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My problem is simple, I would like to get the OSX/BSD version of the GCC and G++ compilers from the website. However after some research (as described below) I learned that Apple uses LLVM and gcc is a symbolic link to llvm-cc while g++ is a symbolic link to llvm-g++.

I also learned Apple were stupid enough to remove these compilers with no reasonable explanation (Literally, nobody can give a valid reason for this, there is no such thing). The other thing I learned is Apple uses the LLVM (as previously explained).

  • I have searched the web to try and learn how to do this, and nothing is being useful. Only people talking about Xcode, or other long-winded installing of Apps and running commands and installing other resources.

  • XCODE is NOT the solution i'm looking for as Xcode does not automatically come with the compiler, but requires additional installations and things.

My question

  • I want to learn, I want to understand;
  • I do NOT want the "easy way" or the "use the application way";
  • I want to do it the old-school way, the download source from GNU, configure/make/make install - funnily enough, Apple has removed these too - What are they thinking?

My current attempt

I downloaded the LLVM source from the following location: Source: Download: Clang Binaries for Mac OS X (79M) (.sig)

I then extracted the contents of this directory, in my Downloads directory: $ tar -xzpf clang+llvm-3.3-x86_64-apple-darwin12.tar.gz

I have tried to read the Getting Started Guide, which says 'Read the documentation' I cannot find this documentation, not in the downloaded libraries or online.

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If you want to use gcc et al, just use MacPorts. You'll need XCode and the command-lines tools to bootstrap the install, but after that you can live in llvm-free style... – MattDMo Jul 25 '13 at 1:47
Last time, I used a Vagrant virtual machine to compile and run my code (for my comp sci project). I did attempt brew install gcc, it spent half an hour burning my CPU compiling code. – Ming-Tang Feb 22 '15 at 8:25

Apple has changed the way that this works now (you don't have to install all 1.7 GB of XCode).

If you are willing to register for a free developer account, you can get just the command-line tools installer from

Update: in the latest OS it has changed again. If you type gcc at the command line it will prompt you whether you would like to install.

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