+68  Q: 

C++ IDE for Linux?

I want to expand my programming horizons to Linux. A good, dependable basic toolset is important, and what is more basic than an IDE?

I could find these SO topics:

I'm not looking for a lightweight IDE. If an IDE is worth the money, then I will pay for it, so it need not be free.

My question, then:

What good, C++ programming IDE is available for Linux?

The minimums are fairly standard: syntax highlighting, code completion (like intellisense or its Eclipse counterpart) and integrated debugging (e.g., basic breakpoints).

I have searched for it myself, but there are so many that it is almost impossible to separate the good from the bads by hand, especially for someone like me who has little C++ coding experience in Linux. I know that Eclipse supports C++, and I really like that IDE for Java, but is it any good for C++ and is there something better?

The second post actually has some good suggestions, but what I am missing is what exactly makes the sugested IDE so good for the user, what are its (dis)advantages?

Maybe my question should therefore be:

What IDE do you propose (given your experiences), and why?

+9  A: 

Checkout Netbeans, it's written in Java so you'll have the same environment regardless of your OS, and it supports a lot more than just C++.

I'm not going to try to convince you, because I think IDEs can be a very personal choice. For me it improves my productivity by being fast, supporting the languages I code in and has the standard features you'd expect from an IDE.

Steve M
I just can add my +1 to this. netbeans has the best c++ language parser i've seen in an ide ; beats eclipse's cdt.
+6  A: 

Netbeans is in my experience the most heavyweight IDE there is. I'm using Eclipse with the CDT plugin, its fast and it works pretty well.

Alexander Stolz
I just can add my +1 to this. netbeans is really a remarkable piece of software. Java, Ruby, C/C++ all is supported and suprise it works ;-)
You meant +1 for netbeans, not for eclipse's cdt, right?
+121  A: 

Actually, I recently made the switch from Visual Studio (years of experience there) to Linux and the first thing I did was try to find a reasonable IDE.

And then I noticed that this simply isn't how you work there*, and I threw everything out, spent a few days reading manuals, set up my shell (bash), set up a GVIM environment, learned the GCC/binutils toolchain, make and gdb and lived happily ever after.

There are certainly disadvantages but I am sure that I work much more productive since making the switch.

*) It really isn't! And that's not an anachronism either because the toolchain described above is incredibly mature and powerful. Any IDE has to replicate hundreds of unique features to get anywhere near the power of these tools that have been honed to the point of perfection for decades. The learning curve might be quite steep, but much less so than I expected.

Konrad Rudolph
Exactly the same thing happened to me 3 years ago.
Nemanja Trifunovic
i strongly disagree. a decent ide is important no matter what u'r working on. it drastically increases productivity. i use codeblocks and find that going back to VI is almost impossible. i have coded on Mac, Win and Linux, and although i find visual studio to be the best IDE, codeblocks comes close.
David, perhaps you could detail (own answer …) what exactly you're missing from the toolchain I described that an IDE delivers. As I've said, I've come from a strong IDE background and my productivity increase was the exact inverse of yours.
Konrad Rudolph
The problematic thing on Linux is always. Role your own stuff, and well the atttude towards commercial programms is devastating....
UNIX *is* an IDE. All of it.
I both agree and disagree with you. Learning the underlying tools is important, no question, but once you understand what's actually going on, a good IDE can make life a lot easier and more productive. I think the key is to get an IDE that tries to provide an interface to the tools below without trying to hide the details. I think this issue often confuses people coming from MSVS where the editor, the compiler, the debugger, etc. all appear to the user as a single monolithic tool.
What refactoring support does Vim offer? In Eclipse (which runs under Linux), I can change the name of any Java method I wish, even if it is called in 300 places. Can you do it easily in Vim?
quant_dev: refactoring requires parsing the source code in some way. As far as I know, no VIM modules do that so the answer to your question is “none.” That's one of the reasons to prefer an IDE for IDE-centered languages such as Java. Since refactoring support (etc) for C++ is so minimal anyway (even in IDEs), this doesn't apply to C++.
Konrad Rudolph
"That's one of the reasons to prefer an IDE for IDE-centered languages such as Java. "For languages with context-free grammar and no preprocessor, rather :) You hava a point, but even C++ could use some sort of refactoring support. MS Visual C++ at least can take me from declaration to definition, and provides code completion. Can I have this in Vim?
quant_dev: very true. Concerning finding declarations: yes, Vim supports this through a number of extensions, via exuberant ctags. About auto completion: yes, it's supported but I've never used it (but neither in Visual Studio) so I don't know if it's usable.
Konrad Rudolph
quant_dev: Here's C++ syntax completion:
Konrad Rudolph
Konrad Rudolph: Please don't comment on things that you have never used. The script description outright says "ignoring current scope."
@wbkang: What exactly are you complaining about? If you had read my question on this ( you would have known that I’m *not* satisfied with CppComplete (*and* that I’ve used it). But it works well enough for some people so it was worth posting here, wasn’t it?
Konrad Rudolph
start off with vi and jump to eclipse when you understand what is going on behind the scenes.
Making changes too easy stimulates to make more changes.
@quant_dev: Linux's support for refactoring comes from your brain, I think it could do a better job than anything automated?
My brain is too good to be wasted on such trivial stuff.
@quant, you can find and replace your java function(in a file) using:1,$s/function_name/replace_name/gIf this isn't powerful then "power" has to be redefined
@rocknroll: simple text replacement in a file/project ignores scope, type, and whether something is a comment. If I change a function name, I only want to change those places that actually call the function, not those places that have the same text as the function name, including comments, variables, other functions at different scope, etc.
@Bill, @quant_dev: Refactoring is rarely about "variable renaming", it's more of a conscious effort to re-organize code, and no IDE can ever help with that, there's no avoiding using your brain.Having said that, java people don't tend to be vimmers anyway ..
hasen j
@hasen j - writing programs is also heavily "brain-involved", but nobody dismisses compilers and asks devs to write machine code by hand. refactoring requires using your brain to make the decision of which part of the code needs to be refactored and how; however, that does not preclude using proper tools to ensure that all the relevant changes are made in any part of the source that might be affected by the code refactoring.
Franci Penov
Franci Penov: You didn't understand my argument: refactoring cannot be automated, for the same reason programming cannot be automated.
hasen j
@hasen: oh but large parts of it *can*. Scope-aware renaming, for example. And believe me, this is *big*. And Ecplise (e.g.) can save *a lot* of work here.
Konrad Rudolph
+36  A: 
  1. Code::Blocks
  2. Eclipse CDT

Soon you'll find that IDEs are not enough, and you'll have to learn the GCC toolchain anyway (which isn't hard, at least learning the basic functionality). But no harm in reducing the transitional pain with the IDEs, IMO.

+1 for codeblocks and yea, you'll definitely want to learn at least how to compile and run your programs from a shell, cause code::blocks has some blimishes.
+1 for eclipse cdt. Code::Blocks isn't good enough.
Eclipse is not at all lightweight IMHO, Code::Blocks... just
... Code::Blocks just fails to parse the c++ language
+29  A: 

KDevelop is pretty nice.

KDevelop4 is a really, really great C++ IDE. Unfortunately it hasn't yet been released, so I'm hesitant to recommend it, especially to someone new to Linux. I build it from SVN weekly and am nothing but impressed with the direction it's taking.
+20  A: 

Could you clarify a little bit more how it was for you, what you had to change. Maybe you could point me in the right direction by providing some links to the information you used.

My first source were actually the tools' man pages. Just type

$ man toolname

on the command line ($ here is part of the prompt, not the input).

Depending on the platform, they're quite well-written and can also be found on the Internet. In the case of make, I actually read the complete documentation which took a few hours. Actually, I don't think this is necessary or helpful in most cases but I had a few special requirements in my first assignments under Linux that required a sophisticated makefile. After writing the makefile I gave it to an experienced colleague who did some minor tweaks and corrections. After that, I pretty much knew make.

I used gVim because I had some (but not much) prior experience there, I can't say anything at all about Emacs or alternatives. I find it really helps to read other peoples' .gvimrc config file. Many people put it on the web. Here's mine.

Don't try to master all binutils at once, there are too many functions. But get a general overview so you'll know where to search when needing something in the future. You should, however, know all the important parameters for g++ and ld (the GCC linker tool that's invoked automatically except when explicitly prevented).

Also I'm curious, do you have code completion and syntax highlighting when you code?

Syntax highlighting: yes, and a much better one than Visual Studio. Code completion: yes-ish. First, I have to admit that I didn't use C++ code completion even in Visual Studio because (compared to VB.NET and C#) it wasn't good enough. I don't use it often now but nevertheless, gVim has native code completion support for C++. Combined with the ctags library and a plug-in like taglist this is almost an IDE.

Actually, what got me started was an article by Armin Ronacher. Before reading the text, look at the screenshots at the end of it!

Do you have to compile first before getting (syntax) errors?

Yes. But this is the same for Visual Studio, isn't it (I've never used Whole Tomato)? Of course, the syntax highlighting will show you non-matching brackets but that's about all.

and how do you debug (again think breakpoints etc)?

I use gdb which is a command-line tool. There's also a graphical frontend called DDD. gdb is a modern debugging tool and can do everything you can do in an IDE. The only thing that really annoys me is reading a stack trace because lines aren't indented or formatted so it's really hard to scan the information when you're using a lot of templates (which I do). But those also clutter the stack trace in IDEs.

Like I said, I had the 'pleasure' to set my first steps in the Java programming language using Windows Notepad and the command line Java compiler in high school, and it was, .. well a nightmare! certainly when I could compare it with other programming courses I had back then where we had decent IDE's

You shouldn't even try to compare a modern, full-feature editor like Emacs or gVim to Notepad. Notepad is an embellished TextBox control, and this really makes all the difference. Additionally, working on the command line is a very different experience in Linux and Windows. The Windows cmd.exe is severely crippled. PowerShell is much better.

/EDIT: I should mention explicitly that gVim has tabbed editing (as in tabbed browsing, not tabs-vs-spaces)! It took me ages to find them although they're not hidden at all. Just type :tabe instead of plain :e when opening a file or creating a new one, and gVim will create a new tab. Switching between tabs can be done using the cursor or several different shortcuts (depending on the platform). The key gt (type g, then t in command mode) should work everywhere, and jumps to the next tab, or tab no. n if a number was given. Type :help gt to get more help.

Konrad Rudolph
Hi Konrad. Do you use DDD?
@confuzatron: No, I use gdb for several reasons. Most importantly, I usually work without any X server running. Also, I'm a bit uncomfortable about the fact that DDD hasn't seen any update in quite a long time. On the other hand, project ownership has just changed and there seem to be changes afoot.
Konrad Rudolph
+3  A: 

Although I use Vim, some of my co-workers use SlickEdit which looks pretty good. I'm not certain about integrated debugging because we wouldn't be able to do that on our particular project anyway.

SlickEdit does have good support for navigating large code bases, with cross referencing and tag jumping. Of course it has the basic stuff like syntax highlighting and code completion too.

Greg Hewgill
+15  A: 

As an old-time UNIX guy, I always use Emacs. But that has a pretty steep and long learning curve, so I'm not sure I can recommend it to newcomers.

There really isn't a "good" IDE for Linux. Eclipse is not very good for C/C++ (CDT is improving, but is not very useful yet). The others are missing all the features you are going to be looking for.

It really is important to learn how all the individual tools (gcc, make, gdb, etc.) work. After you do so, you may find the Visual Studio way of doing things to be very limiting.

Kristopher Johnson
Eclipse CDT "not very useful yet?" Elaboration would be helpful. I find it extremely useful (and easy to use).
John Zwinck
"not very useful yet": autocomplete often doesn't work, navigating to declarations or uses of functions doesn't work, syntax highlighting doesn't always work, refactoring doesn't work, etc. It's little better than using vi. The GDB frontend UI is the only thing that makes it worth using at all, IMHO.
Kristopher Johnson
I haven't really tried refactoring with the CDT, but the other things seem to work. I will note that I run Eclipse with some pretty big max memory usage configuration parameters (I have 8-12 GB of RAM), but it seems fine.
John Zwinck
Last time I tried Eclipse CDT, the syntax/semantics parser for the auto-completion made the whole IDE freeze for 8 seconds every time it got invoked. It made the whole feature useless. I can't believe the thing didn't run in its own thread.This was two years ago, so it's hopefully fixed now. (right?)
Mads Elvheim
I find CDT awesome for my forays into QT and Boost. On windows with Mingw it has it's issues, but in a proper Posix environment auto-complete works great! The navigating to declarations is actually the one glaring hole. But considering that C++ can have multiple identical declarations, I'm not surprised. This is a harder problem to solve than in Java.
Chris Kaminski
+3  A: 

I hear Anjuta is pretty slick for Gnome users. I played a bit with KDevelop and it's nice, but sort of lacking featurewise. Code::Blocks is also very promising, and I like that one best.

+3  A: 

I quite like Ultimate++'s IDE. It has some features that were designed to use with their own library (which, BTW, is quite a nice toolkit if you don't want to buy on either GTK+ or QT) but it works perfectly well with general C++ projects. It provides decent code completion, good syntax colouring, integrated debugging, and all other features most modern IDEs support.

wow! Regarding the screenshots that really looks amazing! I will definitely give it a try. Do you know if I have to pay for it? (That's not quite clear on the Ultimate++ website)
Nope, it's free as in "speech", "beer" and "ride". They are even quite open about accepting patches, and release very often, so it is as open source as it gets :)
+8  A: 

If you like Eclipse for Java, I suggest Eclipse CDT. Despite C/C++ support isn't so powerful as is for Java, it still offers most of the features. It has a nice feature named Managed Project that makes working with C/C++ projects easier if you don't have experience with Makefiles. But you can still use Makefiles. I do C and Java coding and I'm really happy with CDT. I'm developing the firmware for a embedded device in C and a application in Java that talks to this device, and is really nice to use the same environment for both. I guess it probably makes me more productive.

+12  A: 

Not to repeat an answer, but I think I can add a bit more.

Slickedit is an excellent IDE.

It supports large code-bases well without slowing down or spending all its time indexing. (This is a problem I had with eclipse's cdt). Slickedit's speed is probably the nicest thing about it, actually.
The code completion works well and there are a large amount of options for things like automatic formatting, beautification and refactoring.
It does have integrated debugging.
It has plug-in support and fairly active community creating them.
In theory, you should be able to integrate well with people doing the traditional makefile stuff, as it allows you to create a project directly from one, but that didn't work as smoothly as I would have liked when I tried it.
In addition to Linux, there are Mac and Windows versions of it, should you need them.

+28  A: 

A quick answer, just to add a little more knowledge to this topic:
You must definitely check out NetBeans. Netbeans 6.7 has the following features:

  • C/C++ Projects and Templates: Supports syntax highlighting, automatic code completion, automatic indentation.
  • It has a C/C++ Debugger
  • Supports Compiler Configurations, Configuration Manager and Makefile Support (with a Wizard).
  • It has a Classes Window, a Usages Window and a File Navigation Window (or panel).
  • A Macro expansion view, and also tooltips.
  • Support for QT development.

I think it's a perfect (and far better) Visual Studio substitution, and a very good tool to learn C/C++.

Good Luck!

I've never used Netbeans for C++ development, but it is an excellent IDE for Java development.
James McMahon
It's also really good for c++. It's got the best language parser ever.
I enjoyed Netbeans much more than Eclipse for c++ development.
Thomas Langston
+1  A: 

Konrad's advice is excellent, and you should become happily productive in a classic vi/cc/ld/db/make environment without too much trouble. Many, many university students have learned this toolchain over the course of a 10-15 week class.

That said, the other classic environment is to go the Emacs route. I wouldn't call it an IDE, but it does integrate two important development tools into the editor: the compiler's output, and the debugger. You can have it zip you to the line in the file corresponding to a compiler error, and you can set breakpoints and use the stepper from the editor.

+2  A: 

I like SciTE as a basic editor for C++/Python on Linux. It has keyboard bindings similar to VC so you do not have to reprogram your cut-and-paste fingers.

I use it together with Git for source code control and the very useful 'git grep' command for searching in your code base.

I played with Eclipse CDT but my source codebase was to big for it and I spend too much time waiting on the IDE. If your project is smaller it may be good for you though.

James Dean
+4  A: 

hi there,

Sun Studio version 12 is a free download(FREE and paid support available) --

I'm sure you have code completion and debugging support including plugin support in this IDE.

Sun Studio is available for Linux as well as Solaris. forums : Sun Studio Linux forums :

I'll be eager to hear your feedback on this tool.


+10  A: 

Just a quick follow up for this question...

It's been a month since I started using Vim as my main 'GUI' tool for programming C++ in Linux. At first the learning curve was indeed a bit steep but after a while and with the right options turned on and scripts running I really got the hang of it!

I love the way how you can shape Vim to suite your needs; just add/change key mappings and Vim is turned into a highly productive 'IDE'.

The toolchain to build and compile a C++ program on Linux is also really intuitive. make and g++ are the tools you'll use.

The debugger ddd is however not really that good, but maybe that's because I haven't had the time to master it properly.

So to anyone who is, or was looking for a good C++ IDE in Linux, just like I was, your best bet lays with the standard available tools in Linux itself (Vim, g++, ddd) and you should really at least try to use them, before looking for sonething else...

Last but not least, I really want to thank konrad for his answer here, It really helped me find my way in the Linux development environment, thank you!

I'm also not closing this question, so people can still react or maybe even add new suggestions or additions to the already really nice answers...

Can you get IntelliSense-ish features to work in Vim+ctags? Not really just auto-complete, but context-sensitive information such as parameter list for function, etc.?
+1  A: 

I'm glad you seem to be working it out with vim. But I have to say, I'm a bit mystified about how you already "really like Eclipse for Java", implying that you're already familiar with how it works. In that case, why wouldn't you also use it for C++? CDT meets every requirement you've mentioned.

The Eclipse C++ IDE is crippled beyond usefulness when compared to the Java equivalent. Seriously, it is hopeless. All the memory muscle tricks learned in the Java version inexplicably fail in the C++ one, making you much less productive. Like Superman with kryptonite in his undies.

why wouldn't you also use it for C++? CDT meets every requirement you've mentioned.

I didn't use eclipse at first because I wasn't sure that it was equally good at giving me the means of developing in C++ (efficiently). Besides that, I was also convinced that there had to be better, more specialized tools available for c++ development in Linux:

and I really like that [eclipse] IDE for java, but is it any good for c++ and won't I miss out on something that is even better?

I honestly believe that, although some tools (like eclipse) are great at many things, it is best to look for other options as well (and I don't mean that for IDE's only, but in general and even in real life)...
Like in this case, vim is really great, and I would have missed out on it if I sticked to something I already knew.

+3  A: 

I really suggest codeblocks. It's not as heavy as Eclipse and it's got Visual Studio project support.

+1  A: 

Having been raised on Visual Studio, I've found the relatively young Code::Blocks to be very familiar.

+3  A: 

I've previously used Ultimate++ IDE and it's rather good.

+16  A: 

At least for Qt specific projects, the Qt Creator (from Nokia/Trolltech) shows great promise.

Henrik Hartz
+6  A: 

I program fairly heavily on C++ in Linux and I've found no great IDE on Linux, but there are a lot of good editors. You can do pretty well with an editor like emacs, vim, or what have you. In the past I used slickedit to browse large C and C++ code bases, as it has good tags support.

Emacs or VIM plus GNU global can also be used for browsing large code bases. GNU global's C++ parser isn't quite as accurate as slickedit's, but it is fast and free. Remember to define GTAGSFORCECPP before tagging if you have .h files that are really C++, not C, headers.

For a build tool, you should check out either scons or CMake. Scons is a python based build tool that can parse C++ #include statements and automatically detect dependencies between .cpp and .h files. It also does a much more accurate build than other tools, and you will probably never have to do a "make clean" equivalent. It supports parallel builds as well.

Some people like plain old make.

Thing about the old tools is that they are extensively battle-tested and have been refined for quite a few years. The learning curve is steep, but the results are excellent. It sounds to me that you haven't extensively tried them, and are going on prejudice.
David Thornley
I have used the "old tools". I still use emacs and make occasionally. Have you used scons or slickedit?
Actually, my opinion has somewhat changed since I wrote this answer originally, so I've changed it a bit.
+4  A: 

And then I noticed that this simply isn't how you work there*, and I threw everything out, spent a few days reading manuals, set up my shell (bash), set up a GVIM environment, learned the GCC/binutils toolchain, make and gdb and lived happily ever after.

I'd mostly agree, but the problem is also one of perception: we forget how difficult it was to become productive in any chose IDE (or other environment). I find IDE's (Visual Studio, NetBeans, Eclipse) amazingly cumbersome in so many ways.

As an old-time UNIX guy, I always use Emacs. But that has a pretty steep and long learning curve, so I'm not sure I can recommend it to newcomers.

I'd second that; use Emacs as my primary editor on both Linux and on MSW (XP2,W2K). I would disagree that it has a steep learning curve, but would say that because of the huge number of features it has a long learning curve. You can be productive within a short time, but if you want you can learn new features of it for years to come.

However -- don't expect all the features of Emacs to be available on drop-down menus, there is just too much functionality to find it there.

As I metioned, I've used GNU Emacs on MSW for years. And it's always worked well with Visual Studio until I "upgraded" to 2008; now it sometimes delays many seconds before refreshing files from disk. The main reason for editing in the VS window is the "Intellisense" code completion feature.

+1  A: 

geany I recommend

+9  A: 

I recommend you read The Art Of UNIX Progranmming. It will frame your mind into using the environment as your IDE.


Use Mono-Develop. It is very similar to Visual Studio. It works cross-platform and is Awesome!!

+2  A: 

SlickEdit. I have used and loved SlickEdit since 2005, both on Windows and on Linux. I also have experience working in Visual Studio (5, 6, 2003, 2005) and just with Emacs and command line. I use SlickEdit with external makefiles, some of my teammates use SlickEdit, others use Emacs/vi. I do not use the integrated debugger, integrated version control, integrated build system: I generally find too much integration to be real pain. SlickEdit is robust (very few bugs), fast and intuitive. It is like a German car, a driver's car.

The newest versions of SlickEdit seem to offer many features that do not interest me, I am a little worried that the product will become bloated and diluted in the future. For now (I use V13.0) it is great.

+16  A: 

My personal favorite is the CodeLite 2.x IDE.


The decision to use CodeLite was based on a research regarding the following C++ IDE for Linux:

  • Eclipse Galileo with CDT Plugin
  • NetBeans 6.7 (which is also the base for the SunStudio IDE)
  • KDevelop4
  • CodeBlocks 8.02
  • CodeLite 2.x

After all I have decided to use CodeLite 2.x.

Below I have listed some Pros and Cons regarding the mentioned C++ IDEs. Please note, that this reflects my personal opinion only!

EDIT: what a pity that SOF doesn't support tables, so I have to write in paragraphs ...

Eclipse Galileo with CDT Plugin


  • reasonable fast
  • also supports Java, Perl(with E.P.I.C plugin)
  • commonly used and well maintained
  • also available for other OS flavours (Windows, MacOS, Solaris, AIX(?))


  • GUI is very confusing and somewhat inconsistent - not very intuitive at all
  • heavy weight
  • Only supports CVS (AFAIK)

NetBeans 6.7 (note this is also the base for the SunStudio IDE)


  • one of the most intuitive GUI I have ever seen
  • also supports Java, Python, Ruby
  • integrates CVS, SVN, Mercurial
  • commonly used and well maintained
  • also available for other OS flavours (Windows, MacOS, Solaris)


  • extremly slow
  • heavy weight
  • uses Spaces for indentation, which is not the policy at my work. I'm sure this is configurable, but I couldn't find out how to to that

KDevelop4 (note: I did not much testing on it)


  • commonly used on Linux
  • integrates CVS, SVN, Mercurial


  • the GUI looks somewhat old fashioned
  • heavy weight
  • very specific to the KDE environment

CodeBlocks 8.02 (note: I did not much testing on it)


  • reasonable fast


  • the GUI looks somewhat old fashioned (although it has a nice startup screen)
  • the fonts in the editor are very small
  • some icons (e.g. the debugger related icons starting/stepping) are very small
  • no source control integration

CodeLite 2.x (note: this is my personal favorite)


  • the best, modern looking and intuitive GUI I have seen on Linux
  • lightweight
  • reasonable fast
  • integrates SVN
  • also available on other OS flavours(Windows, MacOS, Solaris(?))


  • no CVS integration (that's important for me because I have to use it at work)
  • no support for Java, Perl, Python (would be nice to have)
Eclispe has support for Hg, Git, SVN and others via plugins. And startup/splash screens suck huge balls. They suck down resources and offer very little in benefit. And they usually pop up in front of whatever I'm working on while waiting for the app to load. PortableApps and Eclipse need to get rid of them.
Chris Kaminski
Codelite got the same keyboard shortcut as Visual Studio for debugging, making it very user-friendly for Visual addicts.
Raoul Supercopter
May be beating an old horse here, but IMO eclipse's GUI is really unmatched. Yes, it's difficult to learn at first, but it's kind of like Vi where the productivity starts to skyrocket after you've climbed the steep learning curve. To prove a point, try pressing Ctrl+3 -- one of the very awesome features in eclipse IMO.
"Cons: uses Spaces for indentation [...] I'm sure this is configurable, but I couldn't find out how to to that."That shows, you haven't really used to tool, otherwise, you'd have eventually found the option.
+2  A: 

make + gedit + gdb = one great IDE

Matt Fichman
+3  A: 

Perhaps the Linux Tools Project for Eclipse could fill your needs?

The Linux Tools project aims to bring a full-featured C and C++ IDE to Linux developers. We build on the source editing and debugging features of the CDT and integrate popular native development tools such as the GNU Autotools, Valgrind, OProfile, RPM, SystemTap, GCov, GProf, LTTng, etc. Current projects include LTTng trace viewers and analyzers, an RPM .spec editor, Autotools build integration, a Valgrind heap usage analysis tool, and OProfile call profiling tools.

+1  A: 

I use Eclipse CDT and Qt Creator (for Qt applications).

That's my preferences. It's a very suggestive question and there is as many answers as there is developers. :)

+2  A: 

For me Ultimate++ seems to be the best solution to write cross-os program

+2  A: 

Shorter answer is: choosing whatever "editor" you like, then use GDB console or a simple GDB front end to debug your application. The debuggers come with fancy IDEs such as Netbeans sucks for C/C++. I use Netbeans as my editor, and Insight and GDB console as my debugger.

With insight, you have a nice GUI and the raw power of GDB.

As soon as you get used to GDB commands, you will start to love it since you can do things you will never be able to do using an GUI. You can use even use Python as your script language if you are using GDB 7 or newer version.

Most people here paid more attentions to the "Editors" of the IDEs. However, if you are developing a large project in C/C++, you could easily spend more than 70% of your time on the "debuggers". The debuggers of the fancy IDEs are at least 10 years behind Visual Studio. For instance, Netbenas has very similar interfaces with Visual Studio. But its debugger has a number of disadvantages compared to Visual Studio.

  1. Very slow to display even a array with only a few hundreds of elements
  2. No highlighting for changed value ( By default, visual studio shows changed values in the watch windows in red)
  3. Very limited ability to show memory.
  4. You cannot modify the source code then continue to run. If a bug takes a long time to hit, you would like to change the source and apply the changes live and continue to run your application.
  5. You cannot change the "next statement" to run. In Visual Studio, you can use "Set Next Statement" to change how your application runs. Although this feature could crash your application if not used properly, but it will save you a lot of time. For instance, if you found the state of your application is not correct, but you do not know what caused the problems, you might want to rerun a certain region of the your source codes without restarting your application.
  6. No built-in support for STL such as vector, list, deque and map etc.
  7. No watch points. You need to have this feature, when you need to stop your application right at the point a variable is changed. Intel based computers have hardware watch points so that the watch points will not slow down your system. It might takes many hours to find some hard-to-find bugs without using watch points. "Visual Studio" calls "watch pointer" as "Data BreakPoint".

The list can be a lot longer.

I was so frustrated by the disadvantages of the Netbeans or other similar IDEs, so that I started to learn GDB itself. I found GDB itself are very powerful. GDB does not have all the "disadvantages" mentioned above. Actually, GDB is very powerful, it is even better than Visual Studio in many ways. Here I just show you a very simple example.

For instance, you have a array like:

struct IdAndValue
  int ID;
  int value;

IdAndValue IdAndValues[1000];

When your application stops, and you want to examine the data in IdAndValues. For instance, if you want to find the ordinals and values in the array for a particular "ID", you can create a script like the following:

define PrintVal 
set $i=0
printf "ID = %d\n", $arg0
while $i<1000
  if IdAndValues[$i].ID == $arg0
    printf "ordinal = %d, value = %d\n", $i, IdAndValues[$i].vaue
    set $i++

You can use all variables in your application in the current context, your own variables (in our example, it is $i), arguments passed (in our example, it is $arg0) and all GDB commands (built-in or user defined).

Use PrintVal 1 from GDB prompt to print out values for ID "1"

By the way, NetBeans does come with a GDB console, but by using the console, you could crash Netbeans. And I believe that is why the console is hidden by default in NetBeans

Charles Zhang
Good point. But unfortunately GDB has an extremely steep learning curve. I’ve been using it for years now and I still have never used macros, and (although I know this is *possible* via macros!) any STL code I throw at it cannot be debugged any better than in modern IDEs.
Konrad Rudolph
I spent 2 days to master most of commands in GDB. Once you know the raw power of GBD, you will never look back. It will save you a lot of time when you fix the hard-to-find bugs.
Charles Zhang
+1  A: 

If you were using vim for a long time, then you should actually make that as your IDE. There are a lot of addons available. I found several of those as pretty useful, and compiled it here, have a look at it.

And a lot more in the vi / vim tips & tricks series over there.

+1  A: 

I prefer using Emacs and Vim for writing C++ code. When I need to use an IDE, I use CodeBlocks.


I have been using Anjuta for my university projects about 3 years ago. I haven't been using it lately. But it was nice back then, so should be better with the latest releases.


Code::Blocks is Great.