Initial CL.EXE Options

The following are the options that CL version 13.00.9466 sets in a hard-coded command line that is processed in advance of any options that can be supplied by the user.

Every initial option is subject to being discarded, without warning, if a user-supplied option either overrides the initial option or is incompatible with it. Note that /dos, /f, /il and /pc are not recognised by CL on any user-supplied command line (and cause warning D4002).


Several of the initial options have placeholders, which CL resolves once the user-supplied command line is known.

For the -il option, temp stands for the path and file-name template for the intermediate files that pass between the front-end and back-end compilers. This template is ordinarily computed by CL (with the path taken from the TMP environment variable) but can be specified through the /BK and /Bk options.

For the -f option, source stands for the pathname that CL computes for the source file. This is typically the pathname as given on the command line.

For the -Fo and -Fe options, base stands for just the file name of the source file, i.e., with no drive, path or extension. For the -Fe option, exe typically is “exe”, but is “dll” if the user-supplied command line provides the /LD or /LDd option.