Looking for a recommendation for IDE. I'm learning to program in C, using Ubuntu. Is Eclipse good enough? or are there better IDE's for C?

  • 1
    To be honest, it;'s a matter of personal taste, so you should probably try them all & see which you prefer. Btw, this is a *very poorly asked question, probably because your are new. When you just ask for a C IDE, you may as well Google If you tell us what you want to use it for, what features it must have, we can help you, but, as it stands, you may as well Goole. Garbage In, Garbage Out - no offence intended, but you really ought to read How to Ask
    – Mawg
    Feb 17, 2019 at 8:29
  • Did you ever choose an IDE? If you did, please either accept one of the answers or post your own answer. Doing so will help others in future. We helped you, please help others.
    – Mawg
    Aug 14, 2019 at 8:09

6 Answers 6


I have been a profession embedded programmer for "a few" decades.

Eclipse is what I have always used, in industry, when developing under Linux.

There are probably others, some may even be "better" - if you list some requirements - but Eclipse has been "good enough" for every company I have ever worked for.

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    Indeed, Eclipse is one of the biggest, most feature-laden IDE tools ever made. Though not my favorite, as it has a “designed by committee” feel. Feb 17, 2019 at 4:26


The NetBeans IDE was originally built for Java, like Eclipse. But now offers C and C++ development as well.

NetBeans is a huge tool, like Eclipse and CLion/IntelliJ, with more features than you’ll ever know. Open-source and free-of-cost. Formerly owned by Oracle, now donated to the Apache Foundation.

  • Upvote. Although I switched to Eclipse for home coding a few years back. I can't remember why (probably trying to configure the debugger for PHP); there is certainly nothing wrong with NetBeans. The OP should probably try it and Eclipse & decide for themselves. Despite your "designed bu committee" comment about Eclipse, I prefer its look & feel, but that might just be familiarity.
    – Mawg
    Feb 17, 2019 at 8:16


CLion is an IDE for C and C++.

Has countless features. Designed to be “ergonomic”, meaning wisely designed to be highly productive and useful for daily use by professional developers.

Built by one of the finest creators of programming tools, JetBrains, most famous for their industry-leading IDE for Java (IntelliJ).

  • Upvote++ JetBrains are, without a doubt, the best IDEs. Alas, they are not generally free. From memory, CLiion is about $50? But that's per annum. I use Eclipse for C/C++, AngularJs and PHP. But for Python I use JetBrains' excellent and free - even fr commercial use - PyCharm. They make the best IDEs - if yo are willing to pay (and it's only the price of a beer or coffee a week)
    – Mawg
    Feb 17, 2019 at 8:20

Visual Studio Code

It's an open-source editor from Microsoft and is the most popular software for development in the Stack Overflow 2019 Developer Survey. It has extensive add-on support for any languages that you can imagine, with special extensions for non-code files like CSV, JSON, Markdown... files too. You can even debug Linux WSL processes remotely from Windows

Visual Studio Code is a source-code editor developed by Microsoft for Windows, Linux and macOS. It includes support for debugging, embedded Git control and GitHub, syntax highlighting, intelligent code completion, snippets, and code refactoring. It is highly customizable, allowing users to change the theme, keyboard shortcuts, preferences, and install extensions that add additional functionality. The source code is free and open source and released under the permissive MIT License. The compiled binaries are freeware and free for private or commercial use.



If you use KDE as your desktop, with I think is not the default for Ubuntu, you should check out KDevelop - A cross-platform IDE for C, C++, Python, QML/JavaScript and PHP (Otoh, it does run under Gnome - see "cross platform" - it just needs a little more disk space)

Built on modern open source technology, the KDevelop IDE offers a seamless development environment to programmers that work on projects of any size. It helps you get the job done while staying out of your way.

At the core of KDevelop lies the combination of an advanced editor with semantic code analysis, which delivers an enriched programming experience thanks to a deep understanding of your project. Additionally, KDevelop offers different workflows to assist the coder during the development process. It helps improve the code's quality, verify its functionality and then deploy it anywhere.

Free of Charge, Open Source

KDevelop is available free of charge and is licensed under the GNU GPL

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Just to round out the collections, a lot of people use Code::Blocks

Code::Blocks is a free C, C++ and Fortran IDE built to meet the most demanding needs of its users. It is designed to be very extensible and fully configurable.

Finally, an IDE with all the features you need, having a consistent look, feel and operation across platforms.

Built around a plugin framework, Code::Blocks can be extended with plugins. Any kind of functionality can be added by installing/coding a plugin. For instance, compiling and debugging functionality is already provided by plugins!

To be honest, it's not my favo(u)rite, but I have used it, with Cygwin under Windows, when I had a new laptop with nothing else installed & needed something quickly to compete a pre-interview home coding test. It performed well enough, so the OP should probably try it. It does run under Linux

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