IDE for Ubuntu Ubuntu For Developers

Linux, as with many other things, has no shortage when it comes to getting down to the more technical aspects in computing. Be it coding, testing or anything else that is related to the geeky arts, the free and open source community has a lot to offer. In this post we’ll be looking at some of the most popular and some not so popular Integrated Development Environments (IDE) out there which score a lot with regard to quality and flexibility.

Starting from the more acclaimed and time-tested ones;

Qt Creator

Qt Creator seamlessly integrates C++ development with a user interface designer that supports the Qt framework. The Qt widget toolkit powers most of the Graphical User Interfaces that you may see around Linux such as the KDE user environment and the VLC media player. Qt Creator is capable of using both the GNU Compiler Collection’s C++compiler and other popular open source compilers like MinGW depending on the working platform.

What it supports: C++, QML (Qt Meta Language), JavaScript

Pros: Cross-platform, Mobile development support

Cons: Bulky and may take up to 1 GB of disk space even without the whole Qt SDK

For more information visit their home page or download here.


KDevelop is the most popular IDE for the KDE platform. Although it is cross-platform, it’s mostly targeted towards Linux and other Unix like operating systems such as the various flavors of BSD.  The whole IDE is plugin based and is more suitable for advanced users.

What it supports: C, C++, PHP (in version 4.2) Java, Python,Ruby, Perl, FORTRAN and Pascal (up to version 3.5)

Pros: A wide range of user interface technologies are supported (KDE, GNOME, Qt and GTK+)

Cons: KDevelop is still in an experimental state in operating systems other than Linux and BSD

More information and downloads are here.


Eclipse is a cross-platform IDE which has a very large fan following.  It is used predominantly as an IDE for Java but also supports C/C++, PHP, Perl and Ruby.  Eclipse itself is written mostly in Java making it less dependable in platforms such as Windows. The Eclipse Foundation releases a new version each year in June with the most recent stable release being the Indigo release of June 2011.

What it supports: Java, C/C++, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python and others

Pros: Highly extendable by the use of plugins, Android SDK support for Java EE

Cons: Lacks a proper GUI designer (in the default package)

For more information visit their site or download here.


NetBeans is another cross-platform IDE which supports a wide range of programming languages. Unlike Eclipse, it includes a built-in user interface designer for Java and an all-in-one version that features all the languages available in the NetBeans project. It’s currently developed by the Oracle Corporation but remains an open source free software project. The latest major stable release, version 7.0 was released in April 2011.

What it supports: Java, JavaScript, C/C++, PHP, Python, Groovy and others

Pros: Includes a robust GUI designer for Java Swing

Cons: Slower performance compared to Eclipse

More information and downloads are here.


Gambas is the IDE that accompanies the Gambas object oriented dialect of the BASIC programming language. It primarily caters for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems in the likes of FreeBSD, with the upcoming Gambas 3 also supporting Max OS X. The language itself is very much influenced by Visual Basic and Java and the IDE also supports user interface design that use Qt and GTK+.

What it supports: Gambas

Pros: Ability to rapidly create GUI programs using Qt and GTK+ toolkits

Cons: Limited to one language

For more information and to download click here.


The Mono project is a cross-platform, open source .NET development framework. Its IDE, MonoDevelop is a rich tool for developing in C# and other .NET languages for the desktop and for the web through the use of ASP.NET.

What it supports: C#, Visual Basic.NET, Java, Boo, Python, Vala, C/C++ and others

Pros: Includes aGUI designer (Stetic) that uses Gtk#, Support for Microsoft Silverlight through Moonlight

Cons: The Mono project has a history of patent conflicts with the Microsoft Corporation

For more information about the Mono Project and to download click here.

A brief look at the best of the rest;


Anjuta is solely an IDE directed for C and C++ development. It’s a light weight alternative to Eclipse or NetBeans while also being feature rich. Anjuta is written for the GNOME project making it very native for use with Ubuntu. It also features a GUI designer, an interactive debugger and version control tools.

More information and to download click here.


Code::Blocks is another light weight C and C++ development tool comparable to Anjuta. It has similar features including a GUI designer that makes use of the wxWidgets toolkit and the ability to work with multiple compilers.

For more information and to download click here.

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