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C++ source files conventionally use one of the suffixes `.C', `.cc', `.cpp', `.CPP', `.c++', `.cp', or `.cxx'; C++ header files often use `.hh', `.hpp', `.H', or (for shared template code) `.tcc'; and preprocessed C++ files use the suffix `.ii'. GCC recognizes files with these names and compiles them as C++ programs even if you call the compiler the same way as for compiling C programs (usually with the name gcc).
However, the use of gcc does not add the C++ library. g++ is a program that calls GCC and treats `.c', `.h' and `.i' files as C++ source files instead of C source files unless -x is used, and automatically specifies linking against the C++ library. This program is also useful when precompiling a C header file with a `.h' extension for use in C++ compilations. On many systems, g++ is also installed with the name c++.
When you compile C++ programs, you may specify many of the same command-line options that you use for compiling programs in any language; or command-line options meaningful for C and related languages; or options that are meaningful only for C++ programs. See Options Controlling C Dialect, for explanations of options for languages related to C. See Options Controlling C++ Dialect, for explanations of options that are meaningful only for C++ programs.