How to Solve Configure: Error: No Acceptable C Compiler Found in $PATH

Olorunfemi Akinlua Feb 02, 2024
How to Solve Configure: Error: No Acceptable C Compiler Found in $PATH

When you install a package or application, there are several dependencies that such a package runs on. These dependencies power some (or all) parts of the package.

Often, some of these dependencies are bundled together or downloaded during installation. Other times, it is expected to be present within your system.

For Linux, a big example is when installing Python. The C compiler is an important dependency that it needs.

Well, that’s because Python is written in C. However, we might not have the C compiler present, and it is expected by the Python developers to be present on your Linux PC.

This article will show you how to solve the error message configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH when installing Python or any package that needs the C compiler.

Install gcc to Solve configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH

The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a compiler that holds compilers for different programming languages from C and C++ to Go. In addition to these compilers, it holds important libraries run on the programming languages it supports.

From the description, we know it holds the C compiler that is not found in our $PATH. Therefore, if you see this error message configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH, the gcc compiler can help you solve it.

Let’s create the same error message scenario by installing Python on our Ubuntu PC. To install Python, we need to download the tgz file, a compressed archive file using the GNU zip (gzip) software holding the Python package.

To download the Python tgz file, we can use the wget command.


The output of the command above is the below, and the Python-3.10.6.tgz file is present within the working directory we executed in the above command.

Resolving (, 2a04:4e42:4::223
Connecting to (||:443... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 25986768 (25M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: ‘Python-3.10.6.tgz'

Python-3.10.6.tgz             100%[=================================================>]  24.78M  6.16MB/s    in 4.9s

2022-08-15 11:54:25 (5.10 MB/s) - ‘Python-3.10.6.tgz' saved [25986768/25986768]

You can use the ls command to check for the file we downloaded. Afterward, we can extract the Python-3.10.6.tgz file using the below command.

tar -zxvf Python-3.10.6.tgz

The code output is below and an extracted directory, Python-3.10.6.


Now, let’s cd into the directory.

cd Python-3.10.6

Then, make a hidden directory using the command below.

mkdir ~/.localpython

Now, let’s configure the Python $PATH to allow us to access Python anywhere.

./configure --prefix=/home/lazycruise/.localpython

Here is where the error message pops up.

checking build system type... x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
checking host system type... x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
checking for python3.10... no
checking for python3... python3
checking for --enable-universalsdk... no
checking for --with-universal-archs... no
checking MACHDEP... "linux"
checking for gcc... no
checking for cc... no
checking for cl.exe... no
configure: error: in `/home/lazycruise/Python-3.10.6':
configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH
See `config.log' for more details

You can see the second to the last line with the error message, configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH.

As we said earlier, the gcc compiler holds the C compiler we need to allow us to install Python successfully. So, let’s install the gcc compiler using the command below.

sudo apt-get install build-essential

The above command installs a meta-package that doesn’t install anything but provides a link to several other packages installed as dependencies. For build-essential, it installs everything required for compiling basic software written in C and C++.

These include the compiler we need, gcc, g++, libc6-dev, make, and dpkg-dev. We can write and run C and C++ software on Ubuntu with all these packages.

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  binutils binutils-common binutils-x86-64-linux-gnu cpp cpp-9 dpkg-dev fakeroot g++ g++-9 gcc gcc-10-base gcc-9
  gcc-9-base libalgorithm-diff-perl libalgorithm-diff-xs-perl libalgorithm-merge-perl libasan5 libatomic1 libbinutils
  libc-dev-bin libc6 libc6-dev libcc1-0 libcrypt-dev libctf-nobfd0 libctf0 libdpkg-perl libfakeroot
  libfile-fcntllock-perl libgcc-9-dev libgcc-s1 libgomp1 libisl22 libitm1 liblsan0 libmpc3 libquadmath0
  libstdc++-9-dev libstdc++6 libtsan0 libubsan1 linux-libc-dev make manpages-dev

For other distributions or bases, the command will be different.

  1. CentOS, Red Hat

    sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
  2. openSUSE

    zypper install --type pattern devel_basis
  3. Alpine

    apk add build-base

We can repeat our configure command with the complete command execution.

./configure --prefix=/home/lazycruise/.localpython

Now, it is successful. Afterward, we execute the command below, which builds the Python program and files from the source code extracted into the current working directory.


Finally, we execute this command to install the Python program.

sudo make install

Therefore, to solve the configure: error: no acceptable C compiler found in $PATH error message, all you need to do is install gcc, which comes with the meta-package, build-essentials on Ubuntu or similar distros.

Olorunfemi Akinlua avatar Olorunfemi Akinlua avatar

Olorunfemi is a lover of technology and computers. In addition, I write technology and coding content for developers and hobbyists. When not working, I learn to design, among other things.


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