments are marked as reserved keywords. value optionally specifies the keyword lexical value. This option is used when compiler front ends are linked directly with the preprocessor. The ‘‘classic’’ C and C++ keywords have predefined lexical values, as do asm, const, enum, signed, void and volatile. If value is omitted for a keyword that has no predefined lexical value then NOISE is assumed. value may be one of:


A group noise token that may be followed by zero or one balanced (...) groups and zero or one balanced {...} groups (e.g., asm).


A line noise token terminated by the next newline.


A noise token to be ignored (e.g., near).


A statement noise token terminated by the next semicolon.


In the ansi dialect for the standalone cpp spaceout causes input spacing to be copied to the output. The default for the ansi dialect is to place a single space between each output token. This mode is required by some asm implementations that allow the assembly text to be preprocessed.


\newline line splicing may be used to concatenate tokens in macros definition.

standard "dir"

Names dir as the standard include directory.


Set the strict interpretation mode.


Allow \newline line in strings.


notext suppresses output to ofile generated by input text. This allows files to be scanned for cpp directives without generating any text output. Note that the −P option must still be used to suppress line number information output.


Set transition mode, and also set the compatibility dialect.


Truncate macro names for compatibility with non-flexname (8 characters) compilation systems.


Outputs both #pragma pp:version version-string and #pragma version, allowing later passes to emit similar version pragmas.


Produce warnings about extensions used in non-hosted files in the strict dialect.

#rename oldname newname

Changes the name of the macro oldname to newname.

#undef name

Remove the definition of the macro name (if any).

#undef #predicate(argument)

The first form removes the assertion of predicate(argument), if any, while the second form removes all assertions on predicate.

#warning [message]

Emits message as a cpp warning diagnostic and continues normal processing. The default message is user warning.

Builtin Macro
The builtin macro #([op]identifier...) provides access to preprocess time symbols and definitions. The value of this macro is enclosed in "" unless otherwise noted. Just as with the # and ## operators, any macro formal arguments appearing within #(...) in a macro definition are copied without expansion on macro invocation. arg may be one of the following:


The current file name. __FILE__ is defined to be #(FILE) for ANSI conformance.


The current line number (not quoted). __LINE__ is defined to be #(LINE) for ANSI conformance.


The current month, day and year (MMM DD YYYY). __DATE__ is defined to be #(DATE) for ANSI conformance.


The current time (HH:MM:SS). __TIME__ is defined to be #(TIME) for ANSI conformance.


The base name of FILE.


The full path name of the most recent #include directive or exists predicate evaluation. __PATH__ is defined to be #(PATH) in deference to ANSI conformance.


The cpp version stamp. __VERSION__ is defined to be #(VERSION) in deference to ANSI conformance.


The number of arguments of a variable arguments macro. __ARGC__ is defined to be #(ARGC) for ANSI conformance.


The value of name as returned by the getenv(3) library call.


The definition of the preprocessor macro name. Notice that macro formal names appearing in macro definitions are replaced by internal format token sequences.


The setting for the option or pragma option.


The argument associated with predicate from the most recent assertion on predicate.

Default Definitions
#include "pp_default.h"
is automatically executed before the first line of ifile is read using the −I−R mechanism described above. A file other than pp_default.h may be specified using the −I−D option. pp_default.h typically contains #define directives that describe the current hardware and software environment. By using the −Idir or −I−Dfile options different pp_default.h files may be referenced to support cross-compilation.

Proposed standard assertions for pp_default.h are:

Defines the operating system name. Example values for system-name are unix, vms and msdos.


Defines the operating system release name. Example values for system-release are hpux, bsd, svr4, sun, uts, and xinu.


Defines the operating system release version. Example values for release-version are 4.1c and 4.3 for release(bsd), 8 and 9 for release(research) and 3.0 etc. for release(V).


Defines the hardware model or workstation name. Example values for model-name are apollo, sun, ibm-pc and unix-pc.


Defines the processor architecture name. Example values for architecture-name are u3b, m68000, ibm, pdp11, and vax.


Defines the processor architecture version. Example values for architecture-version are 2, 20 and 20s for architecture(3b), 70 etc. for architecture(pdp11) and 750, 780 and micro for architecture(vax).


Defines the addressing mode, useful for PC compiler implementations. Example values for addressing-mode are: small, medium, large, segmented and unsegmented.

Additional Processing
Adjacent "" string constants appearing in the text are concatenated. However, strings are not concatenated in directives.

The new character escapes \a, \v and \x... are converted to octal notation for compatibility with older passes. This will disappear as ANSI C support becomes more pervasive.

The ::, .* and −>* operators and // ... comments are recognized for the C++ language.

The compatibility dialect supports pervasive Reiserisms that will be hard to shake out of old code as the ANSI standard arrives. Compatibility support includes:

#assert and #unassert are supported by maps to #define # and #assert #.

the disappearing comments trick used to concatenate tokens within macro definitions (this trick does not work outside of macro definitions, but at least a diagnostic is produced). If pp:splicecat is set then the line splice sequence \newline may also be used to concatenate tokens in macro definitions, otherwise \newline translates to space.

vertical-tab is treated as space in directive lines

formfeed is treated as a newline character (although the line count is not incremented by formfeed)

macro formal arguments appearing within "" or ’’ quotes in macro definitions are replaced by the corresponding actual argument text

macro call arguments are not expanded before being placed in the macro body text

trailing characters in directives are silently ignored



standard directory for #include files


sometimes searched after the standard directory during initialization


predefined symbols and assertions


cc(1), egrep(1), m4(1), makerules(1), nmake(1), probe(1), proto(1), getenv(3), pp(3), strcmp(3),
nmake User's Guide
nmake Reference Manual
nmake Web Site
American National Standard for Information Systems -- Programming Language C
, ANSI X3.159-1989.


The error messages produced by cpp are intended to be self-explanatory. The line number and file name are printed along with the diagnostic.

predefined, readonly and active macro diagnostics may surprise old cpp users.

nmake 11 July 2009 CPP(1)