How to Upgrade GCC on Ubuntu

How to Upgrade GCC on Ubuntu

The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a suite of compilers that support various programming languages, including C, C++, and Fortran. It’s an essential tool for developers and system administrators, especially when working on Linux-based systems like Ubuntu.

Over time, the GCC team releases new versions with enhanced features, optimizations, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest GCC version can provide performance improvements, better debugging capabilities, and support for newer language standards.

This guide will walk you through the steps to upgrade the GCC version on your Ubuntu system.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Check the Current GCC Version

Before upgrading, it’s essential to know the version of GCC currently installed on your system. Use the following command:

gcc --version

This command will display the current GCC version. Make a note of it as you’ll be able to compare it after the upgrade.

Step 2: Update the Repository Information

To ensure you have the latest package information from all configured sources, run:

sudo apt update

Step 3: Install the Software Properties Common Package

This package provides the add-apt-repository command, which you’ll need to add the GCC repository:

sudo apt install software-properties-common

Step 4: Add the GCC Repository

Ubuntu’s Toolchain test builds PPA contains the latest GCC versions. Add this repository to your system:

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

Step 5: Install the Desired GCC Version

Now, install the GCC version you want. For instance, to install GCC 10:

sudo apt install gcc-10 g++-10

Step 6: Configure the Default GCC Version

After installation, set the new GCC version as the default:

sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-10 100 --slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-10

Step 7: Verify the Upgrade

Once the upgrade process is complete, verify that the new version is correctly installed:

gcc --version

The output should now reflect the new GCC version.

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Commands Mentioned

  • gcc –version – Displays the current GCC version.
  • sudo apt update – Updates the package repository information.
  • sudo apt install software-properties-common – Installs the software properties common package.
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test – Adds the GCC repository.
  • sudo apt install gcc-10 g++-10 – Installs GCC version 10.
  • sudo update-alternatives –install /usr/bin/gcc gcc /usr/bin/gcc-10 100 –slave /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-10 – Sets GCC 10 as the default version.


  1. Why should I upgrade GCC on Ubuntu?

    Upgrading GCC ensures that you benefit from the latest optimizations, bug fixes, and support for newer language standards. It can lead to better performance and enhanced debugging capabilities.

  2. Is it safe to upgrade GCC?

    Yes, but it’s always recommended to backup important data and configurations before any major software upgrade. This ensures you can revert changes if unforeseen issues arise.

  3. Can I have multiple GCC versions installed?

    Yes, Ubuntu allows multiple GCC versions. You can switch between them using the ‘update-alternatives’ command.

  4. How often is GCC updated?

    The GCC release schedule varies, but major releases typically occur once a year. Regular updates and patches are released as needed.

  5. Do I need to restart my system after upgrading GCC?

    A system restart is not mandatory, but it’s a good practice to restart any services or applications that depend on GCC after an upgrade.

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Upgrading GCC on Ubuntu is a straightforward process that ensures you’re utilizing the latest features and optimizations available. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly upgrade GCC and enhance your development environment.

Remember, staying updated is not only about getting the latest features but also about ensuring security and stability.

For those managing web hosting environments, especially on platforms like best dedicated servers and best VPS hosting, maintaining updated software is crucial for optimal performance and security.

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Always keep an eye out for new releases and updates to ensure your systems are running at their best.


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