Top 50 Awesome List


Programming Languages  2 years ago  2.6k
Continuing the development of awesome-c list on GitHub
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Oct 17th, 2019

Build Systems

  • aimake - Build tool designed to avoid complex configurations. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Autoconf - Extensible package of M4 macros that produce shell scripts to automatically configure software source code packages. Part of the Autotools. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Automake - Tool for automatically generating files compliant with the GNU Coding Standards. Requires the use of Autoconf. Part of the Autotools. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Libtool - Generic library support script. Part of the Autotools. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Compilers

  • GCC - Provides a C compiler as part of its compiler set. Supports C11 and OpenMP. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Database

  • BerkeleyDB - Library for a high-performance embedded database for key-value data. GNU AGPLv3
  • recutils - Set of tools and a C library for accessing human-editable, plaintext database files called recfiles. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Editors

  • Code::Blocks - Extensible, configurable IDE supporting C. GNU GPL3
  • Game Programming


  • Spearmint - Engine designed for FPS games. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Game Programming


  • RetroArch - The reference frontend for libretro. GNU GPL3
  • Graphics

  • libxmi - Function library for rasterizing 2D vector graphics. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Memory Allocators

  • Hoard - A Fast, Scalable, and Memory-efficient Malloc for Linux, Windows, Mac, and Solaris. GNU GPL2
  • nedmalloc - An EXTREMELY FAST portable thread caching malloc(3) implementation written in C. GNU GPL2
  • Networking and Internet

  • GNU adns - Advanced, easy-to-use, asynch-capable DNS client library and utilities. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GNU SASL - Implementation of the Simple Authentication and Security Layer and a few common SASL mechanism. GNU GPL3 or later
  • libgss - Generic Security Service. GNU GPL3 or later
  • libhttpd - Library to add basic web server capabilities to an application or embedded device. GNU GPL2
  • libidn - Implementation of the Stringprep, Punycode and IDNA specifications. GNU GPL3 or later
  • libsagui - Sagui is a cross-platform C library which helps to develop web servers or frameworks. GNU LGPL3
  • Tox - Communication platform, designed to be a Skype-killer. GNU GPL3
  • Numerical

  • Cuba - Library for multidimensional numerical integration. GNU LGPLv3
  • GLPK - GNU Linear Programming Kit; a package designed for solving large-scale linear programming, mixed integer programming and other related problems. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GMP - GNU Multple Precision Arithmetic Library; a library for arbitrary-precision arithmetic. GNU GPL2.1 and GNU LGPLv3
  • GNU MPC - Library for complex number arithmetic. GNU LGPL3 or later
  • GNU MPFR - Library for arbitrary-precision floating-point arithmetic. GNU LGPL3 or later or GNU LGPL2.1 or later (until version 2.4.x)
  • GNU MPRIA - Portable mathematics library for multi-precision rational interval arithmetic. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GSL - The GNU Scientific Library; a sophisticated numerical library. GNU GPL3
  • Parallel Programming

  • pth - Portable implementation for non-preemptive priority-based scheduling for multiple threads of execution. GNU GPL3 or later
  • SLEPc - Software library for the solution of large, sparse eigenvalue problems on parallel computers. GNU LGPL3
  • Parsers

  • libconfinistars64 - Yet another INI parser. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Regex

  • regexp4stars8 - Simple and complete implementation of regular expressions with its own sintax. GNU GPL3 or later
  • String Manipulation

  • libunistring - Library for manipulating Unicode strings in C. GNU LGPL3
  • libgiconv - Text conversion library. GNU LGPL2.1 (library) or GNU GPL3 (*iconv* program)
  • Text Editor Extensions


  • CEDET - Collection of Emacs Development Environment Tools; designed to provide IDE-like features to Emacs. Built-in. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Flycheckstars2.1k - Modern syntax checking. For C, it can use either GCC or Clang as a back-end. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Yasnippetstars2.4k - Template system, with C templates for common code snippets. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Text Editor Extensions


