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#pragma pack(n)

This pragma aligns members of a structure to the minimum of n and their natural alignment. Packed objects are read and written using unaligned accesses.

Note

This pragma is a GNU compiler extension that the ARM compiler supports.

Syntax

#pragma pack(n)

Where:

n

is the alignment in bytes, valid alignment values being 1, 2, 4 and 8.

Default

The default is #pragma pack(8).

Errors

Taking the address of a field in a #pragma packed struct does not yield a __packed pointer, so the compiler does not produce an error if you assign this address to a non-__packed pointer. However, the field might not be properly aligned for its type, and dereferencing such an unaligned pointer results in Undefined behavior.

Example

This example demonstrates how pack(2) aligns integer variable b to a 2-byte boundary.

typedef struct
{ 
    char a;
    int b;
} S;

#pragma pack(2)

typedef struct
{ 
    char a;
    int b;
} SP;

S var = { 0x11, 0x44444444 };
SP pvar = { 0x11, 0x44444444 };

The layout of S is as shown in Figure 1, while the layout of SP is as shown in Figure 2. In Figure 2, x denotes one byte of padding.

Figure 1. Nonpacked structure S

Figure 1. Nonpacked structure S

Figure 2. Packed structure SP

Figure 2. Packed structure SP

Note

SP is a 6-byte structure. There is no padding after b.