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I want a stable IDE for coding in C/C++ on Mac OS X Mavericks.

Currently I am using Code::Blocks but it sometimes closes reporting some strange list of errors. Also the Code::Blocks "logs(F2)" does some impairment to the editor area by leaving partial prints. I'm looking for an alternative now; can you suggest one?

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    Xcode is the most stable IDE I've ever used… but if you want something else, try an editor like TextMate or Aquamacs. There isn't much need for an IDE if you're just making command-line tools in C/C++.
    – 0942v8653
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 17:10
  • actually my problem was Xcode is too heavy for me to download > 2gb. So i was looking for some light weight IDE for the time being. Will download Xcode in college.:P Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 17:15
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    apple.stackexchange.com/questions/10533/…
    – Ian C.
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 19:07
  • You need to download Xcode to get the C compiler anyway
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 11:38

5 Answers 5

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My opinion is that IDEs do nothing good and a lot of things poorly and that you should look to build your dev environment out of a suite of tools that focus on doing small things well. But, if you're dead set on an IDE, the standard for open source, free IDEs is Eclipse.

For C and C++ development, Eclipse has the CDT framework which gives you all of its heavyweight IDE-type things for your C and C++ code: introspection, code completion, refactoring tools, syntax highlighting, debugger integration and so on.

It's been around a long time now and is both stable and robust.

The CDT Project provides a fully functional C and C++ Integrated Development Environment based on the Eclipse platform. Features include: support for project creation and managed build for various toolchains, standard make build, source navigation, various source knowledge tools, such as type hierarchy, call graph, include browser, macro definition browser, code editor with syntax highlighting, folding and hyperlink navigation, source code refactoring and code generation, visual debugging tools, including memory, registers, and disassembly viewers.

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    Upvoted for the link, but I completely disagree—Eclipse has always run poorly on my Macs and it's sure not my favorite. I've stuck with TextMate ever since it became open source.
    – 0942v8653
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 23:22
  • My opinion is that your opinion really comes from looking at eclipse, which is a really crappy IDE.
    – bot47
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 12:31
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    @MaxRied put up then man -- what's your non-crappy IDE recommendation? I've worked in all the big ones, hate 'em all equally. :)
    – Ian C.
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:43
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    Although it's not for OS X: VS.
    – bot47
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:44
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    @MaxRied that's the single, best piece of software ever to come out of Redmond, WA. No argument from me on VS being top notch. But, as you say, not for Mac.
    – Ian C.
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 16:46
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The CLion cross-platform IDE by JetBrains for C and C++ was recently announced. It is only available as an “early access program” build right now, but when it’s stable, I’m sure it will be good. (Warning: it will cost money.) You might choose CLion over Eclipse for the same reasons you might choose JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA over Eclipse when programming Java.

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  • That looks worth checking out. I occasionally use IntelliJ and RubyMine from them and both are good.
    – Ian C.
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 2:50
  • Since April 2015 when 1.0 version was rolled out, CLion is no longer in "early access program" only and costs money now, but JetBrains still provides a 30-day trial.
    – peterm
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 7:43
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Pretty surprised no one said NetBeans. It has a C/C++ version like Eclipse. From what I've done with it, it works fine. Also it is pretty lightweight.

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  • NetBeans is a very capable IDE but since OSX moved to use clang/lldb as the standard you cannot use the debugger easily from the IDE. There is some work ongoing in Netbeans to once again support debugging C/C++. In the, as of now, upcoming 8.1 some steps are taken but it doesn't seem to yet offer a canned solution and will require additional hands on.
    – Johan
    Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 7:57
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The Xamarin IDE also works with C/C++, and has a free version.

Of course, it's designed to be used with their C# cross-platform development system - but claims to work with C/C++ as well.

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MacVim + YouCompleteMe

  • CMake for project mgmt

  • ninja for building (cmake -G Ninja)

  • and XCode for debugging/profiling/static analysis (cmake -G Xcode)

xcode debugger uses LLVM's debugger 'lldb', shows clangs static analysis output in a nice way (btw, you can use scan-build/scan-view as an alternative) and xcode's profiling tools are usable and nicely wrapped in gui's

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  • That is not an IDE
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 22:07
  • Did you use MacVim + YCM yourself? I find the feedback from the instant compilation very useful
    – NJB
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 22:10
  • an IDE provides more feedback
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 22:33

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