How do I install the latest version of gcc and g++?

I am using a variety of C++11 and C++1y features; which is why I need this.

  • 1
    @muru Except my question was months earlier. So his is a duplicate of mine.
    – A T
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 5:59
  • 1
    Duplicate independent of time? - That's a weird policy. - And a bit of a misnomer?
    – A T
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 6:02
  • Also I would argue that the answers to my question are of a higher quality and greater heterogeneity than his. Number of votes are comparable also. So I am calling for the merging of his into mine, rather than the reverse.
    – A T
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 6:05

7 Answers 7


You can install close to upstream version of GCC from Ubuntu Toolchain PPA: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ToolChain#PPA_packages

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install g++-4.9

Tested on Ubuntu 14.04.

  • 4
    I have Ubuntu 14.04 and that didn't work for me. Did you leave a step out? I don't see g++-4.9 in launchpad.net/~ubuntu-toolchain-r/+archive/test
    – test
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 6:27
  • 1
    test, should work: gist.github.com/rutsky/bc40c6b4bee0ab5f9ee4 Commented May 8, 2014 at 21:20
  • 9
    But it doesn't work for me on 12.04: E: Unable to locate package gcc-4.9 E: Couldn't find any package by regex 'gcc-4.9' Looks like 12.04 was specifically is not supported by this repository, even though both newer and older versions of Ubuntu are supported. Commented May 16, 2014 at 2:56
  • 9
    As a last step, I found it necessary to change the symbolic link /usr/bin/g++ from a target of /usr/bin/g++-4.8 to a target of /usr/bin/g++-4.9. ...or leave it unchanged but invoke g++-4.9 directly. Finally: std::regex support.
    – DavidO
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 19:43
  • 3
    @DavidO - You should be able to use the alternatives system to avoid directly editing symlinks. See askubuntu.com/q/26498/5682. Commented Nov 7, 2014 at 14:07


teach a man to fish etc. etc.

How to build the source package and serve it from a local repository in an apt-friendly way. This will work on any distribution provided that dependencies can be satisfied/ This method does not require you to install build-deps for every package and polluting your machine with extraneous packages, this will let you keep up with packages as they get updated in debian experimental. It takes just a few minutes to do this once, and then can be reused to rebuild any package you need without relying on other people to package ppa for you or downloading a bunch of different .debs

The benefit of building vs. pulling raw .debs from debian is that this will build packages against the packages in your distribution which may differ in version/revision from what is used as build-dependencies for the debian distribution. This is more-or-less the process for backporting packages. You can also use any ubuntu distribution to build packages targeted at any other distribution (target in this case means build against the standard repository packages) with no hassle.


(not for ppa uploading - this has beurocratic requirements from launchpad

Probably-required: packaging-dev (pulls build-essential pubilder ubuntu-dev-tools among others)

  1. Set up pbuilder (this lets you build a package in a chroot without polluting your system with build-dependency packages)

    • sudo pbuilder create,
    • if you want to build for a specific distribution, (pbuilder uses the build system release in a chroot) you can use pbuilder-dist [precise/oneric/trusy/etc...] create
  2. Get debian source

    • pull-debian-source gcc-4.9 [4.9.0-6] specific debian revision is optional, but can be useful if you want to pull experimental/unstable/testing/stable revisions
    • you can also pull from specific ubuntu distros by adding them to sources.list as a deb-src and using sudo apt-get src
  3. Build Package

    • sudo pbuilder build gcc-4.9_4.9.0-6.dsc
    • In the files downloaded there is a .dsc file, for the most recent gcc it is gcc-4.9_4.9.0-6.dsc which is a package descriptor file. .orig.tar.[gz/xz] is the source tarball.
  4. Create local Apt-repository

    • mkdir /convenient/place/for/repo
    • cp /var/cache/pbuilder/result/* /path/to/repo
    • (assuming you are in repo dir) apt-ftp archive packages . > Packages
    • (one of many ways to do this) sudo echo "deb [trusted=yes] file:/local/repo/Packages ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/gcc-repo.list
    • Note you can also do this step with .debs downloaded from anywhere (skip step 1-3)
  5. Install

    • apt-get update; apt-get install gcc-4.9 g++-4.9

Extra Tricks

Easy backporting Dependencies

Using self-compiled packages to satisfy dependencies when building packages. (I have it set up with folders ~/pbuilder ~/pbuilder/precise_local (local package repo for precise) and ~/pbuilder/precise_hooks (for hook scripts) )

Add the following to your ~/.pbuilderrc

OTHERMIRROR="deb [trusted=yes] file:///home/user/pbuilder/precise_local ./"




in precise_hooks create a file D05local (in typical unix/linux fashion, prefix D tells when script is hooked 05 is self-imposed name-ordering and local is just the name, if you only have one hook it is not important what its called as long as D is the prefix

the script is a one-liner

(cd /home/user/pbuilder/precise_local ; apt-ftparchive packages . > Packages)

Now any packages placed in precise_local will satisfy build-depends. This is supremely useful to construct a dependency tree locally when back-porting packages that have dependencies that also need backporting

The VM solution

To do this in an even cleaner way, use a VM image or LXC container to jail this mess.

