Not many changes here to cstdlib. You should note that the abort() function does not call the destructors of automatic nor static objects, so if you're depending on those to do cleanup, it isn't going to happen. (The functions registered with atexit() don't get called either, so you can forget about that possibility, too.)

The good old exit() function can be a bit funky, too, until you look closer. Basically, three points to remember are:

Note also that atexit() is only required to store 32 functions, and the compiler/library might already be using some of those slots. If you think you may run out, we recommend using the xatexit/xexit combination from libiberty, which has no such limit.

If you are having difficulty with uncaught exceptions and want a little bit of help debugging the causes of the core dumps, you can make use of a GNU extension, the verbose terminate handler.

#include <exception>

int main()

  throw anything;

The __verbose_terminate_handler function obtains the name of the current exception, attempts to demangle it, and prints it to stderr. If the exception is derived from exception then the output from what() will be included.

Any replacement termination function is required to kill the program without returning; this one calls abort.

For example:

#include <exception>
#include <stdexcept>

struct argument_error : public std::runtime_error
  argument_error(const std::string& s): std::runtime_error(s) { }

int main(int argc)
  if (argc > 5)
    throw argument_error(argc is greater than 5!);
    throw argc;

With the verbose terminate handler active, this gives:

   % ./a.out
   terminate called after throwing a `int'
   % ./a.out f f f f f f f f f f f
   terminate called after throwing an instance of `argument_error'
   what(): argc is greater than 5!

The 'Aborted' line comes from the call to abort(), of course.

This is the default termination handler; nothing need be done to use it. To go back to the previous silent death method, simply include exception and cstdlib, and call


After this, all calls to terminate will use abort as the terminate handler.

Note: the verbose terminate handler will attempt to write to stderr. If your application closes stderr or redirects it to an inappropriate location, __verbose_terminate_handler will behave in an unspecified manner.