c – warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘xyz’

c – warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘xyz’

In C, using a previously undeclared function constitutes an implicit declaration of the function. In an implicit declaration, the return type is int if I recall correctly. Now, GCC has built-in definitions for some standard functions. If an implicit declaration does not match the built-in definition, you get this warning.

To fix the problem, you have to declare the functions before using them; normally you do this by including the appropriate header. I recommend not to use the -fno-builtin-* flags if possible.

Instead of stdlib.h, you should try:

#include <string.h>

Thats where strcpy and strncpy are defined, at least according to the strcpy(2) man page.

The exit function is defined in stdlib.h, though, so I dont know whats going on there.

In the case of some programs, these errors are normal and should not be fixed.

I get these error messages when compiling the program phrap (for example). This program happens to contain code that modifies or replaces some built in functions, and when I include the appropriate header files to fix the warnings, GCC instead generates a bunch of errors. So fixing the warnings effectively breaks the build.

If you got the source as part of a distribution that should compile normally, the errors might be normal. Consult the documentation to be sure.

c – warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘xyz’

Here is some C code that produces the above mentioned error:

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
  exit(1);
}

Compiled like this on Fedora 17 Linux 64 bit with gcc:

[email protected] ~/foo2 $ gcc -o n n2.c                                                               
n2.c: In function ‘main’:
n2.c:2:3: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in 
function ‘exit’ [enabled by default]
[email protected] ~/foo2 $ ./n 
[email protected] ~/foo2 $ 

To make the warning go away, add this declaration to the top of the file:

#include <stdlib.h>

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