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Online material for modern CPP.
Compact Data Structures - Setup

Learning Objective:
In this short guide you will learn how to set up your work environment for working through this nancourse.

Duration30 Minutes
Prerequisite tutorialsNo prerequisites
Recommended reading



  • gcc >= 7
  • wget

We will briefly explain how to install GCC-7 on some popular operating systems, but we recommend using the latest version of GCC available. For more information refer to your operating system's documentation.

Ubuntu >= 18.04

sudo apt install g++

Ubuntu < 18.04

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt update
sudo apt install g++-7

MacOS using Homebrew

brew install gcc@7

MacOS using MacPorts

sudo port install gcc-7

Linux using conda

conda create -n gcc7 -c quantstack gcc-7 libgcc-7
conda activate gcc7

This will put GCC-7 in a separate environment called gcc7 which can be activated via conda activate gcc7 and deactivated via conda deactivate gcc7.

Known Issue: If you encounter the error /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6: version 'CXXABI_1.3.11' not found, you have to set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH:
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/user/miniconda3/envs/gcc7/lib/
where /home/user/miniconda3/ is the path to your conda installation.
After installing, g++ --version should print the desired version. If not, you may have to use, for example, g++-7 --version or even specify the full path to your executable.

Furthermore echo $CXX should print the executable of the desired g++ version. Otherwise run export CXX=<executable> (replace <executable> witht the path to g++).

Directory Structure

For this project, we recommend the following directory layout:

├── source
└── Makefile

To create these directories, you can follow this script:

mkdir nanocourse
cd nanocourse
mkdir source

Now we need to create a file named Makefile inside nanocourse with the following contents:

SOURCES=$(shell find source -name *.cpp)
all: $(OBJECTS)
ifndef CXX
$(error CXX is undefined)
%: %.cpp
$(CXX) -std=c++17 -O3 -march=native -pedantic -Wall -Wextra -Werror -Isource -c $< -o $(notdir $@)

Compiling and Running

To test whether everything works, we will now compile and run a small example.

First we create the file hello_world.cpp in the source directory with the following contents:

#include <iostream>
int main()
std::cout << "Hello world\n";
return 0;

To compile it, we run make inside the nanocourse directory and then execute the binary.


The output should be Hello world.

Adding a new source file to your project

All files inside the source directory that end with cpp are automatically compiled when running make.