Install GCC Compiler on Ubuntu 18.04

Suraj Joshi Dec 19, 2022 Sep 07, 2020
  1. Install GCC on Ubuntu
  2. Verify the Installation of GCC
  3. Compile Programs Using GCC
  4. Install Multiple GCC Versions
Install GCC Compiler on Ubuntu 18.04

GCC stands for GNU Compiler Collection, and it complies different programming languages such as R, C, C++, Objective-C, Fortran, Ada, Go, and D. We can install the GCC compiler on Ubuntu using the apt command-line tool. We must log in as a superuser to install the GCC using apt.

Install GCC on Ubuntu

A meta-package name build-essential is present in default Ubuntu repositories that contain GCC and various other compilers like g++ and make.

We also install GCC on our system by installing the build-essentials package. Once we install the build-essential package, GCC is also installed in our system.

To install build-essential we follow the following steps:

  • Update the package list with the command:
    sudo apt update
  • Install the build-essential package using the command:
    sudo apt install build-essential

    It installs GCC along with other compilers in our system.

Verify the Installation of GCC

We use the following command to verify whether GCC is installed successfully or not,

gcc --version

If the GCC is successfully installed we get an output with version and other information about GCC.


gcc (Ubuntu 7.5.0-3ubuntu1~18.04) 7.5.0
Copyright (C) 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is NO

Compile Programs Using GCC

To compile programs using GCC, we use the following command.

gcc <filename> -o <name_of_executable>

It compiles the program <filename> to produce an executable named <name_of_executable>. When we run this executable, we get the output.

gcc hello_world.c -o hello_world

It compiles the program hello_world.c to produce an executable with the name hello_world.

To run the executable, we use the command:


Install Multiple GCC Versions

We can also have multiple versions of GCC in our system.

To install multiple versions of Ubuntu, we follow the following steps:

  • Add ubuntu-toolchain-r/test to our system using the command:
    sudo apt install software-properties-common
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
  • Install the desired versions using the command:
    sudo apt install gcc-7 gcc-8 gcc-9 

    It installs the three versions of gcc: gcc-7, gcc-8 and gcc-9 in our system.

  • Configure to manage the priorities for different installed versions:
    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-9 90 --slave 
    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-8 80 --slave
    sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-7 70 --slave

    Here, the highest priority is set for gcc-9 and hence it will be the default gcc for our system.

Author: Suraj Joshi
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Suraj Joshi is a backend software engineer at