2.10 Options for code generation conventions

These machine-independent options control the interface conventions used in code generation.

Most of them have both positive and negative forms; the negative form of -ffoo would be -fno-foo. In the table below, only one of the forms is listed—the one which is not the default. You can figure out the other form by either removing no- or adding it.


Treat each program unit (except those marked as RECURSIVE) as if the SAVE statement were specified for every local variable and array referenced in it. Does not affect common blocks. (Some Fortran compilers provide this option under the name -static or -save.) The default, which is -fautomatic, uses the stack for local variables smaller than the value given by -fmax-stack-var-size. Use the option -frecursive to use no static memory.

Local variables or arrays having an explicit SAVE attribute are silently ignored unless the -pedantic option is added.


Generate code designed to be compatible with code generated by g77 and f2c.

The calling conventions used by g77 (originally implemented in f2c) require functions that return type default REAL to actually return the C type double, and functions that return type COMPLEX to return the values via an extra argument in the calling sequence that points to where to store the return value. Under the default GNU calling conventions, such functions simply return their results as they would in GNU C—default REAL functions return the C type float, and COMPLEX functions return the GNU C type complex. Additionally, this option implies the -fsecond-underscore option, unless -fno-second-underscore is explicitly requested.

This does not affect the generation of code that interfaces with the libgfortran library.

Caution: It is not a good idea to mix Fortran code compiled with -ff2c with code compiled with the default -fno-f2c calling conventions as, calling COMPLEX or default REAL functions between program parts which were compiled with different calling conventions will break at execution time.

Caution: This will break code which passes intrinsic functions of type default REAL or COMPLEX as actual arguments, as the library implementations use the -fno-f2c calling conventions.


Do not transform names of entities specified in the Fortran source file by appending underscores to them.

With -funderscoring in effect, GNU Fortran appends one underscore to external names. This is done to ensure compatibility with code produced by many UNIX Fortran compilers.

Caution: The default behavior of GNU Fortran is incompatible with f2c and g77, please use the -ff2c option if you want object files compiled with GNU Fortran to be compatible with object code created with these tools.

Use of -fno-underscoring is not recommended unless you are experimenting with issues such as integration of GNU Fortran into existing system environments (vis-à-vis existing libraries, tools, and so on).

For example, with -funderscoring, and assuming that j() and max_count() are external functions while my_var and lvar are local variables, a statement like


is implemented as something akin to:

i = j_() + max_count_(&my_var, &lvar);

With -fno-underscoring, the same statement is implemented as:

i = j() + max_count(&my_var, &lvar);

Use of -fno-underscoring allows direct specification of user-defined names while debugging and when interfacing GNU Fortran code with other languages.

Note that just because the names match does not mean that the interface implemented by GNU Fortran for an external name matches the interface implemented by some other language for that same name. That is, getting code produced by GNU Fortran to link to code produced by some other compiler using this or any other method can be only a small part of the overall solution—getting the code generated by both compilers to agree on issues other than naming can require significant effort, and, unlike naming disagreements, linkers normally cannot detect disagreements in these other areas.

Also, note that with -fno-underscoring, the lack of appended underscores introduces the very real possibility that a user-defined external name will conflict with a name in a system library, which could make finding unresolved-reference bugs quite difficult in some cases—they might occur at program run time, and show up only as buggy behavior at run time.

In future versions of GNU Fortran we hope to improve naming and linking issues so that debugging always involves using the names as they appear in the source, even if the names as seen by the linker are mangled to prevent accidental linking between procedures with incompatible interfaces.


By default, GNU Fortran appends an underscore to external names. If this option is used GNU Fortran appends two underscores to names with underscores and one underscore to external names with no underscores. GNU Fortran also appends two underscores to internal names with underscores to avoid naming collisions with external names.

This option has no effect if -fno-underscoring is in effect. It is implied by the -ff2c option.

Otherwise, with this option, an external name such as MAX_COUNT is implemented as a reference to the link-time external symbol max_count__, instead of max_count_. This is required for compatibility with g77 and f2c, and is implied by use of the -ff2c option.


Disable coarray support; using coarray declarations and image-control statements will produce a compile-time error. (Default)


Single-image mode, i.e. num_images() is always one.


Library-based coarray parallelization; a suitable GNU Fortran coarray library needs to be linked.


Enable the generation of run-time checks; the argument shall be a comma-delimited list of the following keywords. Prefixing a check with no- disables it if it was activated by a previous specification.


Enable all run-time test of -fcheck.


Warns at run time when for passing an actual argument a temporary array had to be generated. The information generated by this warning is sometimes useful in optimization, in order to avoid such temporaries.

Note: The warning is only printed once per location.


