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GCC vs. CC Compiler: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 13, 2024
GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) is a comprehensive compiler system supporting multiple languages, while CC Compiler typically refers to a standard C compiler provided in Unix-like systems.

Key Differences

GCC supports a variety of programming languages, including C, C++, and Fortran, whereas CC Compiler is traditionally a C language compiler.
GCC, part of the GNU Project, is an open-source compiler system developed to support various languages and platforms. The CC Compiler usually refers to the default C compiler on Unix-like systems, often less comprehensive than GCC.
GCC is known for its portability across different operating systems and architectures. In contrast, the CC Compiler is typically specific to certain Unix-based systems and might not be as portable.
GCC includes many extensions and optimizations, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. The CC Compiler, while reliable, generally sticks to standard C features and may not offer as many advanced options.
GCC is widely used in various applications, from embedded systems to large-scale servers, and has a large community contributing to its development. The CC Compiler, being more specialized, has a narrower usage scope, primarily in Unix-based environments.

Comparison Chart

Language Support

Multiple languages (C, C++, Fortran, etc.)
Primarily C language


Part of GNU Project, open-source
Standard compiler in Unix systems


Highly portable across systems
Limited to specific Unix-like systems


Advanced optimizations, extensions
Standard C features, less extensive

Usage and Community

Broad usage, large community
Used in specific environments, smaller user base

GCC and CC Compiler Definitions


GCC is known for its portability across different platforms.
I compiled my code on both Linux and Windows using GCC.

CC Compiler

CC Compiler is less feature-rich compared to GCC.
For basic C programs, the CC Compiler is sufficient, but I switch to GCC for advanced features.


GCC is part of the GNU Project and is open-source.
GCC's open-source nature allows for community-driven improvements.

CC Compiler

CC Compiler is primarily focused on C language compilation.
When working on Unix, I rely on the CC Compiler for C programming tasks.


GCC offers extensive optimizations and language extensions.
GCC provided advanced optimizations that enhanced my program's performance.

CC Compiler

CC Compiler usually adheres to standard C features.
The CC Compiler ensured my code conformed to ANSI C standards.


GCC includes a standard C compiler, among others.
GCC's C compiler was used to compile the Linux kernel.

CC Compiler

CC Compiler typically refers to the default C compiler on Unix systems.
I used the CC Compiler to compile a standard C program on my Unix system.


GCC is a compiler system supporting multiple programming languages.
I used GCC to compile my C++ project efficiently.

CC Compiler

CC Compiler is often used for compiling system software.
System utilities on my Unix server were compiled using the CC Compiler.


Can GCC compile C++ code?

Yes, GCC can compile C++ code, as well as several other programming languages.

What does CC Compiler typically refer to?

CC Compiler usually refers to the standard C compiler available in Unix-like operating systems.

Is CC Compiler limited to Unix systems?

CC Compiler is traditionally associated with Unix systems and may not be available or standard on other platforms.

What are the advantages of using GCC?

GCC offers portability, a wide range of language support, advanced optimizations, and a large community base.

Can I use CC Compiler for C++ programming?

CC Compiler is primarily designed for C programming, so it's not typically used for C++.

Does GCC support cross-platform compilation?

Yes, GCC supports cross-platform compilation, making it suitable for developing applications for different operating systems.

How does GCC's language support compare to CC Compiler?

GCC supports a wider range of languages including C, C++, Fortran, and more, while CC Compiler is primarily focused on the C language.

How do the optimization capabilities of GCC compare to CC Compiler?

GCC generally has more advanced optimization capabilities than the standard CC Compiler.

What is GCC?

GCC is the GNU Compiler Collection, supporting multiple programming languages and offering extensive features.

Is CC Compiler widely used in modern programming?

CC Compiler is still used, particularly in Unix-based environments, but GCC is more prevalent in broader contexts.

Can GCC be integrated with popular development tools?

Yes, GCC can be integrated with various development tools and IDEs, enhancing its usability.

Is GCC open-source?

Yes, GCC is open-source and part of the GNU Project.

Are there any specific industries where CC Compiler is preferred?

CC Compiler might be preferred in industries heavily reliant on Unix systems or where standard C is predominantly used.

What kind of projects is CC Compiler best suited for?

CC Compiler is best suited for projects that require standard C programming, particularly on Unix-like systems.

Does CC Compiler have any specific hardware requirements?

CC Compiler does not have specific hardware requirements but is typically used on Unix-based hardware systems.

Is CC Compiler suitable for beginners?

Yes, due to its simplicity and adherence to standard C, CC Compiler can be suitable for beginners in C programming.

Can GCC be used on Windows?

Yes, GCC can be used on Windows, often through environments like MinGW or Cygwin.

Can I use GCC for embedded systems programming?

Yes, GCC is widely used in embedded systems programming due to its versatility and support for various languages.

How do software development costs compare when using GCC vs. CC Compiler?

Both GCC and CC Compiler are open-source and free to use, so they are cost-effective for software development.

How does the community support for GCC compare to CC Compiler?

GCC has a larger and more active community support base, contributing to its development and maintenance.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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