Should I use
Actually, there is a difference, but it's subtle. It has more implications for C++, but the differences are important.
When I call
main(), destructors will be called for my locally scoped objects. If I call
exit(), no destructor will be called for my locally scoped objects! Re-read that.
exit() does not return. That means that once I call it, there are "no backsies." Any objects that you've created in that function will not be destroyed. Often this has no implications, but sometimes it does, like closing files (surely you want all your data flushed to disk?).
static objects will be cleaned up even if you call
exit(). Finally note, that if you use
abort(), no objects will be destroyed. That is, no global objects, no static objects and no local objects will have their destructors called.
Proceed with caution when favoring exit over return.