N interpreter for C?


I was wondering if there is something like an interpreter for C. That is, in a Linux terminal I can type in "python" and then code in that interpreter. (I'm not sure interpreter the right word). This is really helpful for testing different things out and I'm curious if something similar exists for C. Though I doubt it. The only thing I can think of that would do it would be the C shell…

Best Solution

There are many - if you narrow down the scope of your question we might be able to suggest some specific to your needs.

A notable interpreter is "Ch: A C/C++ Interpreter for Script Computing" detailed in Dr. Dobbs:

Ch is a complete C interpreter that supports all language features and standard libraries of the ISO C90 Standard, but extends C with many high-level features such as string type and computational arrays as first-class objects.

Ch standard is freeware but not open source. Only Ch professional has the plotting capabilities and other features one might want.

I've never looked at this before, but having a c interpreter on hand sounds very useful, and something I will likely add to my toolset. Thanks for the question!


Just found out that one of my favorite compilers, TCC, will execute C scripts:

It also handles C script files (just add the shebang line "#!/usr/local/bin/tcc -run" to the first line of your C source code file on Linux to have it executed directly.

TCC can read C source code from standard input when '-' is used in place of 'infile'. Example:

echo 'main(){puts("hello");}' | tcc -run -