  • YouCompleteMe - Code completion engine for Vim. GNU GPL3
  • Tools

  • Artistic Style - Fast and small automatic source code formatter that supports C. GNU LGPL3
  • Complexity - Tool for measuring the complexity of C source code. GNU GPL3 or later
  • CScout - Source code analyzer and refactoring browser for collections of C programs. GNU GPL3
  • DDD - Graphical front-end for a range of command-line debuggers. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GDB - The GNU Project debugger; a debugger for C. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GNU Global - Source code tagging tool which works with C. GNU GPL3
  • gprof - Performance analysis tool. Part of GNU binutils. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Highlight - Converts source code to formatted text with nice highlighting. GNU GPL3
  • indent - Formats C source code automatically to make it easier to read. Also converts from one style of source to another. GNU GPLv3 or later
  • Utilities

  • bfd - Library for manipulating binary object files. Part of GNU binutils. GNU GPL3 or later
  • cf4ocl - The C Framework for OpenCL; a cross-platform object-oriented framework for developing and benchmarking OpenCL projects. GNU LGPL3 (library) or GNU GPL3 (project code)
  • gjrand - Library of random-number generation routines. GNU GPL2.1 or GNU GPLv3
  • GNU FreeIPMI - In-band and out-of-band IPMI implementation. GNU GPL3
  • GNU gperf - Perfect hash function generator, given a list of strings. Outputs C code. GNU GPL3 or later
  • GNU Libffcall - Collection of libraries for building foreign function interfaces. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Kitsune - Efficient, general-purpose framework for dynamic software updating. GNU LGPL3 or later
  • libavl - Library containing a range of self-balancing binary trees. GNU GPL3 or later
  • libnfcstars1.1k - Platform-independent Near-Field Communication library. GNU LGPL3
  • ncurses - Coloured terminal UI library. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Oct 5th, 2019

    Build Systems

  • Meson - Extremely fast, user-friendly build system. Based on Ninja. Apache 2.0
  • Buck - Build system created and used by Facebook. Apache 2.0
  • Compilers

  • ccache - Compiler cache designed to speedup recompilation. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Utilities

  • CommonMarkstars4.5k - C implementation of the CommonMark spec. Various Licenses
  • Oct 1st, 2019


  • C Macro Collectionsstars257 - Header only, macro generated, generic and type-safe Collections in C. MIT
  • Mar 26th, 2019

    Build Systems

  • Qbs - Modern build tool for software projects. LGPL3
  • xmake - Cross-platform build utility based on lua. Apache 2.0
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • What a C programmer should know about memory
  • Utilities

  • rabbitmq-cstars1.5k - Client library for RabbitMQ. Expat
  • libPhenomstars1.7k - Deprecated, here for archival purposes. Eventing framework for building high-scalability and high-performance systems. Apache 2.0
  • alsa-lib - Userspace library to interact with ALSA. LGPL2.1
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • Tutorial on pointers
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials

    Self-study courses

  • C Programming Language Certified Associate preparation course
  • String Manipulation

  • utf8.hstars1.1k - Single header utf8 string functions. Unlicense
  • XML

  • mini-xmlstars299 - Small XML reading and writing library. No dependencies aside from C standard library. Apache 2.0 with exceptions
  • Mar 25th, 2019


  • t1hastars324 - Fast Positive Hash library. zlib
  • Dec 28th, 2018


  • sregexstars575 - Non-backtracking NFA/DFA-based Perl-compatible regex engine library. 3-clause BSD
  • Dec 27th, 2018

    Game Programming


  • raylib - Simple and easy-to-use library to learn videogames programming. zlib
  • Memory Allocators

  • rpmallocstars1.4k - Cross platform, lock-free memory allocator. Public Domain
  • String Manipulation

  • utf8procstars720 - Small, clean library for processing UTF-8 Unicode data. License
  • Dec 3rd, 2018

    Documentation Generation

  • Doxygen - The de-facto standard tool for generating C documentation from annotated sources. Can generate a large range of formats. GNU GPL2.1
  • Game Programming


  • GLFW - Multi-platform library for creating windows with OpenGL contexts. zlib
  • Nov 27th, 2018

    Networking and Internet

  • MQTT-Cstars415 - Portable MQTT C client for embedded systems and PCs alike. MIT
  • Nov 23rd, 2018


  • igraph - Library for creating and manipulating large graphs. GNU GPL2
  • Nov 3rd, 2018


  • CDFLIB - Library with routines to evaluate cumulative density functions fo a variety of standard probability distributions. Also can compute one parameter of the CDF given the others. (No license given)
  • PROB - Library that handles various discrete and continuous probability density functions. GNU LGPL3
  • Compression

