Can you compile this?

No return
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

It’s just a little bit of C. I compiled it with these three compilers. MS VC (16.7.7 on Windows) gcc, and clang on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. MS VC picked up the _Noreturn and complained, gcc 9.33 compiled it with not a whisper while clang 10.0.0 warned about void in the main function but compiled it anyway.

Both the clang and gcc compiled files ran and as you’d expect sat in an infinite loop until I control-c’d it.

However soon MS VC will compile it. According to this blog entry, MSVC from 16.8 preview 3 supports C11 and the _Noreturn feature (which tells the compiler that the function never returns) will be ok. Both gcc and clang support C11 so no problems.

#include <stdio.h>

_Noreturn void nrloop() {
	while (1) {

void main() {


When would I use such a function, you might ask. IO can’t see me using it much unless I wnt to write a background thread function that just runs forever. I have indeed written such a function recently but it was in Delphi not C. Another use is a function that exits perhaps vi a jmp. It also lets the compiler know so it can optimize return code away.

As I said, I don’t think I’ll be using it much if at all.

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