[c] How does one set up the Visual Studio Code compiler/debugger to GCC?

I am programming in C in Visual Studio Code, but I can't compile, as VSC only offers three compilers built in - Node.js, C# Mono, and Extension development. After a little bit of digging I came across the Visual Studio Marketplace. This seemed like the right sort of thing, but only four uncommon languages were there.

I can only assume that C debugging support is built in, I just can't find it or I am going the wrong way about doing it. I attempted to create a new launch.json (the manifest that seems to hold the compiling/debugging settings for each file) and manually entering the GCC binaries that I have, but that didn't end up working. I'm currently stuck manually compiling the C source file I am working on through command prompt.

Would really help if someone could point me in the right direction on what to do.

tl;dr - Help from anyone debugging C in Visual Studio Code

Windows 8, if that matters


This question is related to c gcc visual-studio-code

The answer is

Ctrl+P and Type "ext install cpptools" it will install everything you need to debug c and c++.

Debugging in VS code is very complete, but if you just need to compile and run: https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/languages/cpp

Look in the debugging section and it will explain everything

EDIT: As of ~March 2016, Microsoft offers a C/C++ extension for Visual Studio Code and therefor the answer I originally gave is no longer valid.

Visual Studio Code doesn't support C/C++ very well. As such it doesn't >naturally support gcc or gdb within the Visual Studio Code application. The most it will do is syntax highlighting, the advanced features like >intellisense aren't supported with C. You can still compile and debug code >that you wrote in VSC, but you'll need to do that outside the program itself.


A friendly reminder: The following tutorial is for Linux user instead of Windows


If you want to debug your c++ code with GDB

You can read this ( Debugging your code ) article from Visual Studio Code official website.

Step 1: Compilation

You need to set up task.json for compilation of your cpp file

or simply type in the following command in the command window

g++ -g file.cpp -o file.exe

to generate a debuggable .exe file

Step 2: Set up the launch.json file

To enable debugging, you will need to generate a launch.json file

follow the launch.json example or google others

Step 3: Press (Ctrl+F5) to start compiling

this launch.json file will launch the configuration when you press the shortcut (Ctrl+F5)

Enjoy it!

ps. For those who want to set up tasks.json, you can read this from vscode official (-> TypeScript Hello World)

For Windows:

  1. Install MinGW or Dev C++
  2. Open Environment Variables
  3. In System Variable select Path -> Edit -> New
  4. Copy this C:\Program Files (x86)\Dev-Cpp\MinGW64\bin to the New window. (If you have MinGW installed copy its /bin path).
  5. To check if you have added it successfully: Open CMD -> Type "gcc" and it should return: gcc: fatal error: no input files compilation terminated.
  6. Install C/C++ for Visual Studio Code && C/C++ Compile Run || Code Runner
  7. If you installed only C/C++ Compile Run extension you can compile your program using F6/F7
  8. If you installed the second extension you can compile your program using the button in the top bar.

Screenshot: Hello World compiled in VS Code

There is a much easier way to compile and run C code using GCC, no configuration needed:

  1. Install the Code Runner Extension
  2. Open your C code file in Text Editor, then use shortcut Ctrl+Alt+N, or press F1 and then select/type Run Code, or right click the Text Editor and then click Run Code in context menu, the code will be compiled and run, and the output will be shown in the Output Window.

Moreover you could update the config in settings.json using different C compilers as you want, the default config for C is as below:

"code-runner.executorMap": {
    "c": "gcc $fullFileName && ./a.out"

Just wanted to add that if you want to debug stuff, you should compile with debug information before you debug, otherwise the debugger won't work. So, in g++ you need to do g++ -g source.cpp. The -g flag means that the compiler will insert debugging information into your executable, so that you can run gdb on it.

You need to install C compiler, C/C++ extension, configure launch.json and tasks.json to be able to debug C code.

This article would guide you how to do it: https://medium.com/@jerrygoyal/run-debug-intellisense-c-c-in-vscode-within-5-minutes-3ed956e059d6

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