Are you a beginner to C programming and tired of struggling with compilation and execution issues? Looking for tips to make the process more efficient and hassle-free? This tutorial is for you! We will guide you on how to begin your journey in C programming for beginners, providing tips and techniques for the seamless compilation and execution of your programs.

Whether you’re just starting out or have some experience, these strategies will help you run C programs like a pro, without any issues.

So, let’s get started and turn you into a C programming pro!

C Programming for Beginners: A Guide to Compiling and Executing Your First Program

To compile and execute a C program, you will need a C compiler installed on your computer.

A popular C compiler is GCC (GNU Compiler Collection).

When you use GCC to compile a program, the compiler reads the source code of the program and translates it into machine code, which is a series of instructions that can be executed by a computer’s processor.

This process is known as compilation and it involves several steps:

1. Preprocessing: The C preprocessor processes the source code before it is passed to the compiler.

This involves replacing preprocessor directives (such as #include and #define with their expanded forms.

2. Compilation: The compiler translates the preprocessed source code into assembly code which is a low-level representation of the program in a form that can be understood by the computer’s processor.

3. Assembly: The assembler converts the assembly code into machine code, which is a series of binary instructions that the computer can execute directly.

4. Linking: The linker combines the machine code for the program with any library function that it uses, and creates an executable file that can be run on the computer.

5. Execution: The operating system loads the executable file into memory and executes it.

The GCC is a powerful tool that is widely used to compile programs on a variety of platforms, including Linux, Unix, and macOS. It is an open-source project, which means that the source code is available for anyone to view and modify.

Getting Started on Compiling and Executing a C Program:

  • Open a text editor and create a new file with a .c extension (e.g. hello.c)
  • Write your C program in the file using the appropriate syntax.
  • Save the file
  • Open a terminal or command prompt, and navigate to the directory where you saved the file.
  • Compile the program by typing gcc hello.c -o hello (replace hello with the name of your file) and press the Enter key. This will create an executable file called “hello” (or the name you specified) in the directory.
  • Run the program by typing ./hello (again, replace “hello” with the name of your file) and press Enter. This will execute the program.

Let’s start the C program by opening our text editor.

File name: hello.c


#include <stdio.h>

int main(void){
        printf("Welcome to C programming\n");
        return 0;
C Programming for Beginners


C Programming for Beginners

If you are using a d different compiler, the syntax for compiling and executing the program may be slightly different. Consult the documentation for your compiler for more information

In the C programming language, #include is a preprocessor directive that tells the preprocessor to insert the contents of a specified file into the source code at the point where the directive appears i.e. including a file into another file.

The <stdio.h> header file is a standard C library file that contains declarations for standard input and output functions.

These functions include printf(), scan(), and fprintf(), which are used to output data to the screen and read data from the keyboard.

By including the <stdio.h> header file at the top of your C program, you can use these functions in your code without having to declare them yourself.

This saves time and makes it easier to write C programs.

The angle brackets around the header file name indicate that the header file is a system header file, which means that it is part of the C standard library and is provided by the C compiler.

The int main() is the entry point of the program. The function executes when the program runs.

The int in int main() indicates that the main function returns an integer value. The operating system expects the main function to return a status code upon finishing its execution.

Typically, a return value of 0 signals a successful completion of the program, while a non-zero value signals an error occurrence.

To run the above C code, save the code and open your terminal.

  • Navigate to the directory of the file,
  • Run the code GCC hello.c -o hello to compile and execute the code.

When you run the command gcc hello.c -o hello, the GCC compiler will compile the source code file hello.c and produce an executable file called hello.

To execute the hello executable file and view the output, you can type ./hello at the command prompt. This will run the hello program and display the output on the terminal.

gcc hello.c -o hello
Hello, Roland

Let’s explore this process in greater depth to understand exactly how it works.

Here is what happens in more detail:

  • The GCC compiler reads the hello.c file and checks it for syntax errors. If the compiler finds any syntax errors, it will display an error message and halt the compilation process
  • If the source code file is free of syntax errors, the compiler will translate the source into machine code, which is a series of instructions that the computer’s processor can execute directly. We call this process “compiling the source code.
  • The compiled machine code is usually stored in an object file, which has a .o file extension. The object file contains the machine code as well as information about the symbols (e.g., variables and functions) that are defined in the source code.
  • The -o option specifies the name of the output file that the compiler should create. In our case, the output file is named hello.
  • If the compilation process is successful, the compiler will create an executable file called hello that contains the compiled machine code and any necessary symbol information.
  • You can then run the hello program by typing ./hello at the command prompt.


If you’re new to C programming and have questions, the Rocodeify Forum is a great place to find answers. The C programming section has frequently asked questions on various topics, from basic syntax to advanced algorithms. Check it out at FORUM and see for yourself!


Learning how to run C programs can help you write and debug code more efficiently and effectively.

By understanding the steps involved in the compilation process, you can troubleshoot any issues that may arise and fine-tune your workflow to suit your specific needs.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced C programmer, these tips and techniques can help you take your skills to the next level. So, why not give them a try and see how they can enhance your C programming experience?

The journey to becoming a pro C programmer starts with the first step, and this blog post provides a great foundation for you to build upon.

Happy Coding! 👍

If you have any questions or need further assistance with running C programs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m always happy to help!”

Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts on this topic, or share your own tips and tricks for running C programs.