My problem with Visual Studio is its huge space consumption, even for the Express edition, so I decided to leave Visual Studio.
Now I have the problem that I can't find good alternatives for Visual C++ 2013 specifically (I started to use Xamarin for C# and VB.NET).
Visual C++ 2013 has some libraries included that are exclusive to it like C++ AMP (which I'm trying to learn), and there isn't a custom installation for Visual Studio 2013 Express that might help.
Any suggestions for alternatives to VC++ will be greatly appreciated.
Or at least use the compiler executable files with another IDE (Like what you can do with Cygwin-GCC and NetBeans IDE).

Side question: Can I use Qt Creator with Visual C++ Compiler? I once downloaded it from the website but couldn't compile, but that was a long time ago.

  • Do you need an IDE, or are you OK with command line?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 3, 2014 at 5:29
  • Command line is no problem, It's just I could not find a way on installing the Microsoft C++ compiler standalone.
    – 3bdalla
    Jun 3, 2014 at 18:07
  • What is the objection to "space consumption"? Disk drives in the terabyte range are dirt cheap and its hard to find a PC with less than 4Gb RAM these days.
    – Ira Baxter
    Nov 27, 2014 at 7:01
  • Why would it install windows store SDK while on windows 7 ?
    – 3bdalla
    Nov 27, 2014 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


Code::Blocks is a very good light weight IDE for various compilers but for an actual tool chain I would look at the Gnu Compiler Collection, (gcc). Note that Code::Blocks supports some versions of VC compilers, as well as gcc and others, plus you can add new ones.

Rather than C++ AMP, which is currently MS specific, I would suggest using OpenMP as it is available for multiple platforms, (including VS), then you can use a lot of IDEs. Most other MS libraries have open alternatives that are often better supported and have active developer and user communities.

  • yes I used them, but I can't find a way on how to use the VC++ compiler. As I said because of specific libraries for this compiler like C++ AMP
    – 3bdalla
    Jun 3, 2014 at 16:02
  • Added some details on alternatives above. Jun 3, 2014 at 19:48

Without knowing exactly what features you'd need to consider something "similar" to VC++, I'd suggest giving Eclipse a try: http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/packages/eclipse-ide-cc-developers/keplersr2

It's been popular among Java developers for many years and also has a C/C++ flavour. It's certainly more light-weight than Visual Studio so I hope it might be useful to you.

  • I used netbeans and it is good, but could not use VC++ compiler and libraries with it, that's what I mean by similar.
    – 3bdalla
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:38
  • Ahh, I see. Well, given that in the Java version of Eclipse you can pick your Java compiler from those installed on the system, I'd be surprised if the same can't be done in the C++ one.
    – ATG
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:42
  • I guess choosing VC++ compiler would work if Visual Studio is installed. well I don't want that.
    – 3bdalla
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:46
  • 1
    I'm not sure, to be honest. I suppose it depends what Visual Studio mandates. If you can install the VC++ compiler separately, that is, without installing the full-blown Visual Studio, then you should be able to use this compiler within Eclipse.
    – ATG
    Jun 2, 2014 at 20:54
  • Do you have any idea on installing the Microsoft C++ compiler separately?
    – 3bdalla
    Jun 3, 2014 at 17:25

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