I have a Mac with OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. I'm trying very hard to learn the basics of programming in C, but I can't get my first simple program to run. I read online to go to Xcode Preferences -> Downloads and check in there for gcc downloads, but Xcode 3.2.6 doesn't have a Downloads tab in the preferences. I've tried downloading gcc from the gcc.gnu website, but I didn't see anything specifically labeled gcc, and I still couldn't get my simple "Hello, World!" program to run in terminal.

It's very possible this is an easy solution, however I haven't been able to find anything pointing me in he right direction. It's definitely a little convoluted as a beginner, but I'm trying.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Just a hand to get Xcode and gcc working.

  • Command Line Tools for Xcode includes this stuff. However they seem to be only available for OS X 10.7.3 or later. Have you thought about upgrading your OS?
    – Steven Lu
    Jul 3, 2012 at 4:50
  • Have you gone through the Xcode guide in the help?
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 3, 2012 at 10:21
  • Type gcc --version in a terminal window to see if command line tools is installed.
    – v2r
    Feb 9, 2015 at 12:36

3 Answers 3


You can install the command line tools separately from here. You want the 10.6 download listed under "Option 1: Downloading Pre-Built Binaries".


Xcode 3.2.5 does include gcc.

There is no need to download gcc from gcc.gnu.

To check whether gcc is installed on your machine and gcc is in your shell its search path, do run Terminal command $ which gcc. Our output is: /usr/bin/gcc

When gcc is not in your search path, you can try to find it for example with a Terminal locate command.

Note in our case there are multiple versions of gcc installed: /usr/bin/gcc-4.0 /usr/bin/gcc-4.2


As noted by CanuckSkier above you can download the gcc toolchain as a separate download from within XCode or the developer site, or you can invoke the bundled gcc using the xcrun command.

xcrun gcc -v

will give you the version installed.

If you are just wanting to learn C however don't get too hung up on which compiler toolchain you are working with. XCode gives you the option to create a command line tool which you can edit build and run within the IDE which should get you started. You will eventually progress to building and running from the shell if you need to.

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