C Programming Tutorial 2 – Installing GCC

Check out C Programming Tutorial 1 – Intro to C.

In order to get started programming with C, we need to have an operating system to work on.

Now, in order to be on the same page, I highly recommend being on a UNIX or Linux operating system.  An operating system is a big piece of software that is always running on your computer. It’s what allows you to open apps, type, print, and use anything on your computer.

Mac is an example of a UNIX operating system.  Windows on the other hand, is not. If you are in Microsoft Windows, you can actually get a copy of a Linux operating system to install absolutely free.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if you want to use windows, that’s fine.  You can use windows, but it is a bit more work to get everything set up and not everything is the same as will be in these tutorials.  Personally, I think it is helpful to familiarize yourself with Linux.

Open the terminal.  We are going to try to get comfortable using the terminal.  That’s because it is very universal. Every UNIX operating system will use the same commands.  Another reason is that you’re not always going to be able to do everything visually. For example, if you access a computer remotely or if you are writing scripts.

Installing GCC

Now, the very first thing we need to install is a compiler.  The compiler we are going to be using is called GCC.

To do this all we have to do is type gcc in the terminal.  Mac is going to prompt us if we would like to install Developer Tools.  Select Install. This is going to install GCC. GCC is the tool that will take our C code and compile that down to the appropriate machine code that can then be ran by the computer.

Now, another tool we are going to use is called VIM.  VIM is a text editor that we are going to familiarize ourselves with.  You guys are more than welcome to use another text editor, but once again the benefits of VIM are that you are going to be able to find it everywhere.

To use VIM, type vim followed by a file that you want to create.

Now, VIM is going to seem a bit strange at first and honestly it might cause some frustration, so take it easy.  The first thing that is probably going to drive you crazy is “how the crap do I close this program?” The trick to closing the program is to type


Now we have all of the tools we are going to need to get started working with C.  That was simple! In the next blog we are going to be writing our first program.

If you’ve enjoyed this content, check out the next blog where we will be writing our first program!

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