Setting up Eclipse CDT

On Windows, Linux/Unix, OS X

Max Berger

This howto has been avaiable under different versions at different times.

This document is licensed under the Eclipse Public License - v2.0 (EPL v2.0), or any later version. Please see for details.

Versions between August 2011 and December 2019 where proprietary. They are not be copied, distributed, published, or larger parts being cited without the consent of the author. Small excerpts may be cited if proper attribution including a link to the authors website is given. All rights reserved.

Previous versions of this document (prior to August 2011) where published under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), Version 1.2. Please refer to the appropriate document version should you want to chose that license. Please note that the GFDL does not apply to newer versions, e.g. this version of the document!


There are several freely available C and C++ development environments. Most of them have the disadvantage that they require one particular operating system. The Eclipse IDE was written as a cross-platform development environment. Initially just written for Java, it also has a very good C/C++ development mode.

If you have already tried (and I assume failed, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this document) to install Eclipse CDT, you may want to go directly to the section called “Common Problems”.

This document describes how to install everything necessary to develop with C or C++ using only free tools on the three major operating systems Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It uses the Eclipse IDE, which is the same on all operating systems, thus providing a consistent user experience once installed.

There are two versions of this document:

The free online version

The free version of Setting up Eclipse CDT on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X can be found on Max Bergers website. It will always be the previous major revision of the document.

A paid eBook version

The eBook version of Setting up Eclipse CDT on Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X is distributed through,, and It will always be the current major revision of the document.

At this time, the eBook version contains updates for the following items which are not yet in the free version:

  • There are no updates in the ebook version at this time.

Screenshots may still reflect older versions of the used software, they are only updated if there is a significant change.