  • pixzstars560 - Pixz (pronounced pixie) is a parallel, indexing version of xz. 2-clause BSD
  • Testing

  • Check - Unit testing framework for C. GNU LGPL2.1
  • Oct 7th, 2018

    Graphical User Interface

  • LCUIstars3.6k - Small C library for building user interfaces with C, XML and CSS. MIT
  • Networking and Internet

  • h2ostars9.7k - Optimized HTTP/1, HTTP/2 high performance server/library. MIT
  • Numerical

  • PETSc - Suite of data structures and routines for scalable parallel solution of scientific applications modelled by partial differential equations. FreeBSD
  • cmathl - Pure-C Math library with a great variety of mathematical functions and CMake build support. Seeks to be close to C89/C90 compliant for portability. MIT
  • Sep 12th, 2018

    Embedded Systems


  • RIOT OS - Real-time multi-threading operating system that supports a range of devices that are typically found in the Internet of Things. LGPL-2.1
  • Aug 26th, 2018


  • Tinyexprstars1k - Tiny recursive-descent parser, compiler and evaluation engine for simple mathematical expressions. zlib
  • Genannstars1.2k - Simple neural network library in C. Zlib
  • gperftoolsstars6.4k - Collection of utilities for measuring and improving performance. 3-clause BSD
  • kdtreestars316 - Simple library for working with KD-trees. 3-clause BSD
  • libbsonstars334 - BSON utility library. Apache 2.0
  • libCello - Library introducing higher-level programming to C. 3-clause BSD
  • cpu_featuresstars1.9k - A cross platform C99 library to get cpu features at runtime. Apache 2.0
  • pblogstars25 - Small, low overhead, structured logging library intended for logging formware events.Apache 2.0
  • libgit2 - Pure C implementation of Git. GNU GPL2 only, with a linking exception
  • Build Systems

  • Ninjastars7.5k - Small, simple build system with a focus on speed. Apache 2.0
  • Bazel - Build system for various operating systems and targets. Apache 2.0
  • Premakestars2.2k - Build script generator for toolsets like Visual Studio, Xcode, or GNU Make. 3-clause BSD
  • SCons - An easier, more reliable and faster way to build software. MIT
  • Compression

  • libzip - A C library for reading, creating, and modifying zip archives. 3-clause BSD
  • zlib - Massively-spiffy yet delicately-unobtrusive compression library. 3-clause BSD
  • bzip2 - Patent free, high quality data compressor. 3-clause BSD
  • zstd - Fast real-time compression algorithm 3-clause BSD
  • Crypto

  • mbed TLS - Another crypto implementation for C. Apache 2.0
  • Database

  • Hiredisstars5.1k - Minimalistic client library for Redis. 3-clause BSD
  • MariaDB - Robust, scalable and reliable SQL server, designed to be a drop-in replacement for MySQL. 3-clause BSD
  • mongo-c-driver - High-performance client library for MongoDB. Apache 2.0
  • Redis - Advanced key-value store. 3-clause BSD
  • LMDBstars1.9k - Ultra-fast, ultra-compact key-value embedded data store. OpenLDAP License
  • SQLite - Self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine with a C interface. Public Domain
  • Documentation Generation

  • DocOnce - Modestly-tagged markup language that can be used to generate a range of formats. 3-clause BSD
  • Embedded Systems


  • Zephyr Project - Scalable real-time RTOS supporting multiple hardware architectures, optimized for resource constrained devices. Apache 2.0
  • Frameworks

  • APR - Apache Portable Runtime; another library of cross-platform utility functions. Apache 2.0
  • libU - Small library of basic utilities, including memory allocation, string manipulation and logging. 3-clause BSD
  • libsrt - Safe Real-Time library for C. 3-clause BSD
  • Graphics

  • mozjpegstars4.7k - Improved JPEG encoder. 3-clause BSD
  • Cairo -2D graphics library. GNU LGPL2.1 or MPLv1.1
  • Hashing

  • jwHashstars212 - Fast hashtable implementation. Apache 2.0
  • xxHash - Extremely fast non-cryptographic hash algorithm. 2-clause BSD
  • Image Processing

  • libccv - Modern Computer Vision Library. 3-clause BSD
  • Multimedia

  • lodepng - Simple PNG image decoder and encoder, requiring no other dependencies. 3-clause BSD
  • Networking and Internet

