The GNU C Reference Manual

The GNU C Reference Manual is a reference for the C programming language, as implemented by the GNU C Compiler. This manual is currently a work in progress.

What Is the Scope of the Manual?

It is a reference, and not a tutorial. Its aim is to cover every linguistic construct in GNU C, but not the library functions. (Those are described in a separate set of manuals.) This manual would probably not make a good introductory book for new programmers, although those who know languages other than C should be able to learn C using it.

Can I Read the Manual Now?

You can read a recent draft of the manual in HTML format. Remember, this is not complete yet, and there could be nontrivial mistakes and/or omissions! (If you happen to find any mistakes or omissions, feel free to send a note to

Plan to Completion

The project maintainer is planning some formal "prereleases" of this manual, in hopes of making completion a more attainable goal rather than an idle dream. To that end, you can expect the following:

Since GCC supports C89, C99, and full GNU C, it seems worthwhile to document all three of those dialects within the GNU C manual. Most of the language is identical across these dialects, but the manual will denote the differences.

Release 0.1 should happen within the first quarter of calendar year 2007. The remaining three releases will hopefully occur in the subsequent quarters of 2007, but may happen sooner or later than that. More details to follow.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the manual's project page at Savannah.

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Updated: $Date: 2006/12/30 07:57:26 $ $Author: tjr $