By default, the preprocessor looks for header files included by the quote
form of the directive
#include "file" first relative to
the directory of the current file, and then in a preconfigured list
of standard system directories.
For example, if
#include "types.h", GCC looks for
types.h first in
/usr/include/sys, then in its usual search path.
For the angle-bracket form
#include <file>, the
preprocessor’s default behavior is to look only in the standard system
directories. The exact search directory list depends on the target
system, how GCC is configured, and where it is installed. You can
find the default search directory list for your version of CPP by
invoking it with the
-v option. For example,
cpp -v /dev/null -o /dev/null
There are a number of command-line options you can use to add
additional directories to the search path.
The most commonly-used option is
-Idir, which causes
dir to be searched after the current directory (for the quote
form of the directive) and ahead of the standard system directories.
You can specify multiple
-I options on the command line,
in which case the directories are searched in left-to-right order.
If you need separate control over the search paths for the quote and
angle-bracket forms of the ‘
#include’ directive, you can use the
-isystem options instead of
See Invocation, for a detailed description of these options, as
well as others that are less generally useful.
If you specify other options on the command line, such as
that affect where the preprocessor searches for header files, the
directory list printed by the
-v option reflects the actual
search path used by the preprocessor.
Note that you can also prevent the preprocessor from searching any of
the default system header directories with the
option. This is useful when you are compiling an operating system
kernel or some other program that does not use the standard C library
facilities, or the standard C library itself.