how do I create an executable to run on a machine - same platform - but no devel-stuff

Posted on 2011-03-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a small c-program and would like it to run on a similar platform as mine (OS X, 10.6)  but on the customer server there's no xcode installed so I can't compile the program on his computer. Can I compile it on mine where I have all the headers in a way where the headers will be included in the executable out-file? So say references to time.h, string.h etc will work?

Question by:ventumsolve
LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 35094864
Hi ventum,

If you compile and link the program into a self-contained executable, it should run just fine on any computer running the same operating system.

If the program uses shared libraries, dll files, etc., then you might have to do some more work.  But unless you specifically code to these shared libraries you won't be using them.

Just compile the program, run the executable (test it), and copy it to the other computer.

Good Luck,
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Martin_J_Parker earned 250 total points
ID: 35094904
If you can, link the program statically so that it won't use any dynamic libraries.  That way you won't have anything missing at the client end.  A lot of compilers have a -static or -Bstatic option to allow you to do that.


Author Comment

ID: 35095031
Apparently the static option will not work on mac 10.6. So there's no way around installing xcode I guess?

The man gcc says:
           On systems that support dynamic linking, this prevents linking
           with the shared libraries.  On other systems, this option has no

           This option will not work on Mac OS X unless all libraries
           (including libgcc.a) have also been compiled with -static.
           Since neither a static version of libSystem.dylib nor crt0.o are
           provided, this option is not useful to most people.

[Webinar] Disaster Recovery and Cloud Management

Learn from Unigma and CloudBerry industry veterans which providers are best for certain use cases and how to lower cloud costs, how to grow your Managed Services practice in IaaS clouds, and how to utilize public cloud for Disaster Recovery

LVL 45

Assisted Solution

Kdo earned 125 total points
ID: 35095065
Hi ventum,

That basically means that you're going to have to just test it.

My expectation is that the shared libraries will be on each system to that the program should run fine.  You won't even know that the shared libraries are involved.


Assisted Solution

ssnkumar earned 125 total points
ID: 35104959
ventumsolve> So say references to time.h, string.h etc will work?
Yes. You will be including these files using #include directive.
This is just like a preprocessor directive and hence all the contents of time.h, string.h, etc will be added to your .c file itself before compilation.
So, you don't need to have time.h, string.h, etc on the computer where you will be executing this code.

But, if you are specifying any libraries during compilation (compiler will make use of some standard libraries and they should be there in the target computer also by default), you will have to make sure that they are present in the target computer also.

If you are not specifying any libraries during compilation, then no need to worry.
Your code should run without any problem on the destination computer also.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35133202
Meanwhile .. customer installed xcode so the problem sort of disapeared. However .. I never got a working executable. Perhabs because target server was 10.5 whereas source was 10.6. Was playing with CFLAGS= -mmacosx-version-min=10.5 when customers notification about xcode saved my day.

Featured Post

Is Your Active Directory as Secure as You Think?

More than 75% of all records are compromised because of the loss or theft of a privileged credential. Experts have been exploring Active Directory infrastructure to identify key threats and establish best practices for keeping data safe. Attend this month’s webinar to learn more.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

This tutorial is posted by Aaron Wojnowski, administrator at  To view more iPhone tutorials, visit This is a very simple tutorial on finding the user's current location easily. In this tutorial, you will learn ho…
Windows programmers of the C/C++ variety, how many of you realise that since Window 9x Microsoft has been lying to you about what constitutes Unicode ( They will have you believe that Unicode requires you to use…
The goal of this video is to provide viewers with basic examples to understand opening and reading files in the C programming language.
The goal of this video is to provide viewers with basic examples to understand and use switch statements in the C programming language.

910 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

17 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now