I need to install node.js on my new Mac and it requires having c++ or g++ compiler installed. How do I get one without paying for xcode?

  • 5
    Xcode is a free download for all members of the iOS and Mac Developer Programs. – Am1rr3zA May 8 '11 at 20:58
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    It's only XCode 4 that you need to pay for - if you're not a paying developer. XCode 3.2.6 can be downloaded for free. – Rene Larsen May 8 '11 at 21:32
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    XCode 4 is less than the price of a latté. – Ian C. May 8 '11 at 22:10
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    @Ian C. - Stop shopping at Starbucks, then. – Fake Name May 9 '11 at 1:56
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    @Martin: theoatmeal.com/blog/apps :) – Ian C. May 9 '11 at 13:09

You can still download Xcode 3.x for free with a free developer account. Xcode 3 comes with the GCC 4.2, LLVM-GCC 1.5 and LLVM 1.5 so everything you need to compile C++, C and ObjC code.

(Remark: LLVM 1.5 can't compile C++ code, so you have to switch back to LLVM-GCC or GCC for this.)

  • Note that only Xcode 4.1 (I think) on Lion had to be paid for all other versions are free wether from App Store or Developer downloads – mmmmmm Jan 22 '13 at 10:27

Just to be complete - Xcode 4.1.1 is free on the App Store but it requires Lion which implies a recent hardware purchase or paying for the upgrade.


OSX GCC Installer

Downloading and installing the massive Xcode installer is a huge hassle if you just want GCC and related tools.

The osx-gcc-installer allows you to install the essential compilers from either pre-built binary packages or helps you create your own installer.

First mentioned here by Dancek


You could get gcc for MacOSX from Apples Open Source site: http://opensource.apple.com/release/developer-tools-40/ It doesn't come with any instructions though.

(I think gcc is suitable, please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

  • And what exactly is supposed to build GCC without GCC? – JustSid May 8 '11 at 22:43
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    @JustSid unicorns, clearly. – Martin Marconcini May 9 '11 at 8:28
  • @ Martín Marconcini: Ohh, I see. I always wondered why they shipped my iMac with a unicorn, now it makes perfectly sense. – JustSid May 9 '11 at 9:38
  • Oops, I didn't realise that they don't also provide the binaries for it onthere. – Megan Walker May 9 '11 at 11:00

The Mac comes with software DVDs--one of those has Xcode. You can install it from there.

  • 3
    This is pretty much the fastest way to get Xcode installed, albeit at the cost of getting a -possibly- outdated version. Since Apple curiously doesn't offer "upgrades", your (also free, as correctly pointed out in JustSid's answer) Xcode 3.x download will be a full 4GB++ package. – Martin Marconcini May 9 '11 at 8:27
  • For the unknown reason I can see only "Bundled Software" disk in the package and it didn't seem to contain xcode when I've tried to install.. So I've gone with the download solution. Anyways, thanks! – lyuba May 9 '11 at 21:00
  • This is the best way to bootstrap the latest GCC from open source if you can't or won't get a free Xcode 3 download by enrolling as a free Apple developer. – bmike Jul 1 '11 at 16:02

XCode does NOT come with the latest GCC and G++ (it comes with 4.2), so you still need to do your own install if you want the latest features. Macports and GNU do NOT provide sufficient instructions. So, it remains a mystery.

You can download XCode or find it on your install CD. That will give you you the older GCC/G++. Once you have that, you can download the latest GCC.

US, Tampa: http://mirrors-us.seosue.com/gcc/

BUT, how do you install??

All I know is..

  1. Unzip the folder. It should be named gcc-4.6.3 OR gcc-4.7.3 etc.
  2. Create a new folder ADJACENT to the gcc-4.6.3 folder, called buidgcc (the buildgcc folder and gcc-4.6.3 folder live in the same place. Possibly in the folder Developer/usr )
  3. Open a terminal (Applications->Utilities->Terminal)
  4. Navigate to the buildgcc folder that you created Terminal Commmands cd .. brings you UP 1 level(note space between cd and .. ) ls tells you what files & folders are in the folder you're in cd/foldername lets you navigate into a folder

  5. If you're in the buildgcc folder, type: ../gcc-4.6.3/configure WAIT. Then type: make WAIT a very long time.

Sorry. Here is where I'm stuck.

  • Macports does supply instructions on how to install - I have done it often – mmmmmm Oct 22 '12 at 14:16

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