View Full Version : Quick question about "a.out" in C

December 30th, 2009, 11:58 PM
I'm a programming newbie and I was just wondering if there is any reason to compile C files into "a.out" instead of just using the -o command in gcc. Is there any use to a.out files that I can't do with the files produced by gcc -o? Thanks.

December 31st, 2009, 12:46 AM
There is nothing special about it, it's just a default name.

December 31st, 2009, 04:14 AM
It was for historical reasons. It used to be that the format for executable files was called "a.out," so the name was descriptive (like adding ".txt" for text, on UNIX it serves no purpose other than description.) Later on, we switched to other formats (Linux uses ELF,) but the default name was kept.