What is a good C compiler for Windows Vista?


7 Answers 7


Mingw works. ( http://www.mingw.org/ ) Mingw is a port of GNUCC to Windows.

You can also use Code::Blocks IDE which comes with MinGW.

TinyC Compiler is another compiler, but i prefer MinGW myself. :)


Visual C++ 2008. The Express Edition is even free.

Preemptive answers: yes, it can compile C code as well as C++ code, and it can compile native code as well as managed .NET code.

Update: see matthew's answer for instructions on how to configure VC++ to compile pure C code.

  • I have tried it before and it was a painto figure out how it worked Aug 18, 2009 at 13:33
  • If you add a link to how to get VC++ to compile specifically to pure C code, I'll delete my answer (wish I had more karma to do it myself). Aug 18, 2009 at 23:18

Visual C++ with it set to compile to pure, unadulterated C.


code blocks


Visual Studio


netbeans + add-on for C/C++ Complier

  • Your two first links is the same url. Aug 18, 2009 at 14:45
  • any reason for down vote?
    – joe
    Aug 20, 2009 at 0:48

dev C++ is a good and lightweight compiler for any version of windows. http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html

  • Definitely +1 for Dev-C++. Its a bit outdated (no native 64bit version yet). I cut my teeth on bloodshed's software (and remember my mom freaking when she found "bloodshed.net" in the history when I was in high school) and later moved on to Visual Studio before settling on the Linux CLI (vim/emacs + gcc). Aug 18, 2009 at 14:41
  • -1 for Dev-C++. It's adondandware. Go with something that's actually maintained / updated.
    – KTC
    Aug 20, 2009 at 1:36

If you're willing to dive into the command line (and as a programmer, you should expect to eventually), the Gnu Compiler Collection is a great choice. Its been around since pretty much forever (1980s in real-life terms) and it or its offshoots can compile most anything (Ada, anyone?) and target most anything (TIGCC if you want to write for your TI graphing calculator).

If the command line is still too scary, there are a few front ends to make things easier.

GCC, however, isn't a full on development environment. You'll have to use a separate text editor, of which there are many good ones on Vista (I'm partial to Vim for Windows, Emacs, and Notepad++, all of which support syntax highlighting and auto-indentation).


The free command line Borland C++ 5.5 is good.

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