Build up C/C++ environment on eclipse using CDT + cygwin

More and more people want to use open source IDE instead of Visual Studio to writing C/C++ because it’s clean and free. Here, we introduce eclipse to writing C/C++ program. Eclipse is an excellent IDE for Java programming. Due to its open source platform, we may use it for C/C++ programming as well. CDT(C/C++ Development Tool) is a plugin that allows eclipse to support C/C++. Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows and it allows you to use gcc/g++ compiler. There’re just several steps to build up your own eclipse. Now, let’s go.

Step 1:
Download Cygwin setup here:
Install it according to the following guide:



Recommend to choose a short path and a simple name of the root directory

Choose a location to download the installation file(not necessary be a subfolder of root directory)


Choose a mirror site you like. You may view the mirror site list here:

Expand Devel and select these components (by clicking skip label):
gcc-core: C compiler
gcc-g++: C++ compiler
gdb: The GNU Debugger
make: The GNU version of the make utility
Note: When you choose these components, Cygwin will automatically choose some other dependence for you. Just keep them.

Then it will download these packages and install them. When it completes, click Finish.

Step 2:
Add bin folder in the root directory of Cygwin to the environment variables named path. Either user variable or system variable is fine. In the above example, you should use E:\cygwin\bin.

Step 3:
If you download Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers, you may skip Step 3 and directly use it.
Download CDT here:
Make sure you select the suitable version for your eclipse.
Installing CDT may differ from its version. Here we use eclipse 3.4.2+CDT 5.0.2.
Unzip CDT zip file into a folder and fire up eclipse.
Click Help>Software Updates and choose Available Software.
Click Add site>Local and select the location of the CDT folder.

You will see the CDT is added to the Available Software list. Choose it and click Install.

Wait until it completes installation and enjoy it after restarting eclipse.

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67 Responses to Build up C/C++ environment on eclipse using CDT + cygwin

  1. Bert says:

    In Step 2 what you have to do is to go to control panel-> system ->advance->environment variable

    and add a variable named ‘path’ and set E:\cygwin\bin (for example) to its value

  2. ANNET says:


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  10. gbogbo says:

    U’r the MAN!! i have been trying to install this software for 3 day now….and u explained it perfectly!

    Well Done Sir!

  11. kumar says:

    can we copy the cygwin components into another computer

  12. vinu says:

    i was going through all above and said and everything was going well.
    i was using eclipse for java earlier…but as i added path for cdt as f:/cygwin/bin
    and meanwhile opened eclipse.exe it stopped opening rather sayiing JRE is not found in bla bla directory..but u know JDK JRE all are there….m not getting what happened..
    is java and c++ can nt be worked out simultaneouly … give me solution buddy

    • Icyfish says:

      They can be used simultaneously. You need to append Cygwin to the PATH instead of overwrite it. After doing that, open a terminal and type java to see whether the system can find java binary.

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