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8 of the Best Free Linux Compilers

8 of the Best Free Linux Compilers

A compiler is software that transforms source code written in a computer language (the source language) into another computer language (the target language, often having a binary form known as object code).

Typically, a programmer writes language statements in a language such as C or C++ using an editor. The programmer then runs the appropriate language compiler, which analyzes the language statements and turns them into machine code that the processor can execute.

Many coders learn to code using a text editor but in time they move towards using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as this type of software application makes the art of coding quicker and more efficient. For example, IDEs have semantic knowledge of the programming language which highlights coding problems while typing. Compiling is 'on the fly' and debugging is integrated. Our article titled 9 of the Best Free Linux Integrated Development Environments selects the best Linux IDEs.

The GNU Compiler Collection (which includes C, C++, Objective-C, Fortran, and Ada compilers) is one of the most important tools for the creation of free software, and naturally takes pride of place in this article. However, Linux has a diverse range of other compilers available, many of which are released under freely distributable licenses.

Two compilers which could not be included in this article as they are closed source are Intel C++ Compiler PE, and Intel Fortran Compiler PE. These free to download applications are both excellent compilers, producing highly optimised object code, offer rapid development and high performance.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 top free Linux compilers. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to transform source code into another computer language.

Now, let's explore the 8 compilers at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

Compilers
GNU Compiler Collection The standard compiler for most Unix-like operating systems
Open64 The Open Research Compiler
g95 Production Fortran 95 compiler available for multiple architectures
clang C Language Family Frontend for LLVM
LLVM Low-Level Virtual Machine (LLVM) compiler for C/C++
Free Pascal Advanced Pascal compiler for Pascal and Object Pascal
Glasgow Haskell Compiler An optimizing compiler for Haskell, written in Haskell
FreeBASIC 32-bit BASIC compiler

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Last Updated Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 03:40 PM EDT


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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