Building C/C++ projects
The CDT relies on an external make utility, such as GNU make, to
build a project. The CDT can generate makefiles automatically when you
create a Managed Make C project or a Managed Make C++ project. You have
the option of creating a Standard Make C project or a Standard Make C++
project and providing the makefile yourself.
You must install and configure the following utilities:
- Build (e.g. make).
- Compile (e.g. gcc).
- Debug (e.g. gdb).
while make, gcc and gdb are the examples used in the
documentation, virtually any similar set of tools or utilities could be
Tip: Cygwin contains these utilities (make, gcc and gdb) for
a Windows environment. While running the cygwin installation,
ensure gcc and make are selected since they are not
installed by default. For more information, see https://www.cygwin.com. If you are a
Red Hat user, all that you need to do to build your project is included
in the Red Hat Linux installation.
For other operating systems, please refer to your installation
The CDT uses a number of terms to describe the scope of the build.
This is an incremental build (make all, assuming all is defined in
your makefile). Only the components affected by modified files in that
particular project are built.
Builds every file in the project whether or not a file has been
modified since the last build. A rebuild is a clean followed by a build.
For more information on builds, see:
Workbench User Guide > Concepts > Workbench > Builds
Workbench User Guide > Tasks > Building resources
Build-related information is displayed as follows:
- The Console view displays the output of the build tools.
- The Tasks view displays a list of compiler errors and warnings
related to your projects.
- For Standard Make projects, the Makefile targets are displayed in
the Make Targets view.
For more information about the Tasks view, see Workbench User
Guide > Reference > User interface information > Views and
editors > Tasks view.
Getting a makefile
You can either create a C/C++ project for which you supply the makefile
or create a C/C++ project for which the CDT generates makefiles
To create a new project, from the menu bar choose File > New
> Project. In the dialog that appears, expand the C/C++ group
and choose e.g. C Project
- In the resulting wizard page, to create a project for which you supply the makefile,
select Makefile project and choose one of the alternatives under that.
An empty project, or a simple "Hello World" can be created.
You edit and manage the makefile yourself.
- To create a project for which the CDT supplies a basic makefile,
select another project type, e.g. Executable and choose one of the examples
under that, or choose Empty Project.
Setting build preferences
You can set build preferences in Eclipse:
- Build order
- If certain projects must be built before others, you can set the build
order. If your project refers to another project, the CDT must
build the other project first. To set the build order, from the menu
bar select Window > Preferences and choose General > Preferences > Build Order.
When you set the build order, the CDT does not rebuild projects
that depend on a project; you must rebuild all projects to ensure all
changes are propagated.
- Automatic save
- You can set the CDT to perform an automatic save of all
modified resources when you perform a manual build. In the preferences dialog,
select General > Workspace and check Save automatically before build.
this feature is not enabled.
Controlling the building of your project
For a Makefile project, the C/C++ compiler that a project uses
is controlled by the project's Properties setting.
To view a project's properties, right-click on the project and select Properties.
In the dialog that appears, the C/C++ Build
page enables you to control a variety of settings, including:
- Build Command
- On the Builder Settings tab, this controls which
make is used. To change it, uncheck Use
default build command and change it or add arguments to the make command.
- Build Setting
- On the Behaviour tab, this controls whether the compiler will Stop on first build error or not
(keep going). Unchecking Stop on first build error will force the compiler to attempt to build all referenced
projects even if the current project has errors.
- Workbench Build Behavior
- On the Behaviour tab, this controls which makefile target will be built depending on the scope of the
For a standard (non-Makefile) project (often called "Managed Build" or "Managed Make" project from
earlier CDT version), the project properties dialog enables
you to manage the build configurations of your project. For additional
Reference > C/C++ Properties > C/C++ Project Properties > Managed Make
Reference > C/C++ Properties > C/C++ Project Properties > Managed Make File
Viewing build information
Build-related information is displayed as follows:
- The Console view displays the output of the make utility.
- The Tasks view displays a list of compiler errors and
warnings related to your projects.
- For a Standard Make project, build actions display in the Make
Project file views