by Dinesh Thakur Category: Function and Pointer

In C, we can supply arguments to 'main' function. The arguments that we pass to main ( ) at command prompt are called command line arguments. These arguments are supplied at the time of invoking the program.


The main ( ) function can take arguments as: main(int argc, char *argv[]) { }


The first argument argc is known as 'argument counter'. It represents the number of arguments in the command line. The second argument argv is known as 'argument vector'. It is an array of char type pointers that points to the command line arguments. Size of this array will be equal to the value of argc.


Example: at the command prompt if we give:


C:\> fruit.exe apple mango then

argc would contain value 3

argv [0] would contain base address of string " fruit.exe" which is the command name that invokes the program.

argv [1] would contain base address of string "apple"

argv [2] would contain base address of string "mango"

here apple and mango are the arguments passed to the program fruit.exe




#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {

int n;

printf("Following are the arguments entered in the command line");

for (n = 0; n < argc; n++) {

printf("\n %s", argv[n]);



printf("\n Number of arguments entered are\n %d\n", argc);

return 0;




Following are the arguments entered in the command line





Number of arguments entered are 3


About Dinesh Thakur

Dinesh ThakurDinesh Thakur holds an B.C.A, MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, CCNP, A+, SCJP certifications. Dinesh authors the hugely popular blog. Where he writes how-to guides around Computer fundamental , computer software, Computer programming, and web apps. For any type of query or something that you think is missing, please feel free to Contact us.

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