C++ IDE for Macs


C++ Problem Overview

I teach a C++ course using Visual Studio. One of my students has a Mac and was looking for an IDE to use on his machine. What would be good to recommend?

C++ Solutions

Solution 1 - C++

Xcode which is part of the MacOS Developer Tools is a great IDE. There's also NetBeans and Eclipse that can be configured to build and compile C++ projects.

Clion from JetBrains, also is available now, and uses Cmake as project model.

Solution 2 - C++

Emacs! Eclipse might work too.

Solution 3 - C++

Code::Blocks is cross-platform, using the wxWidgets library. It's the one I use.

Solution 4 - C++

Another (albeit non-free) option is to install VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop on the Mac and run Windows with Visual Studio in a VM.

This works really pretty well. The downsides are:

  • it'll cost money for the virtual machine software and Windows (the school may have some academic licensing that may help here)
  • the Mac needs to be an x86 Mac with a fair bit of memory

The upside is that you and the student don't need to hassle with differences in the IDE that may not be accounted for in your instruction materials.

Solution 5 - C++

If you are looking for a full-fledged IDE like Visual Studio, I think Eclipse might be your best bet.

Eclipse is also highly extensible and configurable.

See here: http://www.eclipse.org/downloads/

Solution 6 - C++

Of​​​​​ course there is Mono.

Solution 7 - C++

It's not really an IDE per se, but I really like TextMate, and with the C++ bundle that ships with it, it can do a lot of the things you'd find in an IDE (without all the bloat!).

Solution 8 - C++

Avoid Eclipse for C/C++ development for now on Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard). There are serious problems which make debugging problematic or nearly impossible on it currently due to GDB incompatibility problems and the like. See: Trouble debugging C++ using Eclipse Galileo on Mac.

Solution 9 - C++

Xcode is free and good, which is lucky because it's pretty much the only option on the Mac.


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