To start learning C programming, you only have to install the C compiler in your system. Nowadays, C and C++ both compilers come as a single integrated package, which serves the C and C++ program development purpose. This C installation tutorial describes the C compiler and guides you on installing it on your system.
What is Compiler in C?
A compiler is a computer program that transforms human-readable (programming language) source code into another computer language (binary) code. In simple terms, the Compiler turns your code into a binary code that the computer can understand.
The C compiler is a software application that transforms human-readable C program code into machine-readable code. Transforming the code from High-Level to Machine Level Language is called "Compilation". The human-readable code is the C program, consisting of digits, letters, special symbols, etc., that humans understand. On the other hand, machine language depends on the processor, and the processor understands zeroes and ones (binary) only. All C program execution is based on a processor available in the CPU; that is why the entire C source code needs to be converted to the binary system by the Compiler.
This tutorial is written for Windows, Unix / Linux, and MAC users. All code has been tested and works correctly on all three operating systems.
List of C Compilers for Windows OS
Since there are various compilers available in the online market, here are the lists of some of the most frequently used ones:
- CCS C Compiler
- Turbo C
- Minimalist GNU for Windows (MinGW)
- Portable C Compiler
- Clang C++
- Digital Mars C++ Compiler
- Intel C++
- IBM C++
- Visual C++ : Express Edition
- Oracle C++
All of these above compilers for C are free to download, but there are some other paid C compilers also available, or programmers can get it for a trial version:
- Embarcadero C++
- Edison Design Group C++
- Green Hills C++
- HP C++ for Unix
- Intel C++ for Windows, Linux, and some embedded systems.
- Microsoft C++
- Paradigm C++
C Compiler Installation on Windows
To use the C compiler in Windows, you can install any software mentioned below:
- You can download a 90-day trial version of Visual Studio
- You can download Dev-C++ IDE to develop C and C++ applications.
C Compiler Installation on UNIX/Linux
If you are using UNIX / Linux, a C compiler called GCC is probably already in your system. You can type
gcc at the command prompt to check if you have it installed.
$ gcc -v
If it is not installed on your system, you can download it from gcc.gnu.org/install.
C Compiler Installation on MAC
Xcode development environment came with GNU C/C++ compiler; You can install it from Apple's website. You can download Xcode from developer.apple.com/technologies/tools.