  • gumbo-parserstars5k - HTML5 parsing library in C99. Apache 2.0
  • ldns - Library to simplify DNS programming. 3-clause BSD
  • LibEtPan - Mail library providing an efficient network for IMAP, SMTP, POP and NNTP. 3-clause BSD
  • libevent - Event loop replacement for network servers. 3-clause BSD
  • s2nstars4k - C99 implementation of the TLS/SSL protocols, designed to be simple, fast and with security as a priority. Apache 2.0
  • librgstars914 - Library for building simple and elegant cross-platform mmo client-server solutions. Apache 2.0
  • Networking and Internet

    Web Frameworks

  • onion - C library to create simple HTTP servers and Web Applications. Apache 2.0
  • duda - Duda I/O is an event-driven and high performant web services framework written in C. Apache 2.0
  • Numerical

  • ATLAS - Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software. 3-clause BSD
  • KISS FFT - Very simple fast Fourier transform library. 3-clause BSD
  • LAPACKE - C interface to LAPACK. 3-clause BSD
  • Yeppp! - Very fast, SIMD-optimized mathematical library. 3-clause BSD
  • Parallel Programming

  • OpenMPIstars1.4k - Message passing interface implementation. 3-clause BSD
  • OpenMP - Set of C pragmas designed to allow for easy parallelization of code. 3-clause BSD
  • Regex

  • PCRE - Implementation of regexes identical to that of Perl 5. 3-clause BSD
  • Serialization

  • binnstars337 - Binary serialization format meant to be compact, fast and easy-to-use. Apache 2.0
  • libavro - C implementation of the Avro data serialization system. Apache 2.0
  • Standard Libraries

  • Bionicstars520 - Google's C standard library, developed for Android. 3-clause BSD
  • String Manipulation

  • bstrlib - The Better String Library. 3-clause BSD and GNU GPL2.1
  • smazstars940 - Efficient string compression library. 3-clause BSD
  • Testing

  • cmocka - Unit testing framework with support for mock objects. Apache 2.0
  • Criterion - KISS, non-intrusive C test framework. Expat
  • Tools

  • address-sanitizerstars7.4k - Fast memory error detector. Apache 2.0
  • GMSL - GNU Make Standard Library; a collection of additional functionality for GNU Make. 3-clause BSD
  • include-what-you-usestars2.6k - Helps find unecessary inclusions and make suggestions for fixing them. Based on LLVM/Clang (and only works with it). NCSA
  • unifdef - Removes #ifdef and #if directives with their delimited text without touching any other part of the file. 3-clause BSD and FreeBSD
  • CBMC - C Bounded Model Checker; a tool for verification of array bounds, pointer safety and user-specified assertions. Original BSD
  • Compilers

  • Clang - C compiler for LLVM. Supports C11. NCSA
  • Compiler libraries

  • yasm - Yasm Modular Assembler Project. 2-clause BSD
  • Editors

  • Eclipse - IDE written in Java. EPL
  • Game Programming


  • Allegro - Cross-platform, video game development and multimedia library. zlib
  • Parsers

  • libYAML - YAML 1.1 parser and emitter. Expat
  • May 11th, 2018


  • CompCert - Fully-verified C compiler. Supports almost all of C89. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • Intel SPMD - Compiler for a variant of the C language, for single program, multiple data programming. Various licenses
  • Compression

  • lz4 - Fast Compression algorithm.
  • quicklz - Fast compression library. GNU GPL2.1
  • Crypto

  • libgcrypt - General-purpose cryptography library, with a range of available ciphers. GNU LGPL2.1or later (code) and GNU GPL2.1 or later (manual and tools)
  • libsodium - Modern and easy-to-use crypto library. Expat
  • libtomcrypt - Fairly comprehensive, modular and portable cryptographic toolkit. Public Domain
  • Database

  • sophia - Modern, embeddable key-value database. FreeBSD
  • Editors

  • Qt Creator - Cross-platform IDE written with C++ and Qt, part of the Qt SDK. Supports Clang Code Model. GNU GPL3 with Qt exception
  • Embedded Systems


  • Amazon FreeRTOS - RTOS for microcontrollers that makes small, low-power edge devices easy to program. MIT
  • Contiki - Connect low-cost, low power microcontrollers to the Internet. 3-clause BSD
  • Frameworks

