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Set up Your C Development Environment

Prepare a Unix Based Environment (Ubuntu 18.04)

C Development Environment refers to which platform or operating system you will be developing and running your C applications on. We recommend compiling and running your C application on a Unix-based operating system. It could be Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, MacOS, Debian…etc. Of course, you could also use Windows, but keep in mind that the rest of the tutorial assumes you are using a Unix based operating system and it may not apply on Windows.

In this example, we will set up Ubuntu Linux 18.04 operating system as a virtual machine on a Windows laptop. If you are a serious developer and you don’t have a MAC, I would suggest install Ubuntu Linux or other Unix-like operating system on your laptop as host operating system, rather than virtual machine.

Download Ubuntu 18.04 ISO image

Official image can be downloaded from Ubuntu releases page here.

Download a virtualization software of your choice.

We recommend either VMWare Workstattion Player:

or VirtualBox to virtualize Ubuntu.

Install Ubuntu 18.04 on a Virtual Machine

Using VMWare Workstation Player as example, Ubuntu can be installed by following the procedure below:

1. Open VMWare Workstation Player and select Create a New Virtual Machine:

2. Navigate to the Ubuntu 18.04 ISO image you have just downloaded:

3. Enter username and password information for the virtual machine and click ‘Next’:

4. Give your virtual machine a name and specify a location for storage. You can make a backup copy of the storage files to restore your Virtual Machine in case you need it.

5. Configure storage size. Default is 20 GB. This is up to you.

6. Review the settings. I would change the network adapter setting from NAT to bridged so that this virtual machine sits on the same network level as my host machine and have similar IP addresses. This is my personal preference. Click Customize Hardware to make the change.

7. Change networking to bridged and close, then click Finish to complete the setup.

8. Click Play Virtual machine to turn it on, and follow the Ubuntu installation wizard to finish the installation.

9. If all goes well, you will have a virtualized Ubuntu for building and running C programs.

Choose an IDE for C Development Environment

Now, you have Ubuntu environment to compile and build C program, you will also need a IDE (Integrated Development Environment). My favorite IDE is Eclipse IDE for C. You can download Eclipse here. Choose Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers.

Extract the packaged downloaded and double click on Eclipse icon to launch it.

Now, you are ready to develop C applications!

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