How to Write and Run a C Program in Ubuntu

How to Write and Run a C Program in Ubuntu

Linux is becoming a programming heaven for developers. This is an open source and free operating system. Turbo C compiler is already an old approach to compile programs so let us programmers move to Linux for a new programming environment.

Step 1: Install the build-essential packages

In order to compile and execute a C program, you need to have the essential packages installed on your system. Enter the following command as root in your Linux Terminal:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

You will be asked to enter the password for root; the installation process will begin after that. Please make sure that you are connected to the internet.

Step 2: Write a simple C program

After installing the essential packages, let us write a simple C program.

Open Ubuntu’s graphical Text Editor and write or copy the following sample program into it:


int main()
printf("\nA sample C program\n\n");
return 0;

Then save the file with .c extension. In this example, I am naming my C program as sampleProgram.c

Alternatively, you can write the C program through the Terminal in gedit as follows:

$ gedit sampleProgram.c

This will create a .c file where you can write and save a program.

Step 3: Compile the C program with gcc

In your Terminal, enter the following command in order to make an executable version of the program you have written:


$ gcc [programName].c -o programName


$ gcc sampleProgram.c -o sampleProgram

Make sure your program is located in your Home folder. Otherwise, you will need to specify appropriate paths in this command.

Step 4: Run the program

The final step is to run the compiled C program. Use the following syntax to do so:

$ ./programName


$ ./sampleProgram

You can see how the program is executed in the above example, displaying the text we wrote to print through it.

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