Is the sizeof(some pointer) always equal to four?


Question

For example: sizeof(char*) returns 4. As does int*, long long*, everything that I've tried. Are there any exceptions to this?

1
214
3/8/2014 9:07:54 AM

Accepted Answer

The guarantee you get is that sizeof(char) == 1. There are no other guarantees, including no guarantee that sizeof(int *) == sizeof(double *).

In practice, pointers will be size 2 on a 16-bit system (if you can find one), 4 on a 32-bit system, and 8 on a 64-bit system, but there's nothing to be gained in relying on a given size.

180
4/6/2016 9:13:16 AM

Even on a plain x86 32 bit platform, you can get a variety of pointer sizes, try this out for an example:

struct A {};

struct B : virtual public A {};

struct C {};

struct D : public A, public C {};

int main()
{
    cout << "A:" << sizeof(void (A::*)()) << endl;
    cout << "B:" << sizeof(void (B::*)()) << endl;
    cout << "D:" << sizeof(void (D::*)()) << endl;
}

Under Visual C++ 2008, I get 4, 12 and 8 for the sizes of the pointers-to-member-function.

Raymond Chen talked about this here.


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