Setup Code::Blocks and Microsoft Visual Studio Code for C/C++

Both Code::Blocks and Microsoft Visual Studio Code (VSCode) are popular choices for C and C++ development, but they have different approaches and features. Here’s a comparison between the two:


  1. Integrated Development Environment (IDE):
    • Code::Blocks is a full-fledged integrated development environment. It provides an all-in-one solution with a built-in code editor, compiler, and debugger.
  2. Ease of Use:
    • Code::Blocks is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It is suitable for users who prefer a traditional IDE experience.
  3. Project Management:
    • It includes project management features, making it easy to create, build, and manage C/C++ projects.
  4. Debugger:
    • Code::Blocks comes with a graphical debugger to help identify and fix issues in the code.
  5. Compiler Support:
    • Code::Blocks supports various compilers, including GCC, MinGW, and MSVC.
  6. Platform Support:
    • Available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Visual Studio Code:

  1. Code Editor:
    • VSCode is primarily a code editor rather than a full IDE. It’s lightweight and focused on providing a customizable editing experience.
  2. Extensions:
    • VSCode is highly extensible, and users can enhance its functionality with a wide range of extensions. Extensions can provide features like IntelliSense, debugging, and project management.
  3. Compiler Support:
    • VSCode does not include a built-in compiler. Users need to configure an external compiler (e.g., GCC, Clang) and set up build tasks.
  4. Platform Support:
    • Available on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Code::Blocks setup

There are several steps involved in setting up Code::Blocks for C and C++. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

1. Download and Install Code::Blocks:

  • Go to the official website:
  • Choose the appropriate download based on your operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux).
  • Download the binary release for the easiest installation.
  • Follow the installation instructions for your specific OS.

2. Install a Compiler:

3. Configure Code::Blocks:

  • Open Code::Blocks.
  • Go to Settings > Compiler and debuggers.
  • Click the Global compiler settings tab.
  • Select your installed compiler from the dropdown menu.
  • Click the Toolchain executables tab.
  • Specify the location of your compiler executables (e.g., gcc.exeg++.exe).
  • Click OK to save changes.

4. Create your first project:

  • Go to File > New > Project.
  • Select the appropriate project type (e.g., Console application for C/C++).
  • Click Next.
  • Enter a project name and choose a location.
  • Click Finish.

5. Write and compile your code:

  • You can now start writing your C or C++ code in the editor.
  • To build your code, go to Build > Build or press Ctrl+F9.
  • If there are any errors, they will be displayed in the console window.
  • Fix the errors and try again until your code builds successfully.

Additional Tips:

  • Installing Plugins: Code::Blocks has a vast plugin ecosystem to extend its functionality. You can install plugins for syntax highlighting, code completion, debuggers, etc.
  • Customizing the interface: You can customize the Code::Blocks interface to suit your workflow. This includes changing the theme, layout, keyboard shortcuts, and more.
  • Reading the documentation: The Code::Blocks website has extensive documentation that covers various features, settings, and troubleshooting tips.

Visual Studio Code: setup

Here’s a comprehensive guide to setting up Visual Studio Code (VS Code) for C and C++ development:

1. Prerequisites:

2. Install the C/C++ Extension:

  • Open VS Code.
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+X to open the Extensions view.
  • Search for “C++” in the extensions panel.
  • Install the “C/C++” extension by Microsoft.

3. Configure the C/C++ Extension:

  • Open the VS Code settings (File > Preferences > Settings or Ctrl+,)
  • Search for “C/C++” in the settings search bar.
  • Configure the following settings:
    • C_Cpp.default.compilerPath: Specify the path to your compiler executable (e.g., gcc.exeg++).
    • C_Cpp.default.intelliSenseMode: Choose “msvc-intelliSense” for Microsoft compiler or “clang-intelliSense” for GCC/Clang.
    • C_Cpp.errorSquiggles: Enable this for error highlighting in the code editor.

4. Create a C/C++ Project (Optional):

  • Open the VS Code Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P).
  • Search for “C++: Create New Project” and select it.
  • Choose a project type (e.g., Console application) and configure project settings.
  • Click “Create Project” to create a project folder with basic files.

5. Write and Compile your Code:

  • Open a new file or the main source file in your project folder.
  • Write your C/C++ code in the editor.
  • Open the VS Code terminal (Ctrl+`).
  • Navigate to your project folder using the cd command.
  • Build your code using the appropriate command based on your compiler:
    • MinGW (Windows): g++ -o hello hello.cpp
    • GCC/Clang (Linux/macOS): g++ -o hello hello.cpp
  • Run the compiled executable file (e.g., ./hello).

Additional Tips:

  • Install additional extensions: Explore extensions for enhanced debugging, syntax highlighting, code completion, and more.
  • Customize VS Code: Adjust the editor theme, font size, keyboard shortcuts, and other settings to suit your preferences.
  • Use tasks and build configurations: Automate compiling and running your code with tasks.json and launch.json files.
  • Refer to the official documentation: The VS Code C/C++ extension documentation provides detailed information on configuration, features, and troubleshooting:

Choosing between Code::Blocks and Visual Studio Code:

Both Code::Blocks and Visual Studio Code are popular IDEs for C++ development, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a comparison to help you choose:

  • Code::Blocks: If you prefer an all-in-one solution with an integrated development environment and built-in tools, Code::Blocks is a good choice. It’s particularly suitable for users who want a straightforward setup.
  • Visual Studio Code: If you prefer a lightweight code editor that you can customize with extensions and are comfortable setting up your build system and debugger, Visual Studio Code might be more appealing. It’s widely used for various programming languages and supports a broad range of extensions.
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