Ever since the debugger plugin for geany stopped working (see below), I am looking for an editor for C/C++ source files with the following features:

  • Code completion (i.e., Intellisense-like completion of variable and function names as well as parameters)
  • Basic debugging capabilities (start/stop debugger, step-by-step execution, evaluate variable values on mouse hover or in a separate window)

The editor should be as lightweight as possible. Eclipse, for example, has some nice features but it just too large in terms of disk space after installation. In case it is relevant, I am using Xubuntu (14.04) on one machine and an Ubuntu (14.04) Minimal installation with Xfce on another machine, for both of which I need a lightweight editor.

So far, I tried Code::Blocks, which is nice, but requires me to create a new project to enable debugging functionality, which is annoying. I just want to use my custom Makefile and my C files without any additional project files or output folders.

I previously used geany, which I really liked. However, since I set up my 14.04 machines, the debugger plugin crashes the whole application every time I want to use it. I even tried compiling the newest version of the plugin myself, but it still crashes, as confirmed also by others in the bug tracker. Furthermore, C++ code completion in geany has never been really good.

Are there any alternatives out there, preferably free and available via apt-get?

Thanks in advance Best regards Andreas

  • 1
    possible duplicate of C programing suites/IDEs
    – karel
    Jan 12, 2015 at 14:54
  • @karel: I already tried most of the IDEs from that list. I addressed the issues with the first three (codeblocks, geany and Eclipse) above; to add to that: monodevelop and netbeans (as Eclipse) are not lightweight. I am still trying the remaining ones, but without success so far. Jan 12, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    Let us know what you think about CodeLite from the Ubuntu repos. Features: code completion, find and replace, GNU Debugger support, syntax highlighting, etc.
    – karel
    Jan 12, 2015 at 15:28
  • @karel: I had already tried that one, but could not remember what the issue with it was. Now that I reinstalled it and opened my example file, I recall: I create a new workspace => crash; I add a new file => crash; I start the debugger => crash. To be clear, by crash I mean the whole application closing without any further messages. I installed it using 'apt-get install --no-install-recommends codelite' Jan 12, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    @Andreas: regarding CodeLite, the problem is that Ubuntu packagers are insisting on providing this buggy version (2.8 which is extremely old...), the current version available is 6.1. We (The CodeLite Team) manage our own repository for CodeLite and you can install it directly from here: codelite.org/LiteEditor/Repositories#toc1
    – Eran
    Jan 15, 2015 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


You could give a try to the default text editor, GEdit (it looks pretty decent on Xfce with a gtk theme). The gedit-plugins package contains, among many others others:

  • Bookmarks
  • Bracket Completion
  • Code block comment/uncomment
  • File Browser
  • Session persistence
  • Embedded Terminal

To these you may add a few additional plugins:

As for debugging there is nothing but you can use gdb within the integrated terminal.

And of course, you'll have the Oblivion theme, the best coding theme ever produced.

Further reading:

gedit: Add Python / C++ Autocomplete Support

How to convert gEdit to gEdit++

  • Nice, I did not know about the gedit plugins. It's a pity that there is no integrated gdb support. I'd upvote your post if I had enough reputation to do so. Jan 13, 2015 at 10:56
  • 1
    With your level of English you can quickly gain reputation by editing posts. Or you can try answering a few questions. Jan 13, 2015 at 12:19
  • Thanks, I'll try answering a few questions. Since I am not a native speaker, I'd rather refrain from editing :) Jan 13, 2015 at 13:03

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