C++ is a statically-typed, free-form, (usually) compiled, multi-paradigm, intermediate-level general-purpose middle-level programming language.”

In simple terms, C++ is a sophisticated, efficient and general-purpose programming language based on C.

It was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in 1979.

One of C++’s main feature is the compiler. This is used to compile and run C++ code.

A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular programming language like C++ and turns them into machine language or “code” that a computer’s processor uses.

I actually wrote this article because I had a C++ assignment which required using a compiler. As usual, everyone was using the CodeBlocks IDE and Visual Studio IDE. But I was already used to Visual Studio Code for all my programming stuff.

I then set out to find a way of compiling C++ directly inside my own VsCode Editor and hence this article :).

In this article, I’ll show you how to set up your compiler in VsCode and at the end give you some links to some of the best C++ resources.


Prerequisite

Disclaimer!
I would be using a Windows OS throughout this article but I’ll provide links to resources that would aid those using other Operating systems.


Now let’s get started!

Download and install a C++ compiler

MinGW is a contraction of “Minimalist GNU for Windows”, is a minimalist development environment for native Microsoft Windows applications. * After downloading, install MinGW and wait for the “MinGW Installation Manager” to show up.

Edit your PATH environment variable to include the directory where the C++ compiler is located

PATH is an environment variable on Unix-like operating systems, DOS, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows, specifying a set of directories where executable programs are located. In general, each executing process or user session has its own PATH setting. - Wikipedia

After installing MinGW, it was installed in C:\MinGW\bin. Now you have to include this directory in your environment variable PATH. if you’ve been using computers for a while now, you should know how to do this already, but if you don’t, here are a few resources:

Install Code Runner extension in VS Code

Now we have our compiler set up, let’s install Code Runner

Code Runner allows you to Run code snippet or code file for multiple languages: C, C++, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Perl, Perl 6, Ruby, Go, Lua, Groovy, PowerShell, BAT/CMD, BASH/SH, F# Script, F# (.NET Core), C# Script, C# (.NET Core), VBScript, TypeScript, CoffeeScript, Scala, Swift, Julia, Crystal, OCaml Script, R, AppleScript, Elixir, Visual Basic .NET, Clojure, Haxe, Objective-C, Rust, Racket, AutoHotkey, AutoIt, Kotlin, Dart, Free Pascal, Haskell, Nim, D, Lisp, Kit, and custom command.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() 
{
    cout << "Hello world!";
    return 0;
}

Save this file as test.cpp

Run your code using Code Runner

To stop the running code

Hurray, you just successfully set up your C++ environment in VsCode.

Conclusion

Here’s a quick hint: By default VsCode output terminal is read-only, If you’re running a code that requires user input like:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

const double pi = 3.14159; 

void calculate()
{
  double area; 
  double radius;

  cout<<"Enter Radius: "<<endl; 
  cin>>radius;

  area = pi * radius * radius; 

  cout<<"area is: "<<area<<endl;
 }
 
int main()
{
  calculate(); 
  return 0;
}

you won’t be able to type into the terminal, Cannot edit in read-only terminal. To fix this, you need to manually enable read-write.

OR

"code-runner.runInTerminal": true

Hurray, you’re done and ready to roll :).

C++ resources

Here are some C++ resources you can use to get started with learning C++

Credits

I wrote this article with my new NetlifyCMS setup, I’ll write an article to show you how I did it soon :).

Thank you for reading!