How to install a C compiler on Linux
Whether you code in C or build a Linux program from source, you will need to install a C compiler. The two main ones on Linux are the venerable GCC and the newer Clang.
Here is how you can install them both on your machine.
Install GCC on Linux
GCC, or GNU Compiler Collection, has been around since the 1980s, before Linux itself. Not only does it compile C programs, but also supports C ++, Objective-C, Objective-C ++, Fortran, ADA, and Go. Many open source projects still depend on it, including the Linux kernel.
To install GCC with the required C libraries on Debian and Ubuntu, install the build-essential wrap:
sudo apt install build-essential
On Fedora and other RPM-based distributions:
sudo dnf install gcc
And on Arch Linux:
sudo pacman -S gcc
On any other distribution you can usually search for “GCC” and you will find a package for your system. This also applies to Clang.
To compile a simple C program, like the famous “Hello, World!”, Just go to the directory where you saved it and run the following command:
…or Hello C is the name of your program.
If the program is correct, GCC will display the compiled file as August in the current directory. To run it, type:
Install Clang on Linux
The most recent on the block is the Clang compiler, developed on the front of the LLVM compiler by Apple, ARM, Sony, AMD and others. Apple uses it as a compiler for its Xcode development environment for macOS.
Clang aims for compatibility with GCC, while increasing performance. It’s popular because it’s licensed under the Apache 2.0 license, which doesn’t require developers to release their source code if they make any changes.
You can install Clang using your package manager. On Debian and Ubuntu, simply install the noise wrap:
sudo apt install clang
On Fedora / CentOS:
sudo dnf install clang
To install Clang on Arch-based distributions:
sudo pacman -S clang
Compilation works the same as with GCC:
You can now compile C programs in Linux
Whether you are just learning C or are an experienced C programmer, you can easily install two major C compilers for Linux: GCC and Clang.
If you want to explore C programming, here are some more language tips that will give you a head start.
The C programming language has a tough reputation. But if you master it, you can program everything, as these tips show.
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