Enable generation of run-time checks for invalid arguments to the bit manipulation intrinsics.


Enable generation of run-time checks for array subscripts and against the declared minimum and maximum values. It also checks array indices for assumed and deferred shape arrays against the actual allocated bounds and ensures that all string lengths are equal for character array constructors without an explicit typespec.

Some checks require that -fcheck=bounds is set for the compilation of the main program.

Note: In the future this may also include other forms of checking, e.g., checking substring references.


Enable generation of run-time checks for invalid modification of loop iteration variables.


Enable generation of run-time checks for memory allocation. Note: This option does not affect explicit allocations using the ALLOCATE statement, which will be always checked.


Enable generation of run-time checks for pointers and allocatables.


Enable generation of run-time checks for recursively called subroutines and functions which are not marked as recursive. See also -frecursive. Note: This check does not work for OpenMP programs and is disabled if used together with -frecursive and -fopenmp.

Example: Assuming you have a file foo.f90, the command

  gfortran -fcheck=all,no-array-temps foo.f90

will compile the file with all checks enabled as specified above except warnings for generated array temporaries.


Deprecated alias for -fcheck=bounds.


Some C interfaces to Fortran codes violate the gfortran ABI by omitting the hidden character length arguments as described in See Argument passing conventions. This can lead to crashes because pushing arguments for tail calls can overflow the stack.

To provide a workaround for existing binary packages, this option disables tail call optimization for gfortran procedures with character arguments. With -ftail-call-workaround=2 tail call optimization is disabled in all gfortran procedures with character arguments, with -ftail-call-workaround=1 or equivalent -ftail-call-workaround only in gfortran procedures with character arguments that call implicitly prototyped procedures.

Using this option can lead to problems including crashes due to insufficient stack space.

It is very strongly recommended to fix the code in question. The -fc-prototypes-external option can be used to generate prototypes which conform to gfortran’s ABI, for inclusion in the source code.

Support for this option will likely be withdrawn in a future release of gfortran.

The negative form, -fno-tail-call-workaround or equivalent -ftail-call-workaround=0, can be used to disable this option.

Default is currently -ftail-call-workaround, this will change in future releases.


Deprecated alias for -fcheck=array-temps.


This option can be used to increase the upper limit permitted in array constructors. The code below requires this option to expand the array at compile time.

program test
implicit none
integer j
integer, parameter :: n = 100000
integer, parameter :: i(n) = (/ (2*j, j = 1, n) /)
print '(10(I0,1X))', i
end program test

Caution: This option can lead to long compile times and excessively large object files.

The default value for n is 65535.


This option specifies the size in bytes of the largest array that will be put on the stack; if the size is exceeded static memory is used (except in procedures marked as RECURSIVE). Use the option -frecursive to allow for recursive procedures which do not have a RECURSIVE attribute or for parallel programs. Use -fno-automatic to never use the stack.

This option currently only affects local arrays declared with constant bounds, and may not apply to all character variables. Future versions of GNU Fortran may improve this behavior.

The default value for n is 65536.


Adding this option will make the Fortran compiler put all arrays of unknown size and array temporaries onto stack memory. If your program uses very large local arrays it is possible that you will have to extend your runtime limits for stack memory on some operating systems. This flag is enabled by default at optimization level -Ofast unless -fmax-stack-var-size is specified.


This option tells GNU Fortran to pack derived type members as closely as possible. Code compiled with this option is likely to be incompatible with code compiled without this option, and may execute slower.


In some circumstances GNU Fortran may pass assumed shape array sections via a descriptor describing a noncontiguous area of memory. This option adds code to the function prologue to repack the data into a contiguous block at runtime.

This should result in faster accesses to the array. However it can introduce significant overhead to the function call, especially when the passed data is noncontiguous.


This option is provided for interoperability with C code that was compiled with the -fshort-enums option. It will make GNU Fortran choose the smallest INTEGER kind a given enumerator set will fit in, and give all its enumerators this kind.


When passing an assumed-shape argument of a procedure as actual argument to an assumed-size or explicit size or as argument to a procedure that does not have an explicit interface, the argument may have to be packed, that is put into contiguous memory. An example is the call to foo in

  subroutine foo(a)
     real, dimension(*) :: a
  end subroutine foo
  subroutine bar(b)
     real, dimension(:) :: b
     call foo(b)
  end subroutine bar

When -finline-arg-packing is in effect, this packing will be performed by inline code. This allows for more optimization while increasing code size.

-finline-arg-packing is implied by any of the -O options except when optimizing for size via -Os. If the code contains a very large number of argument that have to be packed, code size and also compilation time may become excessive. If that is the case, it may be better to disable this option. Instances of packing can be found by using -Warray-temporaries.


