Difference Between GCC and CC Compiler (With Table)

Computing is the term used to define the development of hardware and software. It is a vast field that includes various aspects such as scientific, technological, social etc. In the process of computing, a compiler comes into use. A compiler is basically a computer program designed to convert high-level language into lower-level language for easy execution. This is done with the help of coding. Today there are various types of compilers available.

GCC vs CC Compiler

The difference between GCC and CC Compiler is that GCC is referred to as the GNU Compiler operating system, whereas CC is the UNIX Compiler command. These two compilers are not cross-compatible. This is because C++ programs are compatible with C libraries, while the C programs are not compatible with the C++ libraries.

GCC is known as the GNU Compiler Collection. It has been accepted by many other operating systems. It has default support for C++17 and C11 programming languages. These languages are not cross-compatible with each other. GCC is, therefore, written mainly in C, except for the Ada front end. It is a generic form of compiler, i.e., it is compatible with several platforms.

On the other hand, CC is known as the C Compiler. This mainly runs on UNIX operating system. It is used to create executables by compiling the C language. It comes with a vast number of compiling options. It is a specific form of compiler, unlike GCC. It is designed to accept C programs better as compared to the C++ programs. This is due to the unavailability of cross-compatibility between the programs.

Comparison Table Between GCC and CC Compiler

Parameters of Comparison GCC CC Compiler
ReleaseGCC was initially released in 1987.CC was initially released in 1979.
CreatorRichard Stallman produced GCC. Stephen C. Johnson produced CC.
Programming LanguageIt is primarily written in C, and some parts are in C++. It is fully written in C.
Operating System It runs on GNU and many other operating systems. It runs only on Unix and Unix-like operating systems.
FormIt is a generic form of the compiler. It is a specific form of the compiler.
Licensing It is provided under the GPLv3+ with GCC Runtime licence. It is provided under the BSD licence.
Latest VersionThe latest version got released on April 20, 2021. No latest version has been released since December 10, 2014.

What is GCC?

GCC stands for GNU Compiler Collection, which was introduced by the GNU project first in 1987. Richard Stallman was the creator. This compiler is developed for supporting several programming languages, hardware and operating systems. It is one of the most used free and open-source software.

The first and foremost version of GCC only accepted the C programming language. Therefore, it was known as the GNU C Compiler. With time, technology evolved, and GCC became able to handle both C and C++ languages. GCC is accepted by many other Unix-like operating systems as their default compiler for this reason. It is a generic form of the compiler, which is licensed under the GPLv3+ licence.

Excluding the Ada front end parts, the whole of GCC is written in the C programming language. The Ada front is only programmed in C++. The latest version, i.e. GCC 11.1, includes extended versions of OpenMP and OpenACC languages. It is compatible with C++17 and C11. It also has experimental support for C++20 and C++23.

Overall, GCC is believed to be doing a great job when it comes to generating quality assembler. It is known to earn more focused and executable results due to the C and C++ support along with the extensions.

What is CC Compiler?

CC is the C Compiler which was released by Unix production in 1979. Stephen C. Johnson was the creator. However, he took ideas from Alan Snyder partly. CC was one of the first compilers to be able to adapt to output code for various computer systems. Initially, most of the compilers were based on this. However, with time, it got replaced with updated versions.

When CC was first introduced, it came with Open BSD, but in 2012, it got removed from the open-source. Due to the issue of cross-compatibility, CC accepts the C programs but rejects the C++ ones. It is accepted by the Unix and Unix-like operating systems as the default compiler. It is a specific form of compiler, i.e. it is compatible with a specific platform only.

The whole of CC is written in the C programming language. The latest version, i.e. 1.1.0, which got released in December 2014, runs on Microsoft Windows and several Linux distributions. The CC Compiler contains several options for providing executable outputs; o-option, Wall option, w-option, and g-option are some of them.

As CC is not quite compatible with C++, a library compiler in CC needs to be fully compiled in it. It will not be compatible if some parts of the library are in CC and the others in g++. This is where the CC lacks a bit.

Main Differences Between GCC and CC Compiler

  1. CC Compiler got released earlier than the GCC.
  2. GCC is partly written in C language, while CC is fully written in C language.
  3. CC is used only on Unix and Unix-like operating systems, whereas GCC is used on various operating systems.
  4. GCC is generic, while CC is specific.
  5. GCC supports both C and C++ programs, while CC only supports C programs.
  6. GCC was introduced by GNU operating system, while CC was introduced by Unix operating system.


Compilers are widely used for producing executable forms. GCC and CC Compilers are two very popularly compilers. Although they both differ in terms of their properties, abilities and requirements, they are heavily in demand.

The major difference between these two compilers is their support for programming languages. GCC supports both C and C++ while the CC fails to accept C++ programmes. This occurs due to the lack of cross-compatibility between the C and C++ languages.

GCC can be used on many platforms, but CC is platform-specific. This is why GCC is accepted and used by several other operating systems.


  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/277652.277752
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7377807/
2D vs 3D