I just installed Lubuntu 18.04 LTS. There are two options for installing gcc: gcc-7 and gcc-8. Both are available from apt-get install out of the box.

Even after I installed gcc-8, the system is still going to install gcc-7 when I install other packages such as build-essential.

Since gcc-8 is newer, is there a way to make it install gcc-8 and gcc-8 only?

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    Just don't install build-essential but the other packages it depend on directly? dpkg-dev g++-8 gcc-8 libc6-dev libc-dev make – muru Apr 27 '18 at 5:41
  • gcc-7 is required by gcc-8. Note : You can have as many gcc/g++ versions as you want, installed at the same time. Bionic extras : g++-4.8 g++-5 g++-6 g++-8 ... ... g++-7/gcc-7 is the system compiler. The older versions are required for building some older applications. – Knud Larsen Apr 27 '18 at 9:40
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    @KnudLarsen "gcc-7 is required by gcc-8" what? – ZachB Sep 25 '18 at 17:47

gcc-7 and gcc-8 will happily co-live together.

I would suggest to let gcc-7 be installed, for satisfying build-essential and perhaps other dependent packages, and configure gcc-8 to be your default gcc installation.

Use update-alternatives for having gcc redirected automatically to gcc-8:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-7 700 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-7
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-8 800 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-8

This will give you the convenience of gcc being at the latest version, and still you will be able to invoke gcc-7 or gcc-8 directly.

If you'll wish to change the default gcc version later on, run sudo update-alternatives --config gcc. It will bring a prompt similar to this, which lets you pick the version to be used:

There are 2 choices for the alternative gcc (providing /usr/bin/gcc).

  Selection    Path            Priority   Status
* 0            /usr/bin/gcc-8   800       auto mode
  1            /usr/bin/gcc-7   700       manual mode
  2            /usr/bin/gcc-8   800       manual mode

Press <enter> to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 

The higher priority is the one that is picked automatically by update-alternatives.

  • this should be the accepted answer – Void Star Oct 22 '20 at 22:46

Master table of all GCC versions for each Ubuntu

At: How do I use the latest GCC on Ubuntu?

GCC 8 on Ubuntu 16.04

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gcc-8 g++-8
gcc-8 --version

gives 8.1.0 as of 2018-11. See also:

GCC 9 on Ubuntu 19.04

sudo apt install gcc-9


  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question. This information could be relevant for a completely separate question, but that one already does have the answer: askubuntu.com/q/466651/113421. – Ruslan May 22 '19 at 16:38
  • 2
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