command window

I want to write c++ program without any IDE
I want to just use notepad and command window
but I don't know how to run it from the command window
I know that I should save the notepad file in the extinsion .cpp
but what should I do next?

thanks all :)
You need to get some tools that you can use from the command line.
I personally recommend Nuwen's MinGW distribution:

After it installs, go to its installation directory and run open_distro_window.bat.
Inside that command line window, browse to where your source code (CPP file) is at. You do so by using the cd command.

Then run g++ with whatever arguments you wish.
For instance, -Wall -Wextra enables more warnings, which will be helpful.


D:\>cd c++.newbies

D:\c++.newbies>g++ sarah93.cpp -o sarah93.exe

Hello, Sarah93!


Also, I recommend that you use Programmer's Notepad instead of Notepad.
As you're using using Windows, you can also build with Visual C++ from the command line if you want to. So if you already have Visual Studio installed...

1 - Configuring the Build Environment

Unless you're already using Windows 8, the easiest way to do start is open up a Visual Studio command prompt. This opens a command prompt which has been configured with the Visual Studio environment (the path to the tools, the include path, the library search path, plus environment variables).

This can be found in the Start Menu in the following location:

All Programs
> Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
> Visual Studio Tools
> Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt

(same deal for other versions, at least up to 2010)

2 - Building a Single File

Then, using the Visual Studio Command Prompt, all you need to do to compile a single file with the default settings is (where I've assumed you've cd-ed to the right folder):

cl hello.cpp

(the compiler automatically adds /out:hello.exe)

When I use this command line, I get the console o/p

W:\Test\cplusplus\cmd_build>cl hello.cpp
Microsoft (R) 32-bit C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 15.00.30729.01 for 80x86
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.

c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\INCLUDE\xlocale(342) : warning C
4530: C++ exception handler used, but unwind semantics are not enabled. Specify
Microsoft (R) Incremental Linker Version 9.00.30729.01
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.  All rights reserved.


hello, world


To cut down on the o/p you can do the following:

- you can use the /EHsc to tells the compiler to only handle C++ exceptions, as it suggests, to stop the complaint about exception unwind semantics (not needed for .c files, of course)

(Other options tell the compiler to handle no exception or to handle "structured exceptions", which are operating system (Windows) exceptions. But that costs more in terms of performance)

- and you can use /nologo to stop the compiler displaying the version and copyright banner

W:\Test\cplusplus\cmd_build>cl /nologo /EHsc hello.cpp

hello, world


3 - Using a Batch File and Building Multiple Files

I usually create a little batch file to use for my simple little builds (those which don't take long to rebuild).

@echo off
cl /nologo /EHsc hello.cpp

then it's a case of


hello, world


This becomes more useful when a project uses more than one cpp file.

@echo off
cl /nologo /EHsc /W4 /Fehello_again.exe getmsg.cpp dispmsg.cpp main.cpp

Here, /Fe is the new (preferred) way of defining the name of the exe file (/out, or /o, is still supported but deprecated). If you don't tell the compiler what name to use, it will use the name of the first cpp file (which means getmsg.exe in this case)

And I've added the /W4 switch to up the warning level to 4 from 1, which is the default warning level at the command line (when you create a new project using Visual Studio, it uses /W3).

(cl /? will get the compiler to list all the switches it understands. Then see MSDN for further details)

Generating Code...

hello, world



PS Various notes...

[1] When your projects get complicated enough, and if you still prefer using the command line, you should look at makefiles. In the GCC world, the tool to use is make, whereas in the Microsoft world it's nmake.

The advantage of a makefile over a batch file is that the make utilties will only rebuild what's changed (based on the file timestamps). This can be a big deal when you're got lots of cpp files.

(There are also a host of other tools (including Maven, Jam, SCons, CMake, and Ant) you might encounter or even use)

[2] You can also configure the Visual Studio environment and by opening a regular command prompt and then running the following in the newly opened command prompt.


- This environment variable is set by the Visual Studio installer (VS80COMNTOOLS = Visual Studio 2005, VS90COMNTOOLS = Visual Studio 2008, VS100COMNTOOLS = Visual Studio 2010)
- The quotes are needed as there are probably spaces in the path.)

[3] Another (straightforward) programmer's editor is ScITE
I like it for basic editing as it's uncluttered. And it does syntax highlighting, like other programer's editors, which Notepad doesn't know how to do.

Note that programmer's editors, like Programmer's Notepad, Notepad++, and ScITE, can be configured to build using a menu.

[4] More info about building via the Visual Studio command prompt

Building on the Command Line

Walkthrough: Compiling a C Program

(note the Other Versions dropdown on these page's menus)

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[1] When your projects get complicated enough, and if you still prefer using the command line, you should look at makefiles. In the GCC world, the tool to use is make, whereas in the Microsoft world it's nmake.

And if you're using minGW, the command is: mingw32-make
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