Thursday 25 June 2020

Install & configure Atom for C/C++ learning.

(Written in English, since I've just got Grammarly installed and curious to see how it works). 

Since I came to college, many friends have asked me: "what IDE is that? looks so cool/nice/awesome, how can I install it?". So I decided to write this small (but to be honest, not short) tutorial, digging in how to install Atom text-editor, customise and install further extensions for C/C++ learning. 

Note that this is not a complete, detailed tutorial. I just give you some YouTube and other pages link, then you'll do steps yourself since other tutorials are more detailed than what I can write. 

Let's get started. 

The reason why I choose Atom 

Atom installation is quite simple, but the configuration to make it supports C/C++ is some kind of complex itself. 

I choose Atom in a coincidence. Before learning C++, I was a PHP/JavaScript developer. At that time, I used Sublime Text 3 (of course, without a license). Then, I've to choose for another editor, which is free and easy to use, also have packages support PHP and have a nice-looking theme. Randomly, a guy I watched on YouTube was using Atom, and yes, I tried and fall in love with it. 

First, let's dig into installing. 

Installing Atom. 

This step is actually very simple, just like how you install other software: go to the homepage, download the installation file, run the installation file, wait for a couple of minutes and boom, done. 

Maybe you missed this fact: Atom is an open-source project, a.k.a you can find the source code of Atom on GitHub. Further, Atom is made by GitHub. So, don't hesitate to have a look at the Atom project on GitHub and join the Atom community. 

Atom homepage:
Atom project on GitHub:

After installation, we'll move on to customise Atom. 


When you got to Atom project page on GitHub, you'll see the description line: "The hackable text editor". That tells everything: you can "hack" Atom aka have some coding stuff to make Atom become what you want, using CSS.

I'm not currently doing any Atom customising stuff, except having some CSS overwritten to increase line-spacing. Here's how I did it: 

In Settings (usually can be open with `Ctrl + <` hotkey), choose Open Config Folder. 

In `style.less`, customise your style with CSS. 

Notice that this is not Atom's default theme. Here's what I'm using: 
- UI: atom-material-UI
- Syntax: atom-material-syntax
- Font: Fira Code
- Icons: file-icon

For installation: each plugin has their own Installation section, you can have a look at them to find out more. Since these tutorials are so detailed, I'll not go further on this.

With Atom customisation, you can go further by have a glance at this Atom Flight Manual:

So, installed and customised, but we're installing Atom for C/C++ developing. So, 

C/C++ development. 

Now we get into the main problem. As I've mentioned above, Atom is a text editor, unlike Visual Studio having C/C++ compiler integrated, you must install a third-party compiler to compile and run C/C++ code. 

My settings: 
For compiler installation, look at this video. Packages installation is the same as installing themes. 

At here, congrats! You've now joined the Atom C/C++ community! 


As I've said at the beginning, this post is mostly about links and YouTube videos. If I wrote a tutorial, it will not as detail as those existing tutorial out there. So linking them is the best way here. Notice that this is the configuration for learning only. For professional C/C++ development, you should use a proper IDE (e.g Visual Studio, Eclipse, ..etc).

Hope the ones who are asking "what is your text editor, Quan?" can found something useful in this post. 


(This post got 99pts in Grammarly, with 4 premium alerts on Improper Formatting, Word Choice, Incomplete Sentences and Closing Punctuation). 


  1. Thanks for this blog post brother. It helped me today! I successfully wrote and compiled code in Linux!

    Also, could you please share your blogger theme if you don't mind me asking? It also would be a great help :)

    1. I use Contempo with black (#1f1f1f) background color, white text and bio disabled :)


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