Ubuntu Linux Install GNU GCC Compiler and Development Environment

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How do I install GNU/GCC (C and C++) compiler and related tools (such as make, debugger, man pages) collection under Ubuntu Linux operating system using command line options?

You need to install following packages on Debian and Ubuntu Linux:
build-essential package – Installs the following collection to compile c/c++ program on a Ubuntu Linux including:

  1. libc6-dev – C standard library.
  2. gcc – C compiler.
  3. g++ – C++ compiler.
  4. make – GNU make utility to maintain groups of programs.
  5. dpkg-dev – Debian package development tools.

Basically, build-essential package contains an informational list of packages which are considered essential for building Ubuntu packages including gcc compiler, make and other required tools. This package also depends on the packages on that list, to make it easy to have the build-essential packages installed. In this tutorial, you will learn about installing the GNU C compiler and GNU C++ compiler on a Ubuntu Linux.

Installing compilers using apt command

Open the terminal app and type the following apt command/apt-get command:
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
$ sudo apt install build-essential

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: How do I install development tools for Ubuntu Linux?
Fig.01: How do I install development tools for Ubuntu Linux?

Verify installation

Type the following commands:
$ whereis gcc make
$ gcc --version
$ make -v

Fig.02: Finding out installed make and gcc version
Fig.02: Finding out installed make and gcc version

Installing the dev man pages on a Ubuntu Linux

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install manpages-dev man-db manpages-posix-dev
To view library calls (functions within program libraries), enter:
$ man 3 scanf
$ man 2 execve
$ man 2 fork

You can write a small program to test GNU c/c++ compiler:
$ vi test.cpp
Append the following code:

#include <iostream>
// My first program
using namespace std;
int main(){
	cout << "Hello, World!\n";
    return 0;

Save and close the program. You can compile it as follows:
$ make test
$ g++ test.cpp -o test
You should get an executable named test in the current directory:
$ ls -l test
Sample outputs:

-rwxr-xr-x 1 vivek vivek 8768 Dec 11 14:49 test

Just run it:
$ ./test

Installing the X11 development compilers

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt install libx11-dev

This entry is 1 of 13 in the Linux GNU/GCC Compilers Tutorial series. Keep reading the rest of the series:
  1. Ubuntu Linux Install GNU GCC Compiler and Development Environment
  2. Debian Linux Install GNU GCC Compiler and Development Environment
  3. CentOS / RHEL 7: Install GCC (C and C++ Compiler) and Development Tools
  4. Download and Install C, C++ Compiler on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL)
  5. Mac OS X: Install GCC Compiler with Xcode
  6. Where is My Linux GNU C or GCC Compilers Are Installed?
  7. HowTo: Compile And Run a C/C++ Code In Linux
  8. RHEL / CentOS Linux Install Core Development Tools Automake, Gcc (C/C++), Perl, Python & Debuggers
  9. HowTo Compiling C Program And Creating Executable File Under a Linux / UNIX / *BSD
  10. How To Install ncurses Library on a Linux
  11. Linux Find Out What Compilers Are Installed or Available On The System
  12. Linux Find Out GNU gcc Compiler Version Used To Compile Running Kernel
  13. Howto see output of C program in Linux or UNIX

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.