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How To Install g++ Compiler on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 17

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the process of installing the g++ compiler on Ubuntu. The g++ compiler is essential for anyone who wants to compile and run C++ programs on Ubuntu. It’s a part of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), a powerful set of compilers for various programming languages.

Quick Answer

To install the g++ compiler on Ubuntu, you can use the command sudo apt-get install g++. Alternatively, you can install the build-essential package, which includes g++ and other important libraries, by using the command sudo apt-get install build-essential. After installation, you can verify the installation by checking the version of g++ using the command g++ --version.

What is g++?

The g++ compiler is a program that turns your C++ code into an executable program. It’s an essential tool for any C++ developer, especially those working on Linux systems like Ubuntu.

Pre-requisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have a running Ubuntu system and have superuser (sudo) privileges.

Update Your System

Before installing any new packages, it’s always a good idea to update your system’s package list. This ensures that you are downloading the most recent version of the package. Open your terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get update

This command will fetch the package lists from the repositories and “update” them to get information on the newest versions of packages and their dependencies.

Installing the g++ Compiler

To install the g++ compiler, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install g++

The sudo command allows you to run programs with the security privileges of the superuser. apt-get is the package handling utility (apt stands for APT: Advanced Package Tool). install is the command to install a package, and g++ is the package we want to install.

Installing the build-essential Package

However, it’s often better to install the build-essential package, as it includes g++ and other important libraries necessary for building software. To install the build-essential package, use the following command:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

The build-essential package includes a variety of tools and libraries, including g++, make, and libc6-dev. This package is necessary if you are going to compile software or packages from source.

Verifying the Installation

After installing either the g++ or the build-essential package, you can verify the installation by checking the version of g++. Use the following command:

g++ --version

This command will display the g++ version that was installed on your system. If g++ is installed correctly, you should see the version information displayed in your terminal.

Compiling Your First C++ Program

Now that you have g++ installed, you can compile your first C++ program. Let’s say you have a file named hello.cpp. To compile this file and generate an executable named hello, you can use the following command:

g++ hello.cpp -o hello

In this command, g++ is the compiler, hello.cpp is the source file you want to compile, -o is an option that tells the compiler what to name the output file, and hello is the name of the output file.

Conclusion

In this guide, we covered how to install the g++ compiler on Ubuntu, either directly or through the build-essential package. We also discussed how to verify the installation and compile a C++ program. With these tools in hand, you’re ready to start developing and compiling C++ programs on your Ubuntu system.

For more information about the g++ compiler, you can check the official GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) website. If you encounter any issues or need more advanced usage information, the man command is a great resource:

man g++

This command will display the manual page for g++, which includes a detailed description of the compiler and its options. Happy coding!

Can I use the g++ compiler to compile programs written in languages other than C++?

No, the g++ compiler is specifically designed for compiling C++ programs. For compiling programs in other languages, you would need to use the appropriate compiler for that language.

Can I use the g++ compiler on other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu?

Yes, the g++ compiler is available for most Linux distributions, not just Ubuntu. You can use the package manager specific to your distribution to install the g++ compiler. The installation process may vary slightly, but the general steps are similar.

Can I use the g++ compiler on Windows or macOS?

The g++ compiler is primarily designed for Linux systems. However, you can use it on Windows and macOS by installing a Linux environment like WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) or using virtualization software like VirtualBox to run a Linux distribution. Once you have a Linux environment set up, you can install and use the g++ compiler.

Is it necessary to install the build-essential package, or can I just install g++?

Installing only the g++ package is sufficient for compiling C++ programs. However, installing the build-essential package is recommended as it includes additional libraries and tools that are often necessary for building software from source. If you plan to compile software or packages from source, it’s better to install the build-essential package.

Can I have multiple versions of g++ installed on my system?

Yes, it is possible to have multiple versions of g++ installed on your system. However, the default version is usually the one that gets invoked when you use the g++ command. You can switch between different versions by using the update-alternatives command, which allows you to choose the default version of a command or program.

How can I uninstall the g++ compiler?

To uninstall the g++ compiler, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get remove g++

This command will remove the g++ package from your system. If you have installed the build-essential package, you can use the same command to remove it as well.

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