Free C++ compiler 100% ok with GL?

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if what is the suggested free c/c++ compiler that would work (compile without errors) with OpenGL-based (and even DirectX) projects.
A working link to the download site of the compiler would be appreciated also.

Thanks in advance!



For C : PellesC

For C/C++ : DevC++

Thanks Bourricot,

I tried DevC++ before but had compile problems. I better look at it more closely then.


I use DEV-C++ all the time without any trouble compiling openGL code. nehe has DEV versions of his tutors.

The only thing is that VC++ examples may need some added headers to compile under DEV-C++ But if you want 100% VC++ compatibility, then you will have to break down and buy VC++.

[This message has been edited by nexusone (edited 02-18-2004).]

C++ Builder X has 100% support for OpenGL, and is 100% free (Personal Edition). One drawback…it’s a hefty 300+ MB download. But, on the plus side, it comes with two compilers: gcc (from MinGW) and Borland C++ 5.6 Other compilers to take a look at are DevC++ (mentioned above), and MinGW. Both are also free, and might be less of a download, though I can’t quote how well they work with OpenGL.

There’s always GCC. It’s free and open source (GPL). It should be easy to find through Google.

Just a note… Dev-C++ is NOT a compiler, it is an IDE. Dev-C++ uses the MinGW compiler to compile projects, MinGW is Minimalist GNU for Windows, so it is a GNU (ie: GCC/G++) compiler. It is totally free (MinGW and Dev-C++ which comes packaged with MinGW) and it is an optimizing compiler.

If you want a full optimizing version of Visual C/C++ LAGALLY you will have to fork out over $1000 (It was $1200+ last I checked). The cheaper versions do NOT optimize.

You’re best bet is to stick to GNU compilers like DJGPP (DOS, but they have a windows version too I guess), MINGW (windows, alone as a command line compiler or with the Dev-C++ IDE, which I recommend), Borland’s, which I honestly am not crazy about.

I have built alot of projects with Dev-c++ (MINGW) and I have had zero problems. I have compiled OpenGL, DirectX, Allegro (and AllegroGL) projects… if you have problems it is more than likely because you forgot to tell Dev-C++ to link in the proper libraries. I have imported Visual C projects into Dev-C++ and compiled them with no changes other than telling Dev-c++ which libs were needed. The best part about Dev-C++ is you can spend the $1200 you save on a new computer to compile with.

You can get Dev-C++ (with MinGW) here:

You can grab MinGW alone here:

A lot of [my] future questions concerning this topic were already answered by your replies, thanks!.
NightHacker, you cleared a lot about MinGW, DevC++, VC++, and DJGPP. tnanks again!
Nychold, C++ Builder X sounds interesting. I’ll go check it out too.


[This message has been edited by coder1 (edited 02-18-2004).]

Just a note about GCC (I use MinGW all the time): It optimizes very well. It competes with, or outperforms, optimizing Visual C++. It’s a very nice compiler, with a massive installed user & developer base (all Linux distributions come with GCC). Dont assume that just because it is free, it doesn’t optimize well.

Here is a simple compiler test: Compile my old raytracer, RayLab, with maximum omptimization, for the 686 architecture, and see how fast the executable is.

Compiler: Exe size / Run time

MinGW: 109 KB / 1m 50s
Visual C++: 164 KB / 1m 57s
OpenWatcom: 141 KB / 2m 53s
Borland C++: 150 KB / 4m 20s
PellesC: 134 KB / 6m 38s

(Visual C++ version is 6.0, optimizing)

Clearly, MinGW produces good code.

Note: According to this document by Intel, the Intel compiler (which is supposed to be the best compiler available) produces 10-30% faster binaries than GCC, which is not THAT impressive, considering…

[This message has been edited by marcus256 (edited 02-19-2004).]

Considering the previous post:

If you want a complete developer package, with IDE, integrated debugger, and the lots, I would check out OpenWatcom ( If you want the best compiler, with the highest portability, fastest and smallest executables, I would go for MinGW (which is what I currently do).

Btw, all compilers support OpenGL (but GLUT support may vary - use GLFW instead).

Thanks for that reply, im having few questions about watcom too, but now i need not ask anymore. I’ll use MinGW.

Ignore this post…I made a stupid mistake. ^^

[This message has been edited by Nychold (edited 02-21-2004).]

I tried Dev-C++ to see how it performs. But the executable of the simplest console hello world program (using namespace std) takes op 436kB of space
Does the mingw compiler link the whole std library when only using some functions of it?