This option will make gfortran generate calls to BLAS functions for some matrix operations like MATMUL, instead of using our own algorithms, if the size of the matrices involved is larger than a given limit (see -fblas-matmul-limit). This may be profitable if an optimized vendor BLAS library is available. The BLAS library will have to be specified at link time.


Only significant when -fexternal-blas is in effect. Matrix multiplication of matrices with size larger than (or equal to) n will be performed by calls to BLAS functions, while others will be handled by gfortran internal algorithms. If the matrices involved are not square, the size comparison is performed using the geometric mean of the dimensions of the argument and result matrices.

The default value for n is 30.


When front-end optimization is active, some calls to the MATMUL intrinsic function will be inlined. This may result in code size increase if the size of the matrix cannot be determined at compile time, as code for both cases is generated. Setting -finline-matmul-limit=0 will disable inlining in all cases. Setting this option with a value of n will produce inline code for matrices with size up to n. If the matrices involved are not square, the size comparison is performed using the geometric mean of the dimensions of the argument and result matrices.

The default value for n is 30. The -fblas-matmul-limit can be used to change this value.


Allow indirect recursion by forcing all local arrays to be allocated on the stack. This flag cannot be used together with -fmax-stack-var-size= or -fno-automatic.


The -finit-local-zero option instructs the compiler to initialize local INTEGER, REAL, and COMPLEX variables to zero, LOGICAL variables to false, and CHARACTER variables to a string of null bytes. Finer-grained initialization options are provided by the -finit-integer=n, -finit-real=<zero|inf|-inf|nan|snan> (which also initializes the real and imaginary parts of local COMPLEX variables), -finit-logical=<true|false>, and -finit-character=n (where n is an ASCII character value) options.

With -finit-derived, components of derived type variables will be initialized according to these flags. Components whose type is not covered by an explicit -finit-* flag will be treated as described above with -finit-local-zero.

These options do not initialize

  • objects with the POINTER attribute
  • allocatable arrays
  • variables that appear in an EQUIVALENCE statement.

(These limitations may be removed in future releases).

Note that the -finit-real=nan option initializes REAL and COMPLEX variables with a quiet NaN. For a signalling NaN use -finit-real=snan; note, however, that compile-time optimizations may convert them into quiet NaN and that trapping needs to be enabled (e.g. via -ffpe-trap).

The -finit-integer option will parse the value into an integer of type INTEGER(kind=C_LONG) on the host. Said value is then assigned to the integer variables in the Fortran code, which might result in wraparound if the value is too large for the kind.

Finally, note that enabling any of the -finit-* options will silence warnings that would have been emitted by -Wuninitialized for the affected local variables.


By default, gfortran enforces proper alignment of all variables in a COMMON block by padding them as needed. On certain platforms this is mandatory, on others it increases performance. If a COMMON block is not declared with consistent data types everywhere, this padding can cause trouble, and -fno-align-commons can be used to disable automatic alignment. The same form of this option should be used for all files that share a COMMON block. To avoid potential alignment issues in COMMON blocks, it is recommended to order objects from largest to smallest.


By default the parentheses in expression are honored for all optimization levels such that the compiler does not do any re-association. Using -fno-protect-parens allows the compiler to reorder REAL and COMPLEX expressions to produce faster code. Note that for the re-association optimization -fno-signed-zeros and -fno-trapping-math need to be in effect. The parentheses protection is enabled by default, unless -Ofast is given.


An allocatable left-hand side of an intrinsic assignment is automatically (re)allocated if it is either unallocated or has a different shape. The option is enabled by default except when -std=f95 is given. See also -Wrealloc-lhs.


Functions with identical argument lists are eliminated within statements, regardless of whether these functions are marked PURE or not. For example, in

  a = f(b,c) + f(b,c)

there will only be a single call to f. This option only works if -ffrontend-optimize is in effect.


This option performs front-end optimization, based on manipulating parts the Fortran parse tree. Enabled by default by any -O option except -O0 and -Og. Optimizations enabled by this option include:

  • inlining calls to MATMUL,
  • elimination of identical function calls within expressions,
  • removing unnecessary calls to TRIM in comparisons and assignments,
  • replacing TRIM(a) with a(1:LEN_TRIM(a)) and
  • short-circuiting of logical operators (.AND. and .OR.).

It can be deselected by specifying -fno-frontend-optimize.


Attempt to interchange loops in the Fortran front end where profitable. Enabled by default by any -O option. At the moment, this option only affects FORALL and DO CONCURRENT statements with several forall triplets.

See Options for Code Generation Conventions in Using the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), for information on more options offered by the GBE shared by gfortran, gcc, and other GNU compilers.