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The Linux kernel and the GNU userland are written primarily in C.

Arch Linux uses the GNU C Library (glibc) as the C standard library; it is a dependency of the base meta package.

You can use the GNU toolchain or the LLVM toolchain to develop software in C, C++ or Objective-C.

Useful tools

  • Valgrind — Tool to help find memory-management problems in programs.
https://valgrind.org/ || valgrind
  • distcc — Distributed compiling GCC front-end.
https://github.com/distcc/distcc || distcc
  • rr — Lightweight recording and deterministic debugging tool for C/C++, uses GDB.
https://rr-project.org/ || rrAUR

Static code analyzers

  • Cppcheck — A tool for static C/C++ code analysis.
http://cppcheck.sourceforge.net/ || cppcheck
  • Clang has the scan-build static analyzer.
  • Splint — A tool for statically checking C programs for security vulnerabilities and coding mistakes.
https://repo.or.cz/splint-patched.git || splint
  • ikos — Static analyzer for C and C++ developed by NASA
https://github.com/NASA-SW-VnV/ikos || ikosAUR

Alternative compilers

  • TCC — Tiny C Compiler, claims to be faster than GCC.
https://bellard.org/tcc/ || tcc
  • ACK — Amsterdam Compiler Kit.
http://tack.sourceforge.net/ || ack-gitAUR
  • PCC — Portable C Compiler.
http://pcc.ludd.ltu.se/ || pccAUR
  • SDCC — Retargettable ANSI C compiler.
https://sdcc.sourceforge.net/ || sdcc

See also Wikipedia:List of compilers#C compilers.

Alternative libc implementations

  • dietlibc — a libc optimized for small size
https://www.fefe.de/dietlibc/ || dietlibcAUR
  • musl — Lightweight implementation of C standard library.
https://musl.libc.org/ || musl


  • FFmpeg - includes libav, the audio and video library (not to be confused with the FFmpeg fork of the same name).
  • GLib — Low-level system library by GNOME, includes GObject and GIO.
https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GLib || glib2
  • GStreamer – pipeline-based multimedia framework

See also:

See also