Mac OS X: Install GCC Compiler with Xcode

by on June 9, 2013 · 13 comments· LAST UPDATED January 15, 2014

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I have Mac OS X Mountain Lion. I need to compile a few apps and Perl modules. I already installed Xcode from app store but I'm unable to find gcc compiler or make command. How do I install gcc on Mac OS X 10.8.x?

Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesYes
RequirementsMac OS X Mountain Lion
Estimated completion timeDepends on the internet speed
Xcode includes command line development tools such as gcc and friends.

Step #1: Install Xcode on a Apple Mac OS X

First, make sure Xcode is installed. If it is not installed on OS X, visit app store and install Xcode.

Fig.01: Make sure Xcode developer tools are install OS X

Fig.01: Make sure Xcode developer tools are install OS X

Step #2: Install gcc/LLVM compiler on OS X

Once installed, open Xcode and visit:

Xcode menu > Preferences > Downloads > choose "Command line tools" > Click "Install" button:

Fig.02: Installing gcc compiler on Mac OS X

Fig.02: Installing gcc compiler on Mac OS X


Xcode will download package and install copies of the core command line tools and system headers into system folders, including the LLVM compiler, linker, and build tools.

Step #3: Verification

Open a terminal app and type the following commands:
$ gcc --version
$ whereis gcc
$ whereis make

Sample outputs:

Fig.03: Verify gcc compiler installation on Mountain Lion OS X

Testing sample "Hello world" C program

Create a text file called a.c as follows using a text editor such as vi or cat command:

/* a.c - demo for os x */
#include<stdio.h>
int main(void){
 printf("Hello world\n");
 return 0;
}

To compile, enter:
$ make a
Run it as follows:
$ ./a
Sample outputs:

Fig.04: Compiling and running sample

Fig.04: Compiling and running sample "Hello world" C program on Mountain Lion 10.8.4

See also

And, there you have it, the gcc version 4.2.1 installed and working correctly on the latest version of Mac OS X 10.8.4. In Apple's version of GCC, both cc and gcc are actually symbolic links to the llvm-gcc compiler. Similarly, c++ and g++ are links to llvm-g++. For more information and examples see the following man pages:

$ man gcc
$ man make

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 meow June 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm

There is no need to install huge xcode consumes gigabytes of disk space (if you are not a apple developer), just go to the apple’s developer page and download the “command line tool for xcode” package and install it, that would be just sufficient.

Reply

2 ydk2 June 22, 2013 at 7:39 am

Isn’t GCC is LLVM with GCC support and many automake, m4 etc… project is not enable to build.

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3 Mustafa July 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm

thank u very very very much you are really clever

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4 Reva September 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Everything else I tried didn’t seem to work. Finally this did!!!!

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5 john September 27, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Thank you very much. It worked.

Reply

6 Asaf November 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I installed the Xcode Command Line Tools, and when I try to find gcc in the terminal
tell me this:

new-host:~ asaffeldman$ $gcc –version
-bash: –version: command not found

?? help

Reply

7 Martin December 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm

try:

gcc --version

with 2 dashes and no $ in front of it
hope it helps!

Reply

8 Mohamed Magdy November 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

I anderstand

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9 Simo December 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Clear , efficient , thanks !

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10 ydk2 January 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

I have GCC 4.8.1 with x86, x86_64 and PPC on Lion with ObjC, C/C++11, Fortan, Ada Go support.
And now I can compile PHP, WxWidgets, QT and many other source without problems like on Apple Clang vesion. In xcode too.
Gcc builded with llvm-gcc-4.2.

Reply

11 viky March 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

i m doing the c programming on terminal my keyword is not highlited by compiler,
strstr function is not working why plz resolve my problm

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12 Daniyah June 4, 2014 at 10:38 am

hi
when I typed make a I got this message:
make: *** No rule to make target `a’. Stop.

please help me.
Thanks.

Reply

13 vanessa July 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Hi , I installed xcode and command line tools just as you said but when I try the command gcc –version I get this error
Error: could not stat active Xcode path ‘/Volumes/Xcode/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer’. (No such file or directory)

Is my xCode in the wrong place? It’s installed and under Applications, please help

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