How to Write and Run a C Program in Linux

Step 1: Install the build-essential packages

You will have to install essential packages on your system. Enter the following command in your Linux Terminal.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential
Installing build essential packages.

You will be asked to enter the password for root; the installation process will begin after that. Please make sure that you are connected to the internet.

Step 2: Write a simple C program

After installing the essential packages, let us write a simple C program.

Open Ubuntu’s graphical Text Editor and write or copy the following sample program into it:


int main()
printf("\nA sample C program\n\n");
return 0;

save the file with .c extension. In this example, I given name sampleProgram.c

writing simple c program

Alternatively, you can write the C program through the Terminal in gedit as follows:

$ gedit sampleProgram.c

This will create a .c file where you can write and save a program.

Step 3: Compile the C program with gcc Compiler

In your Terminal, enter the following command in order to make an executable version of the program you have written:


$ gcc [programName].c -o programName


$ gcc sampleProgram.c -o sampleProgram
Compile the C program with gcc Compiler

Make sure your program is located in your Home folder. Otherwise, you will need to specify appropriate paths in this command.

Step 4: Run the program

The final step is to run the compiled C program. Use the following syntax to do so:

$ ./programName


$ ./sampleProgram
run the program

You can see how the program is executed in the above example, displaying the text we wrote to print through it.

This article taught you how to write, compile and run a simple C program in Linux.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: