In this post, I will show how to write and run simple C++ programs with Sublime Text 3.

Writing source files

The following two part are optional. They are intended to increase your speed of writing C++ programs. If you do not need them, just skip and read how to build and run C++ source code.

Code snippet

When you are writing code, you may want to create a snippet so that your keywords will be expanded to a template to reduce your typing. For example, we often need to write codes that output something and then output a new line character. Writing this boiler-plate code over and over again is boring. We can create snippet for it.

It is easy to create a code snippet in Sublime Text. Go to Tools -> Developer and click New Snippet... (see image below)

In the created tab, use the following settings:

cout <<  << '\n';
    <!-- Optional: Set a tabTrigger to define how to trigger the snippet -->
    <!-- Optional: Set a scope to limit where the snippet will trigger -->
    <decription>Insert a cout with newline</decription>

Save this snippet and give it a name, e.g., cout_oneline.sublime-snippet. All snippets in Sublime Text end with the extension sublime-snippet.

When you have created this snippet, you can just type cout in the C++ source file and press Tab key to trigger the snippet (see the below image).


If you want to auto-complete your code, you can use EasyClangComplete. You can install this package via Package Control. Then you need to install clang for your system.

The package offers several ways to configure it. I will just demonstrate one way: configure it via setting file. Open the setting file of EasyClangComplete (see image below):

Example settings are shown below:

 "common_flags" : [
    // some example includes

    //include search path of gcc

    // this is needed to include the correct headers for clang
  "cpp_flags" : [
  "errors_style": "phantoms",
  "hide_default_completions": true,
  "progress_style": "ColorSublime",
  "show_type_info": false,

In the above settings, the include search paths of gcc can be found using the following command:

`gcc -print-prog-name=cc1plus` -v

The output is something like the following (use the paths in the green box):

Now you should see that the auto-completion works.

Compile and run C++ code

In order to compile C++ source files. You have to make sure that a C++ compiler is installed in your system. For Linux system, GCC is often installed by default. So further configuration is not needed. For Windows, there is a port of GCC named MinGW-w64. Download the on-line installer and install it. It will install all the component necessary to compile C++ source. After installation, you should add the directory of executables to the Windows PATH. On my Windows system, the executable directory is

C:\Program Files\mingw-w64\x86_64-7.3.0-posix-seh-rt_v5-rev0\mingw64\bin

You may need to reboot your system to make the PATH change take effect.

Sublime Text has its own build system for C++. Unfortunately, it has at least one drawback: it can not run the executables in the system console (so if you want to run C++ program that need standard input from terminal, you will fail). We can write our own build system fairly easily.

Simple build system to compile and run source code

After finishing writing the code, we now compile the code. We can build our own custom build system. Go to Tools –> Build System –> New Build System.... Use the following settings (I assume that you are using GCC to compile your code):

"cmd" : ["g++ -std=c++11 -Wall ${file_name} -o ${file_base_name} && ./${file_base_name}"], 
"selector" : "source.c",
"shell": true,
"working_dir" : "$file_path"

Save it and name it C++.sublime-build (build systems in Sublime Text all end with the extention sublime-build). Press Ctrl+Shift+B to select the build system.

Select the C++ build system we have just created and press Enter. Then the source file will be compiled and run. If everything goes well, you will see the output of this program in the bottom of Sublime Text window.

How to run the executable right in the system terminal or console

If you are executing a program which needs input from the standard input (often it is just the console), the program can not receive input due to the limit of Sublime Text. How to solve this issue? It is easy. We can add a variants to the build system we just created and run the executable file in the system GUI terminal. Different systems differ in their specific settings.

Here is an example setting:

    "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\"",
    "file_regex": "^(..[^:]*):([0-9]+):?([0-9]+)?:? (.*)$",
    "working_dir": "${file_path}",
    "selector": "source.c++, source.cpp,, source.cxx",

            "name": "Run in Terminal",

            "linux": {
                "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && xterm -e '${file_path}/${file_base_name} && echo && echo Press ENTER to continue && read line && exit'",
                // "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && gnome-terminal -e 'bash -c \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}&& echo && echo Press ENTER to continue && read line && exit\"'", // for gnome-terminal 
                // "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && xterm -e '${file_path}/${file_base_name}; bash'", // for xterm
                // "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && xterm -hold -e ${file_path}/${file_base_name}", // for xterm
                // "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && konsole --hold -e ${file_path}/./${file_base_name}", // for konsole


                "shell_cmd":   "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && start cmd /k  $file_base_name "
                // "shell_cmd":   "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && start \"$file_base_name\" call $file_base_name"

                "shell_cmd": "g++ -std=c++11 -Wall \"${file}\" -o \"${file_path}/${file_base_name}\" && xterm -e '${file_path}/${file_base_name} && echo && echo Press ENTER to continue && read line && exit'",

            "shell": true,

The above setting file provides settings for different systems. For Linux, options for GUI terminals such as genome-terminal, xterm and Konsole are provided. You can uncomment corresponding line to set up for your currently-used GUI terminal. The above settings will ensure that the GUI terminal window will not be closed immediately after running your program (so that you can examine the result of the program). For Windows, we use the default CMD. For OSX, we use the xterm.

When you want to compile and run files which need input from the console, you can use the build variants Run in Terminal. To use it, press Ctrl+Shift+B to bring up the command plate, and choose option Run in Terminal (see image below).