  • C Algorithms - Collection of common algorithms and data structures for C. ISC
  • EFL - Large collection of useful data structures and functions.
  • qlibc - Simple and powerful C library, designed as a replacement for GLib while focusing on being small and light. qLib license (similar to FreeBSD)
  • Game Programming


  • ioquake3 - The Quake3 engine, freed at last. GNU GPL2.1
  • Orx - Portable, lightweight, plugin-based, data-driven, 2D-oriented game engine. zlib
  • Game Programming


  • Chipmunk2D - Fast and lightweight 2D game physics library. Expat
  • FreeGLUT - Alternative to the OpenGL Utility Toolkit. Allows the creation and management of windows with OpenGL contexts. X11
  • libao - Cross-platform audio library with a wide variety of outputs. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • SDL and SDL2 - Cross-platform development library designed to provide low-level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick and graphics hardware via OpenGL. SDL2 is the most current version. zlib
  • Generic Programming

  • klib - Small and lightweight implementations of common algorithms and data structures. MIT
  • JSON

  • WJElement - Advanced JSON manipulation library, with support for JSON Schema. LGPL, any version
  • Memory Allocators

  • jemalloc - General purpose malloc(3) implementation that emphasizes fragmentation avoidance and scalable concurrency support, commonly used in production systems. FreeBSD
  • Multimedia

  • libmpv - Music-playing library. Compile with ./waf configure --disable-cplayer --enable-libmpv-shared to not have the music player. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • libsoundio - Library for cross-platform, real-time audio input and output. Has a range of back-ends. Expat
  • Networking and Internet

  • czmq - High-level binding for ZeroMQ. MPL2.0
  • libuv - Cross-platform asynchronous I/O. Expat
  • lwan - Experimental, scalable, high-performance HTTP server. GNU GPL2.1
  • mongoose - Embedded web server for C. GNU GPL2.1
  • Networking and Internet

    Web Frameworks

  • balde - Microframework for C based on GLib. GNU LGPLv2.1
  • kore - Easy to use, scalable and secure web application framework for writing web APIs in C.
  • klone - KLone is a fully-featured, multiplatform, web application development framework.
  • Numerical

  • apophenia - Library for statistical and scientific computing. GNU GPL2.1
  • Parallel Programming

  • ck - Concurrency primitives, safe memory reclamation mechanisms and non-blocking data structures. FreeBSD
  • libdill - Structured concurrency in C. X11
  • String Manipulation

  • shoco - Compressor for small text strings. Expat
  • Testing

  • CHEAT - Very simple unit testing framework. FreeBSD
  • CMock - Mock/stub generator for C. Expat
  • Unity - Simple unit testing framework for C. Expat
  • Tools

  • rr - Debugger that records non-deterministic executions to allow for deterministic debugging. FreeBSD
  • Utilities

  • libusb - Generic access to USB devices. LGPL2.1
  • Apr 17th, 2018

    Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • 8 gdb tricks you should know
  • Compression

  • snappystars5k - Fast compression library (implementation in C++, native bindings to C).
  • lzo - Very fast data compression library. GNU GPL2.1
  • brotlistars10.6k - Generic lossless compression algorithm based on LZ77, Huffman coding and 2nd order context modelling MIT
  • Hashing

  • murmurstars1.9k - C implementation of MurMur Hashing. Public Domain
  • libcrcstars344 - Multi platform CRC library. MIT
  • Networking and Internet

  • dyadstars1.3k - Asynchronous networking library. MIT
  • asnlc - Compiler of ASN.1 specifications into C source code. FreeBSD
  • GnuTLS - Secure communication library, implementing SSL, TLS and DTLS. GNU LGPL2.1 or later
  • http-parserstars5.9k - HTTP request/response parser. Expat
  • libcurl - Client-side URL transfer library, supporting a wide range of formats. curl license
  • libev - Yet another event loop. FreeBSD
  • libmicrohttpd - Small C library that makes it easy to run an HTTP server as part of another application. GNU LGPL2.1 or later
  • libvldmailstars41 - Your friendly e-mail address validation library. WTFPLv2
  • nanomsgstars5.3k - C-based implementation of ZeroMQ. Expat
  • OpenSSL - Implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols, and also includes a cryptography library. Dual Licensed under the OpenSSL License and the SSLeay License
  • oSip - SIP implementation in C without additional dependencies. GNU LGPLv2.1 or later
  • pigstars409 - Linux packet crafting tool. GPL2
  • socket99stars126 - C99 wrapper for the BSD sockets API. ISC
  • twitcstars25 - Mini C library for interacting with the Twitter OAuth API. Expat
  • Parsers

