15 Essential Compilers and IDEs for C/C++ Programmers

In today’s world, developers can get their hands on some of the best tools ever created for website design. For high security applications you will want to have a look at the power of C/C++. One of the oldest languages out there, C/C++ is an object oriented language, with many support tools, to deliver a great deal of power, as well as versatility and speed for the end user, directly into your hands.

Using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can aid you, the programmer, by providing tools that can make your development more intuitive and faster. These IDEs are rapidly becoming an indispensable programming tool. Below are listed a few IDEs and even a couple C/C++ compilers worth looking at.

 1) KDevelop : A Premier C/C++ IDE

KDevelop is an IDE plugin for the C/C++ environment. This IDE can help to simplify programming in other languages as well. In part this is thanks to being based on the open source KDevPlatform. As open source this IDE will most likely always be available but on the downside open source projects can run into some quality issues. Taking that into consideration KDevelop has a completely open set of libraries and can be quite useful.



2) Anjuta DevStudio : A Versatile C/C++ IDE

Anjuta DevStudio is a flexible IDE studio that is a favorite among users. It contains a number of advanced tools to facilitate your programming, including application wizards, interactive debuggers, source editors, project management solutions, version controls and a GUI designer profile among many others in it’s extensive tool arsenal.. The aim with this IDE is to have a simplified interface. Some feel it is too simple and that the bright colors make it look childish.


3) Code::Blocks : An IDE for C/C++ Built For Demanding Users

Code::Blocks is another good, free C/C++/Fortran IDE. It was designed with the power user in mind. It is fully configurable and can be extended substantially. Some users might find its configurability daunting.



4) Visual MinGW : A Minimalist IDE for C/C++

Visual-MinGW. is another open-source option for a C/C++ IDE. As the name suggests this has a more minimalist style, which is which is both good and bad. The aim of this IDE is, to be used specifically with the MinGW compiler. This IDE works for its intended purpose, but is strictly for use with one platform and OS.


best-c++-code editor-visual-min

5) Ideone : Online Compiler IDE for C/C++

Ideone is an online debugging agent that allows the user to compile their source code and its online execution. When using this compiler IDE there are over sixty programming languages, besides C/C++, to choose from. Ideone’s biggest fall-back is being internet dependent; yet that may be a plus for some.


best c++ code ditor - ideone

6) Top-of-the-Line IDE for C/C++ – Eclipse CDT

Based on the Eclipse platform, this IDE is entirely functional and includes support for project creation, managed build for a variety of toolchains, source navigation, various source knowledge tools, and so many more features it would take too long to list them. The only big downside to this one is that it may be a little daunting for developers who haven’t had such functionality at their fingertips before. Sometimes it can take time to figure out new features on an IDE, just like it takes time to pick up a new instrument.



7) Compilr : Simple IDE for C/C++

A user interface does not have to be complicated, and those who put together Compilr understand this, making it perfect for the less confident programmer. Java, HTML, C/C++ and a variety of other programming languages are supported by Compilr. The biggest problem being that Compilr is no longer available, having been replaced by with practice compilers available.



8) Best IDE for C/C++ – Code Lite

CodeLite is an open source, free, cross platform IDE specialized in C, C++, PHP and JavaScript (mainly for backend developers using Node.js) programming languages which runs best on all major Platforms ( OSX, Windows and Linux )



9) Best IDE for C/C++ – Netbeans C++

NetBeans IDE includes project types for C and C++ and appropriate project templates. You can work with and create C/C++ applications with dynamic and static libraries, and you can also create C/C++ projects from existing code. C/C++ projects also support Fortran and Assembler files.

Users can now easily create new projects from scratch by simply dragging-and-dropping a binary file to IDE. The project system automatically finds the source files, adds them to the project, configures code assistance and even explores project dependencies. Users also now have more flexibility in configuring the “Run” and “Debug” command and thus can run and debug static and dynamic libraries.



10)Best IDE/Compiler for C/C++ – Dev C++

Bloodshed Dev-C++ is a full-featured Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the C/C++ programming language. It uses Mingw port of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as it’s compiler. Dev-C++ can also be used in combination with Cygwin or any other GCC based compiler.


11) Best IDE for C/C++ – Ultimate++

U++ is a C++ cross-platform rapid application development framework focused on programmers productivity. It includes a set of libraries (GUI, SQL, etc..), and an integrated development environment.

Rapid development is achieved by the smart and aggressive use of C++ rather than through fancy code generators. In this respect, U++ competes with popular scripting languages while preserving C/C++ runtime characteristics.

best ide for c and C++ - ultimatecpp

12) Best Compiler for C/C++-  Digital Mars


13) Best IDE for C – C-Free

c:c++ compiler

14) Best Compiler for C/C++ –  MinGW


15) Best Compiler for C –  Tiny C Compiler 



As you can see from the list above, there are many IDEs, compilers and combination IDE/compilers on the web for anyone interested in programming with C/C++. The wide range of options, from advanced to minimalist there is an compiler/IDE for all developers skill levels. There are these, and so many other, environments out there, free and readily available, for all to use. So if you are already a coder or just learning to code, get out there, find the best fit for you and get started.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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