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curious about multiple defined symbols.

Posted on 2004-09-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-01
Let's say I have a header file, that is included by two different .cpp files.

//test.h
#ifndef TEST_H
#define TEST_H

int g_int;
#endif

//test1.cpp
#include "test.h"
extern int g_int;
...

//test2.cpp
#include "test.h"
extern int g_int;

I am getting the link error LNK2005: "int g_int" (?g_int@@3HA) already defined in test1.obj

Now I thought that declaring them as extern in the .cpp files would tell the compiler that the g_int variable was already declared externally.  I know that I can move the g_int declaration to the .cpp file and it will work fine.  I was just curious if there was any way at all to have a global variable in a header file.
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Question by:lwinkenb
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2 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
brettmjohnson earned 500 total points
ID: 12009540
Header files are physically included into the including source in-line,
so your construct is equivalent to:

//test1.cpp
int g_int;
extern int g_int;
...

//test2.cpp
int g_int;
extern int g_int;

You see that g_int is now defined in both test1 and test2.
Generally, the header file contains the declaration ("extern int g_int;")
while the cpp file contains the definition.  You have it backward.

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Author Comment

by:lwinkenb
ID: 12009818
Thanks a lot.
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