C Installation

To start learning C programming, you only have to install the C compiler in your system, and nowadays C and C++ both compilers come as a single integrated package, which serves the purpose of C and C++ both program development.

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, Compiler takes the code that you wrote and turned in to the binary code that the computer can understand.

The C compiler is a software application that transforms the human-readable C program code to machine-readable code. The process of transforming the code from High-Level Language to Machine Level Language is called "Compilation". The human-readable code is the C program that consists of digits letters, special symbols, etc. which is understood by human beings. On the other hand, machine language is dependent on the processor and processor understands zeroes and ones (binary) only. All C program execution is based on a processor which is available in the CPU; that is why 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 it works correctly on all three operating systems.

List of C Compilers for Windows OS

Since there are various compilers available into the online market, here are the lists of some of the 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 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 C compiler in Windows, you can install any one software mentioned below.

C Compiler Installation on UNIX/Linux

If you are using UNIX / Linux, then most probably C compiler called GCC is already in your system. To check if you have it installed, you can type cc or gcc at the command prompt.

$ gcc -v

If for some reason 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.


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