Applying custom patches

you can apply custom patches in most debian packages using quilt, quilt patches can use diffs from most VCSs (see : using quilt )

There is an additional step, you must rebuild the .dsc and .debian.tar.gz. Cleanest-way I know is bzr-builddeb it has the highest success rate IMHO (compared to git-build-package and other helper scripts) and is much cleaner than calling debuild directly (bzr= bazaar canonical's VCS)

  1. sudo apt-get install bzr-builddeb
  2. (assuming .orig.tar.gz is extracted and .debian.tar.gz is extracted and place in it
    • bzr init
    • bzr add
    • bzr commit
    • modify debian/changelog
    • add patch to debian/patches/ and modify debian/patches/series (quilt also has utility to add patches or for you to modify on the fly, see documentation)
    • bzr add debian/
    • bzr commit
  4. bzr builddeb -- -S -us -uc This rebuilds the source file and leaves it unsigned (gpg signing required for PPA/distro uploading, but not for private local repos)
  5. cd ../build-area/ Continue from Step 3 above.

Steps 1-4 here are pretty much what you need to upload to a PPA (they do not take binary files), but you require some steps to satisfy launchpad bureaucracy (this answer provides a explanation, this one has some links)

  • 1
    Really cool :-) Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 17:46
  • some steps are missing for 14.04. sudo pbuilder build gcc-4.9_4.9.0-6.dsc fails.
    – jfs
    Commented Oct 25, 2014 at 1:13


sudo su -
apt-get install build-essential
add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
apt-get update
apt-get install gcc-4.9 g++-4.9 cpp-4.9

after that if you check the version of gcc you will find the old version

gcc --version

so we can fix it with simple symbolic

cd /usr/bin
rm gcc g++ cpp
ln -s gcc-4.9 gcc
ln -s g++-4.9 g++
ln -s cpp-4.9 cpp


you can update using update-alternatives

// Actually i tried the symbolic & i know this will work but you may use the symbolic to get it without problems // please correct me if I am wrong

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.9 40 --slave /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.9
update-alternatives --config gcc
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/cpp cpp /usr/bin/cpp-4.9 40 --slave /usr/bin/cpp cpp /usr/bin/cpp-4.9
update-alternatives --config cpp
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.9 40 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.9
update-alternatives --config g++


you can just compile with

/usr/bin/gcc4.9 filename.c

gcc-4.9 is just like the gcc-4.8 "ubuntu 14.04 gcc" it is not a big deference


  • 3
    gcc 4.9 has a hell of big difference with 4.8, and its on opnenmp 4.0 support.
    – user314965
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 15:01
  • can you get me the difference please !
    – hwez
    Commented Aug 12, 2014 at 18:11
  • 1
    It has c++1y (C++14) support, for starters. Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 14:33
  • 1
    Article on gcc 4.9 features: isocpp.org/blog/2014/04/gcc-4.9.0 Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 18:55

Debian offers a package: https://packages.debian.org/jessie/gcc-4.9 - To prevent causing issues with Ubuntu/Debian compatibility; don't add it to your sources.list.

Instead, simply download all these:


From Debian's servers, e.g.:


Then install them, e.g.: $ for package in *.deb; do sudo dpkg --install "$package"; done

[Easier just to run that bash loop a few times until all the dependencies are covered than remembering the order you downloaded them in!]

  • Both the links are dead...
    – Raghav RV
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 14:43
  • Well it doesn't matter anymore, new Ubuntus have newer gcc versions than 4.9
    – A T
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 14:50
  • The question was for installing g++4.9 on Ubuntu... Not essentially on one of the "new Ubuntus"... ;)
    – Raghav RV
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 16:03
  • Okay @RaghavRV I've updated all the dep names and URLs
    – A T
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 16:18

Currently (20141102) adding the PPA and invoking the above command apt-get install gcc-4.9 g++-4.9 cpp-4.9 will print out a slew of suggested packages. Install them all except for libvtv0-dbg (which has a dependency conflict):

apt-get install gcc-4.9 g++-4.9 cpp-4.9 gcc-4.9-locales g++-4.9-multilib libstdc++6-4.9-dbg gcc-4.9-multilib libgcc1-dbg libgomp1-dbg libitm1-dbg libatomic1-dbg libasan1-dbg liblsan0-dbg libtsan0-dbg libubsan0-dbg libcilkrts5-dbg libquadmath0-dbg lib32stdc++6-4.9-dbg libx32stdc++6-4.9-dbg

(skip the -dbg packages if they're of no interest to you), and then do an apt-get dist-upgrade --auto-remove. That last step will basically replace your gcc-4.8 with gcc-4.9 (but not uninstall the older version), and pull in up-to-date fortran compilers at the same time.


I had to force the version for the gcc-4.9-base package to get past the error message you posted. Then installing worked

sudo apt-get install gcc-4.9-base=4.9.2-0ubuntu1~14.04

Now you can do the regular

sudo apt-get install gcc-4.9
  • In my case I had to force a specific version of libstdc++6, which is a dependency. For some reason it wanted to use an older version which it thought was a newer version, so it would not upgrade without forcing.
    – Emre
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 6:06

Install GCC GNU 4.9

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gcc-4.9

Remove the previous gcc version from the default applications list (if already exists)

sudo update-alternatives --remove-all gcc

Make GCC 4.9 the default compiler on the system

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-4.9 20

sudo update-alternatives --config gcc

The latest update GCC 4.9.1 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 4.9 branch containing important fixes for regressions and serious bugs in GCC 4.9.0 with more than 88 bugs fixed since the previous release. In addition to that, GCC 4.9.1 release supports OpenMP 4.0 also in Fortran, rather than just in C and C++

Note : Checked on ubuntu 14.04 LTS

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