/ENTRY (Entry-Point Symbol)



A function that specifies a user-defined starting address for an .exe file or DLL.


The /ENTRY option specifies an entry point function as the starting address for an .exe file or DLL.

The function must be defined to use the __stdcall calling convention. The parameters and return value depend on if the program is a console application, a windows application or a DLL. It is recommended that you let the linker set the entry point so that the C run-time library is initialized correctly, and C++ constructors for static objects are executed.

By default, the starting address is a function name from the C run-time library. The linker selects it according to the attributes of the program, as shown in the following table.

Function name Default for
mainCRTStartup (or wmainCRTStartup) An application that uses /SUBSYSTEM:CONSOLE; calls main (or wmain)
WinMainCRTStartup (or wWinMainCRTStartup) An application that uses /SUBSYSTEM:WINDOWS; calls WinMain (or wWinMain), which must be defined to use __stdcall
_DllMainCRTStartup A DLL; calls DllMain if it exists, which must be defined to use __stdcall

If the /DLL or /SUBSYSTEM option is not specified, the linker selects a subsystem and entry point depending on whether main or WinMain is defined.

The functions main, WinMain, and DllMain are the three forms of the user-defined entry point.

When creating a managed image, the function specified to /ENTRY must have a signature of (LPVOID var1, DWORD var2, LPVOID var3).

For information on how to define your own DllMain entry point, see DLLs and Visual C++ run-time library behavior .

To set this linker option in the Visual Studio development environment

  1. Open the project's Property Pages dialog box. For details, see Set C++ compiler and build properties in Visual Studio.

  2. Click the Linker folder.

  3. Click the Advanced property page.

  4. Modify the Entry Point property.

To set this linker option programmatically

See also

MSVC linker reference
MSVC Linker Options