NetBeans is a free start-of-the-art IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for developing applications in Java, C, C++ & PHP languages. There are several other free IDEs like Eclipse, Visual C++ Express, JGRASP, BlueJ, so on. You are welcome to try them on your own as well. Based on my limited experience with a few IDEs, I believe NetBeans is one of the best IDEs in the marketplace.


Any good IDE has a built-in text editor that has lots of sophisticated features like auto-formatting, incremental compilation, good integration with compiler and debugger, so on. IDE takes care of lot of mundane things and helps the programmer to focus on logic and programming. In simple words, good IDE can be the difference between cryptic & painful learning vs. intuitive & enjoyable learning of a programming language.


Here are the steps to install NetBeans IDE in Windows PC. Actual software applications depend on whether reasonably new JDK is already installed in your PC & whether you are going to program in Java or C/C++ or both.


If you are planning to code in Java, C and C++, you will need to download & install

·         NetBeans plus JDK Bundle: - look for "JDK 7u5 with NetBeans 7.1.2"

·         C++ plug-in : Run NetBeans, select Plugins under Toos menu, look for C/C++ plugin & install it.

·         C++ compiler:


On the other hand, if you are strictly a Java programmer, NetBeans plus JDK Bundle alone will do. If you are strictly C/C++ programmer, following need to be installed.

·         Standalone JDK:

·         NetBeans C/C++ Download Bundle:

·         C++ compiler:


You may run into problems with installing "JDK 7u5 with NetBeans 7.1.2" bundle if that JDK is already installed in your PC. In that case, abandon installing "JDK with NetBeans" bundle, go to NetBeans site and download NetBeans "Java SE" download bundle instead.


A few screen-shots to help with Download & Installation:


"Stand-alone JDK" or "JDK with NetBeans" bundle in Java website:


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Java SE Downloads
Java SE Support
Java SE Advanced & Sude Latest Release Next Release (Early Access) Embedded Use Previous Releases
Java Embedded
Java DB
Web Tier
Java Card
Java 1V
New to Java
Java Maoazine
JDK 7u3 + Java EE




JDK download options:


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Java SE Development Kit 7u5
You must accept the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for Java SE to download this
Thank you for accepting the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for Java SE;
you may now download this software.
Product File Description rile Size Download
Linux x86
64.1 MB
Linux x86
79.1 MB
• jdk-7u5-linux-i586.tar.qz
Linux x64
64.93 MB
Linux x64
77.67 MB
97.26 MB
Solaris x86
137.39 v1B
9 jdk-7u5-solaris-i586.tar.Z
Solaris x86
82.01 MB
Solaris SPARC
140.27 MB
Solaris SPARC
86.7 MB
Solaris SPARC 64-bit
16.45 IviB
! jdk-7u5-solaris-sparcv9.tar.Z
Solaris SPARC 64-bit
12.55 MB
Solaris x64
14.39 MB
Solaris x64
9.54 MB
‘.....) Windows x86
Windows x64
87.95 M B
92.36 MB


NetBeans: Java SE download bundle & C/C++ download bundle:


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IDE I English
Supported technologies *
LA) NetBeans Platform SDK
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4 Java ME
4 Java CardTM 3 Connected
A C/c++
4.. PHP
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tAi GlassFish Server Open Source Edition
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Email address (optional):
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L Monthly ri Weekly
Lj NetBeans can contad me at this address
vi Platform: IWindows
Note: Greyed out technologies are not supported for this platforrr
NetBeans IDE Download Bundles
Free, 261 MB


Once JDK and NetBeans Java SE combination is installed, we can start programming in Java!


CYGWIN C/C++ compiler tools (gdb & make not shown here, but need to be included too):


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Select packages to install


Open NetBeans, under Tools menu, click on Plugins. Then select C/C++ and click on Install button in the bottom:


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Available Plugins(99) Downloaded_j Installed (24) , Settngs ___________
L Reload Catalog 1 Search:
Install Name Category V Source
Netßeans: Statusline Clock Base IDE a
Restart IDE Base IDE U Certified Plugin
Embedded Browser UI - XUL ... Base IDE =
JIRA Base IDE b.) Versiom
!! Spellchecker German Dictiona... Base IDE Date: 4/10/12
ri Spellchecker Spanish Dictiona... Base IDE Source Netheans Distribution
jfl Spellchecker French Dictionaries Base IDE Homepaqe ht://www.netbeans.orgi
fl Quick File Chooser Base IDE
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fl Bundled Subversion Client für... Bridges O C/C++ support, induding editing, projects, GDB debugger and make. There is
ii C/C++ C/c++ a basic support for Fortran and Assembler (x86/64, SPARC)
Gdbserver C/C++
fl Sakila Sample Database Database LU
XSLT Debugger Debugging
Release Files View Developing N...
Module Manager Developing N...
Cobertura Module Test Cove... Developing N... 13
(fl Netßeans API Documentation Developing N... b)
!fl Netßeans Prniect Metadata I... Developing N...  ___________________
[ Install J 1 plugin selected, 3MB
[ Close j [ Help j


Now, we need to configure C++ tools within NetBeans. Click on Options under Tools menu, click on C/C++. Then, click on Add button in bottom-left corner of the window. Once "Add New Tool Collection" button appears, click on Browse, and select "C:\cygwin\bin" as the base directory and say OK.


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Tool Collection Family:
Encoding: UTF-8
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[ Versions.,. ] [__Restore_Defaults__]
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Development Host:
doolrojdnsCaAsgstance HigNighting [cebuggwig Optons Other
Tool Collection:
Q) Add New Tool Collection
Enter the base directory, the family, and the name of the new tool collection.
C: ygvdn’in
[__Edit... ]
Base Directory:
Tool Collection Name:
[ Browse
[ Add... ] [ Duplicate... ]
Remove__j [ Default j
[__ OK__J [__Cancel__j
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Various tools will be automatically data-filled based on the base directory:


Description: Machine generated alternative text: cft++ Miscellaneous
Debugging Options Other _____________
Development Host: localhost [__Edit... ]
Tool Collection: ______ . . . r -‘
Family: Cygwin coding: 
Base Directory: C:ygwin’in
C Compder: c:’ygwin’in”cc.exe  [ ... j
C++ Compder: [3:’çygwinin’g++.exe j__...__]
FortranCompiler: J [ ... j
Assembler: jygwin’in\as.exe _________ [ ... j
Make Command: C:’çygwinJ,inake.exe ....J 1  1
Debugger Command: C:’çygwinindb.exe _______ [ ... ]
QMake Command: EJ [ ... j
CMake Command: 1 [ ... ]


Now, we are all set to work on C/C++ programs using NetBeans IDE! shows the simple steps how to write Java programs in NetBeans. shows the steps for building C/C++ programs in NetBeans.