Compile And Run C/C++ Code In Linux

Tutorial Difficulty Level    

We are quite often asked by students “How can I compile a C or C++ program on Linux operating systems using bash Terminal application?” Today we will show you how!

To compile a C or C++ program on any Linux distro such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, Debian and other Linux distro you need to install:

  • GNU C and C++ compiler collection
  • Development tools
  • Development libraries
  • IDE or text editor to write programs

Step #1: Install C/C++ compiler and related tools

If you are using Debian or Ubuntu Linux, type the following apt-get command to install GNU c/c++ compiler:

Step #2: Verify installation

Type the following command to display the version number and location of the compiler on Linux:

Sample output:

How to Compile and Run C/C++ program on Linux

Create a file called demo.c using a text editor such as vi, emacs or nano:

How do I compile the program on Linux?

Use any one of the following syntax to compile the program called demo.c:



If there is no error in your code or C program then the compiler will successfully create an executable file called demo in the current directory, otherwise you need fix the code. To verify this, type:

How do I run or execute the program called demo on Linux?

Simply type the the program name:

Compiling and running a simple C++ program

Create a program called demo2.C as follows:

To compile this program, enter:

To run this program, type:

How do I generate optimized code on a Linux machine?

The syntax is as follows C compiler:

The syntax is as follows C++ compiler:

How do I compile a program with multiple source files?

The syntax is as follows if the source code is in several files (such as light.c, sky.c, fireworks.c):

C++ syntax is as follows if the source code is in several files: