Top 22 Online C++ Compiler Tools [BEST C++ IDE For 2021]

A comprehensive list and comparison of the top Online C++ Compilers with features and pricing. Select the best C++ IDE from this list:

The C++ program or any software program must be compiled and executed to produce the required output. Hence after writing the program, the most important step is to compile the program and then run the executable generated by the compiler.

Thus we need to have an optimum compiler to run our programs. In C++ we have many types of compilers, some of which are independent of operating systems and some others are specific for an operating system.

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In this tutorial, we will discuss the various C++ compilers that come packaged with the Interactive Development Environment (IDE).

C++ compilers IDE

When a compiler is integrated with IDE, we get the entire package at one place so that we can complete the code, compile, debug, and execute the program in the same software.

IDEs have an attractive user interface and come packaged with all the elements of software development that can be used to develop software applications.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the C++ compilation process along with some of the top C++ compiler/IDEs that are available in the market.

C++ Compilation Process

A C++ program consists of a header file (.h) and a source file (.cpp). Apart from this, external libraries or files are linked to C++ program using the <include> directive.

The compilation of the C++ program includes 3 steps:

  • Preprocessing: Here the include files referenced by the source CPP file are used and the code is replaced in the source files. Header files are not used in this step. Similarly, macros or inline functions are preprocessed and their code is replaced at a place where they are called.
  • Compile: The preprocessed file is then compiled to generate an object file with an extension “.o”.
  • Linking: The libraries and external functions used by the program are linked to the object file in the linking process. In the end, the program will be executed successfully.

The Compilation Process can be summarized using the below diagram.

compilation of the C++ program

This entire compilation process consisting of three steps is carried out with a click of a button in the case of IDEs. There are various IDEs that run as desktop applications and there are few other compilers that can be accessed online too.

Let’s first discuss standalone C++ compilers/IDEs and then see some of the popular online C++ Compilers.

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Most Popular C++ Compilers/IDE

#1) Microsoft Visual C++

Type: IDE
Price: Community and Express edition: Free.
Platform Support: Windows, iOS, and Android.

The basic view of Microsoft Visual studio 2019 community edition is shown below.

Microsoft Visual C++

Microsoft Visual C++ is the fully-featured IDE that works for Windows, iOS & Android platforms and allows building applications in C++, C#, node.js, python, etc. This IDE is the most popular C++ compiler cum IDE in the software industry today.

Features:

  • Provides language support for C++ and C#.net compiler along with other languages like python, node.js, etc.
  • We can build various applications using this IDE with various languages and it also provides a testing environment for the applications.
  • A fully-featured IDE that allows us to create applications on windows, web, iOS, Android, and many other platforms.
  • It provides IntelliSense that helps us to write efficient code.

Website URL: Microsoft Visual Studio 2019


#2) Eclipse IDE

Type: IDE
Price: Free, Open source.
Platform Support: Windows, Mac OS, and Linux

An Eclipse IDE generally looks as shown below.

eclipse IDE

Eclipse is a widely used IDE for C & C++ development and also for Java development. Eclipse works on all the major platforms including Windows, Mac OS & Linux, and boasts powerful features that can be used to develop full-fledged projects.

Features:

  • Eclipse has a wonderful user interface with drag and drop facility for UI designing.
  • Supports project development and administered framework for different toolchains, classic make framework, and source navigation.
  • Supports various source knowledge tools like folding & hyperlink navigation, grading, macro definition browser, code editing with syntax highlighting, etc.
  • Provides excellent visual code debugging tool to debug the code.

Website URL: Eclipse IDE


#3) Codeblocks

Type: IDE
Price: Free and open source.
Platform Support: Windows & Linux.

A screenshot of the CodeBlocks IDE is shown below.

3.Codeblocks

Code:: blocks is a free and open-source IDE that provides coding support for C, C++, FORTRAN, and XML to name a few. Code:: Blocks IDE is a popular IDE and it provides support for multiple compilers.

Features:

  • Cross-Platform support. Works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
  • IDE is entirely written in C++ and does not require any proprietary libs or interpreted languages to run it.
  • Easily extensible through plugins.
  • Provides multiple compiler support including clang, GCC Borland, etc.

Website URL: Codeblocks


#4) Dev-C++

Type: IDE
Price: Free, open-source
Platform Support: Windows

The image of Dev-C++ IDE is shown below.

Dev-C++ ide

Dev-C++ is written in Delphi. It is a free (open source) fully-featured IDE that is used for programming in C and C++. Dev-C++ IDE is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Features:

  • Dev-C++ comes bundled with MinGW or TDM-GCC 64-bit port of the GCC as its a compiler. We can also use Dev-C++ in combination with Cygwin or any other compiler that is GCC-based.
  • It basically runs only on Windows.
  • Dev-C++ can be extended by downloading additional libraries or packages of the code that support graphics, compression, animation, sound, etc. and increases the scope and functionality of Dev-C++.

Website URL: Dev-C++

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#5) NetBeans IDE

Type: IDE
Price: Free, Open source.
Platform Support: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

NetBeans IDE looks as shown below while creating a new C++ project.

NetBeans Ide

NetBeans is a free and open-source IDE that has interfaces for developing applications in C/C++, Java, PHP, Groovy, JavaScript, HTML5, etc. NetBeans is cross-platform and works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS systems.

Features:

  • Cross-platform and works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS platforms.
  • Provides fast and smart code editing along with rapid user interface development.
  • Multilanguage support for C/C++, Java, PHP, Groovy, JavaScript, HTML5.
  • Allows writing efficient and bugging free code.

Website URL: NetBeans IDE


#6) Cygwin

Type: IDE
Price: Open source
Platform Support: Windows

Cygwin IDE looks as shown below.

Cygwin

Cygwin is an open-source C++ compiler that can be installed on Windows and it gives a Unix-like environment to develop C++ programs. We can install Cygwin using the setup.exe and then install Cygwin packages for features support.

Features:

  • Gives a Unix-like environment for windows.
  • Can be used to develop C++ programs.
  • Can install packages to get different features in the package.
  • Supports GCC compiler.

Website URL: Cygwin


#7) GCC

Type: Compiler
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

The screenshot for GCC Compiler is shown below.

GCC

Note: As Cygwin IDE also uses the GCC compiler, we have given the same screenshot.

GCC stands for GNU Compiler Collection. GCC is developed by the GNU project and is a compiler system that supports multiple programming languages.

The GNU is a toolchain and GCC is one of the key components of this toolchain. GCC is the standard compiler for most of the projects at GNU and Linux. One of the notable projects that uses GCC is the Linux Kernel.

GCC is distributed by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL)

Features:

  • GCC is cross-platform i.e. it works on various platforms like Windows, Unix, Mac OS, etc. as well as on iOS and Android.
  • GCC supports many programming languages apart from C/C++.
  • Widely used as a development tool for free and proprietary software.

Website URL: GCC


#8) Vim

Type: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows, Unix & Mac OS.

Vim editor looks as shown in the below screenshot.

Vim

Vim is a text editor that is highly configurable and is used for efficiently creating and changing any kind of text. Vim is included as “vi” with most UNIX systems and Apple OS X. Vim is a very stable IDE and is continuously enhanced to become even better.

Features:

  • The main feature is the presence of persistent and multi-level undo tree.
  • It has an extensive plugin system that can be used to include additional features.
  • Vim IDE supports hundreds of programming languages and file formats.
  • It has a powerful search and replace feature.
  • Vim can be integrated with many tools and its functionality enhanced.

Website URL: Vim


#9) Borland C++

Type: IDE
Price: Free (after registering with Borland community)
Platform Support: Windows & MS-DOS.

The Borland C++ Compiler window looks as shown below.

Borland C++

Borland C++ is a C/C++ programming environment (IDE) developed for Windows and MS-DOS. Borland C++ is a successor of Turbo C++ and comes with a better debugger i.e. Turbo Debugger written in protected mode DOS.

Features:

  • A successor for Turbo C++.
  • Consists of Object Windows Library or OWL which is a library consisting of C++ classes to develop professional windows graphics application.
  • Also contains “Turbo Vision” which is a set of C++ classes to develop DOS applications. Borland C++ also comes with the Borland Graphics interface that is used to develop applications with 2G graphics.

Website URL: Borland C++


#10) MinGW

Type: IDE
Price: Free, open-source.
Platform Support: Windows

The below image shows the MinGW installation manager setup tool.

MinGW

[image source]

MinGW stands for “Minimalist GNU for Windows”. It is a minimalist development environment for native windows applications. MinGW is an open-source programming environment and is used to develop native Windows applications that do not depend on any third party C-runtime dlls.

Features:

  • Supports native TLS callback.
  • Supports wide-character startup (-Unicode).
  • Supports i386(32-Bit) and x64(64-bit) windows.
  • Supports multilib toolchains.
  • Supports Binutils or bleeding edge GCC.

Website URL: MinGW

=>Download Free Source Code


#11) C++ Builder

Type: IDE
Price: US $ 1400
Platform Support: Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS & Android.

C++ builder IDE is shown below.

C++ builder IDE

The C++Builder is a cross-platform IDE that allows us to develop the full development lifecycle to deliver a single source codebase that we can simply recompile and redeploy whenever required.

Features:

  • Fast and cross-platform.
  • Enables building a powerful cross-platform app from databases to rest to attractive UIs for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS & Android.
  • Use C++ builder to assemble C++ applications locally for desktop and mobile platforms.
  • Includes C++17 win 32 support, enhanced code completion, new libraries, and debugging for optimized builds.

Website URL: C++ Builder


#12) CodeLite

Type: IDE
Price: Free, Open source.
Platform Support: Windows, Linux (Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.), Mac OS, and FreeBSD

Codelite IDE is shown below.

Codelite IDE

[image source]

CodeLite is an open-source IDE. Codelite is cross-platform as it supports different platforms i.e. Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and FreeBSD. It is used for C/C++ development.

Apart from C/C++, Codelite also supports various other languages like JavaScript and PHP. The CodeLite IDE is mainly used for backend developers who develop applications using node.js.

Features:

  • Provides code completion engines for C++, PHP, and JavaScript including clang based code completion got C++ projects.
  • Provides generic support for compilers with built-in support for GCC/clang/VC++.
  • Displays errors as code annotations or as a tooltip in the editor window.
  • Built-in GDB support.
  • Allows to undo/redo the operations, basic editing actions, shift/remove or convert lines, search/replace, and such other screen actions.
  • We can create/manage bookmarks, execute faster-debugging actions, and also provide different settings for source code editor.
  • Provides refactoring feature that allows us to rename symbols, files, generate getters/setters, easily change function signature to match its header/implementation, move functions implementation to another source file, etc.

Website URL: CodeLite


#13) Qt Creator

Type: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Linux, OS X, Windows, VxWorks, QNX, Android and iOS, BlackBerry, Sailfish OS, etc.

The welcome screen for the QT framework looks as shown below.

Qt Creator

QT framework is the IDE that is available under dual licensing mode and the developers can choose the license as per their requirements.

QT is a comprehensive framework full of features. The QT framework provides a rich set of fundamental essential features that supports higher-level UI and application development components.

Features:

  • Cross-platform IDE that comes with a state-of-the-art C++ code editor, rapid code, navigation tools, inbuilt GUI design, forms designer, and much more.
  • It contains well-documented, user-friendly, consistent, and detailed APIs and libraries that help developers to write powerful code.
  • Fast, easy, and high performing IDE.
  • It contains a complete set of tools to create applications and user interfaces for once and then deploy them to mobile OS or desktops.
  • The code editor is equipped with auto-completion, drag & drops UI creation, syntax highlighting visual debugging and profiling tool, and many other features.

Website URL: Qt Creator


#14) Clang C++

Type: Compiler
Price: Free, Open source
Platform Support: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS

Clang is an “LLVM native” C/C++/Objective-C compiler. It aims to deliver amazingly fast compiles. It is a platform for building great source level tools, and extremely useful error & warning messages. The clang compiler contains the Clang Static Analyzer tool that automatically finds bugs in your code.

Features:

  • Supports end-user features like fast compilation, GCC Compatibility, low memory use, expressive diagnostics.
  • Clang has a modular library-based architecture and supports refactoring, static analysis, code generation, etc.
  • Allows tight integration with IDEs like visual studio.
  • Conformance with C, C++, Objective-C, and its variants.

Website URL: Clang C++


#15) Clion

Type: IDE
Price: 30-day free trial. $199 for 1st year, $159 for 2nd year, and $119 for 3rd year onwards.
Platform Support: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

15.Clion

[image source]

Clion is a powerful, cross-platform IDE for C/C++ development. It includes contemporary C++ standards, libC++ and Boost. Along with C/C++ development, Clion is also designed for Kotlin/Native, Rust, and Swift.

Clion also provides essential support for Python, CMake language, and other popular web technologies like JavaScript, XML, HTML, Markdown, etc.

Features:

  • Manages the code routine for us so that we can focus on the core things.
  • Easy to start a new project in Clion. Clion works with CMake, Gradle, and Compilation database project models and imports the project to CMake even if it’s different.
  • It has a smart editor that provides smart completion, formatting, and helpful views by giving code insight.
  • Uses refactoring to clean up and improve the code. It also saves unnecessary typing by generating the code, from getters/setters to complicated templates.
  • Provides static code analysis (including DFA) for all supported languages by highlighting errors and warnings in the code and suggests quick fixes.
  • It provides CMake build support with code generation, completion, and automatic target updates. It also has integrated build, run and debug environment for applications and unit tests, locally or remotely.

Website URL: Clion


#16) XCode

Type: IDE
Price: Free with open source components.
Platform Support: Mac OS

XCode

XCode is a powerful IDE that contains an open-source LLVM compiler for C, C++ & Objective-C and is available from the terminal. XCode is developed for Mac OS and contains a suite of software development tools developed by Apple for developing software for macOS, iOS, iPad, watchOS, and tvOS.

Features:

  • Provides support for a source code editor that has features like advanced code completion, code folding, syntax highlighting, and message bubbles that display warnings, errors, and other context-sensitive information in line with the code.
  • XCode IDE comes with an asset catalog that manages the app’s images.
  • The assistant editor splits the editor into two and creates a secondary pane that automatically displays files that are most useful for the code being written.
  • It has a version editor that fully supports Subversion and Git Source Control (SCM) systems.
  • Built-in interface builder that allows us to design and test the user interface without writing a line of code.
  • Supports C, C++, and Objective-C compilers that are built into the system. It also comes with an integrated build system that allows us to build the most complex builds.

Website URL: XCode


C++ Online Compilers

Let’s now discuss some of the online compilers that are available for C++ programming. These are mostly free and can be used to practice programming. Most of the compilers listed below support more than one programming language.

#17) Ideone.com

Type: Online IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows

The screenshot for Ideone online compiler is given below.

 Ideone.com

Ideone is an online compiler and a debugger. It allows us to compile source code and execute it online and supports more than 60 programming languages.

Features:

  • Online compiler.
  • Free compiler and debugger.
  • Supports 60 different programming languages.
  • We can choose the programming language and enter the source code and execute the program.
  • Options to read input data from standard input are present.

Website URL: Ideone.com


#18) Codepad

Type: Compiler/Interpreter
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows

Codepad

Codepad was created by Steven Hazel – one of the founders of Sauce Labs. Codepad is a simple collaboration tool to compile/interpret the code online. We can paste the code in the code area, select the appropriate programming language in the left panel, and click submit for Codepad to execute it.

Features:

  • Supports many programming languages including C, C++, Perl & Python.
  • Supports both compiled as well interpreted languages.
  • Once the code is executed, a short URL is created for the executed code that can be shared with the public.

Website URL: Codepad


#19) OnlineGDB

Type: Online IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows

The below image shows the OnlineGDB compiler.

OnlineGDB

OnlineGDB is a compiler and debugger tool that can be used online for numerous languages like C, C++, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Perl, C#, VB, Pascal, Swift, FORTRAN, Objective-C, HTML, CSS, JS, etc. to name a few.

Features:

  • Supports multiple programming languages.
  • Supports compilation as well as debugging.
  • We can write code, compile, run, and debug the code from anywhere in the world.

Website URL: OnlineGDB


#20) Codechef

Type: Practice IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Window

The Codechef online compiler looks as shown below.

Codechef

Codechef is a platform for aspiring programmers. Codechef provides an online compiler that can be used to execute code in various languages.

Features:

  • Supports various programming languages for which we can compile and test the code.
  • We can select the difficulty level of our coding.
  • Also allows debugging the program.

Website URL: Codechef


#21) CPP.sh

Type: Compiler
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows

The Cpp.sh online compiler looks as shown below.

Cpp.sh

Cpp.sh is a simple frontend for the GCC compiler. This compiler uses GCC 4.9.2, with Boost 1.55 available.

Features:

  • Frontend for a GCC compiler.
  • It supports C++98, C++11 and C++14 versions of the C++ language.
  • The application is sandboxed and certain system calls may fail.

Website URL: Cpp.sh


#22) JDoodle

Type: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Support: Windows

The screenshot for JDoodle is given below.

 JDoodle

JDoodle is an online compiler that supports various programming languages including C, C++, Java, Java (advanced), etc. The JDoodle C++ compiler shown above is a frontend for the GCC compiler.

Features:

  • An interactive compiler that has the ability to read standard input.
  • It also provides support for specifying command-line arguments.
  • Supports the GCC compiler.

Website URL: JDoodle


Conclusion

C++ Compilers and IDEs are important from the viewpoint of programming. Using these IDEs, we can develop and build many advanced C++ applications. The main advantage of these IDEs is that we get the entire compilation process in one IDE.

IDEs also contain source code editors that allow us to write the code. These source code editors are equipped with various features like auto-completion, IntelliSense, etc. that save our time while writing code.

We can even develop UI applications and most IDEs have resource managers that allow us to just drag/drop resources and a skeleton code is written by the IDE for these resources.

Most of the IDEs come with inbuilt debugger and/or other features like memory leak detection etc. that save our time and efforts.

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