How to Install and Compile C++ using Terminal in Mac

If you are a C++ programmer or if you want to learn C++ you really want to Know How To Install and Compile C++ using Terminal in Mac, and its not so Typical.

You need to Simple Follow some steps which given below and You can compile C++ from the command line using Mac Terminal with this one command:

If you’ve never used your Mac for C++ coding, chances are it doesn’t have the necessary compiler pre-installed. Don’t worry; it’s free and easy to download and install. macOS, like LINUX and UNIX, can work with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), a free and popular compiler.

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Checking for the Compiler:

To see if the compiler is already installed, you can run a quick test. Open a Terminal session and type:

g++ -v
How To Install and Compile C++ in Terminal on Mac, qualitybaba

If the compiler is there, you’ll see the current version displayed.

Installing the GNU GCC Package with the C++ Compiler for Mac:

If you need to install the GNU C++ compiler, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Start the Terminal application using your preferred method.

Step 2: Run the command:

xcode-select –install
How To Install and Compile C++ in Terminal on Mac,

Step 3: Click “Install” in the popup window to get the developer’s tools.

xcode interface

Step 4: Agree to the license agreement.

Step 5: The installer will download and install the software, including the C++ compiler.

Compiling a C++ Source File:

Once installed, you’ll receive a confirmation message.

After verifying or installing the C++ compiler, you’re ready to compile your code using the command:

g++ -o <targetfile> <sourcefilename.cpp>

Just ensure you’re in the right directory or provide the correct path to your files.

C++ Compile Example:

If you need an example, follow these steps:

Step 1: Start the Terminal application.

Step 2: Create a directory for your source files:

mkdir c_lang

Step 3: Move to the new directory:

cd c_lang

Step 4: Create the check.cpp file using your preferred editor. For instance:

#include <iostream>

int main() {
    std::cout << "Hello World";
    return 0;

Step 5: Save and exit the editor.

Step 6: Compile the code:

g++ -o check check.cpp
run c++ in cmd on mac
check files use ls -la

Now, you can run the executable file using:

How To Install and Compile C++ in Terminal on Mac,

This confirms that your C++ source file is compiled and runs properly.


Q1: What is GCC?
GCC, or GNU Compiler Collection, is a comprehensive suite of compilers and libraries supporting various languages like C, C++, Objective-C, Fortran, Ada, Go, and D. It’s a powerful tool used in UNIX, LINUX, and macOS environments.

Q2: Why doesn’t the gcc command compile my C++ source code?
GCC is primarily for C, not C++. For C++, you should use the g++ command.

Q3: If gcc can’t compile C++, why can g++ compile C?
The g++ compiler is designed to be backward compatible, allowing it to compile both C and C++ code. It’s a convenience for developers who might use a mix of C and C++ in their applications.


Compiling C++ on Mac Terminal is simple once the compiler is installed. Following these steps, you can easily set up the compiler and compile your C++ code. Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments—I’m here to help!

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