  • iniparserstars740 - Parser for .ini files. Expat
  • hammerstars250 - Parser combinators for binary formats. GNU GPL2.1
  • mpcstars2.2k - Parser combinator library. FreeBSD
  • libuclstars1.4k - Universal configuration library parser. FreeBSD
  • Parallel Programming

  • pthreads - The POSIX thread library.
  • cchan - Small library for channel constructs for inter-thread communication. Public Domain
  • mill - Go-style concurrency in C. X11
  • MPICH - Another implementation of MPI. MPICH licence
  • TinyCThread - Portable, small implementation of the C11 threads API. zlib
  • Serialization

  • xdr - External Data Representation; a standard for data serialization.
  • c-capnprotostars67 - Implementation of the Cap'n Proto serialization protocol. Expat
  • cmpstars265 - Implementation of the MessagePack serialization protocol. Expat
  • mpackstars308 - Another implementation of the MessagePack serialization protocol. Expat
  • netstring-cstars3 - Netstring encoder and decoder. Public Domain
  • protobuf-cstars1.9k - Implementation of Google Protocol Buffer in C. FreeBSD
  • Source Code Collections

  • CCAN - Modelled after Perl's CPAN, this is a big collection of C code that does stuff. The full list is here.
  • gnulib - Collection of common GNU code.
  • clibstars3.9k - Something of a package manager for C. Comes with a bunch of libraries of its own. Expat
  • libdjb - Collection of libraries doing various things. (Apparently) Public Domain
  • Tools

  • cinclude2dot - Graphs include dependencies in a C project using Graphviz. Any GNU GPL version (due to underspecification in the file)
  • biicode - Modern dependency manager for C. Expat
  • cstars1.9k - Compile and execute C "scripts" in one go on the command line. Also has shebang support. Expat
  • c99shstars96 - Run C files using hash-bang. FreeBSD
  • cdecl - Online service to translate C declarations into English and vice versa. Public Domain
  • Glade - RAD tool to enable quick development of GTK+ GUIs. GNU GPL2.1
  • tup - Very fast, file-based, cross-platform build system. GNU GPL2.1
  • Valgrind - Range of dynamic analysis tools, including a leak checker. GNU GPL2.1
  • Build Systems

  • CMake - Tools for cross-platform building, testing, and packaging. 3-clause BSD
  • Jam - Build system, designed to be easier than make. Understands C build rules implicitly. Jam License
  • qmake - Build system included with the Qt Framework. GNU GPL3 with Qt Exception
  • Compilers

  • PCC - Venerable C compiler. Supports C99. Various free licenses
  • TCC - Tiny C Compiler; a small, fast C compiler. Supports C99 (except complex types). GNU LGPL2.1
  • Crypto

  • GnuTLS - Secure communication library, implementing SSL, TLS and DTLS. GNU LGPL2.1 or later
  • OpenSSL - Implementation of the SSL and TLS protocols, and also includes a cryptography library. Dual Licensed under the OpenSSL License and the SSLeay License
  • libressl - Modernized fork of OpenSSL. Various Licenses
  • Database

  • PostgreSQL - Powerful object-relational database system. PostgreSQL licence
  • UnQLite - Self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional NoSQL engine with a C interface. FreeBSD
  • Documentation Generation

  • Cxref - Generates documentation of C programs in either LaTeX, HTML, RTF or SGML. GNU GPL2.1
  • GTK-Doc - Tool for generating C documentation from annotated sources. Has support for the Autotools. GNU GPL2.1 (code) or GNU FDL1.1
  • Editors

  • Anjuta DevStudio - The GNOME IDE. GNU GPL2.1
  • Atom - Hackable text editor for the 21st century. MIT
  • CodeLite - Cross-platform IDE. GNU GPL2.1
  • Geany - Very small and fast IDE. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • KDevelop - The KDE IDE. GNU GPL2.1
  • Embedded Systems


  • ChibiOS - RTOS with complete development environment (HAL, drivers, support files, and tools). Various Licenses
  • Environments

  • Cygwin - Designed to emulate a POSIX-compatible environment extensively under Windows. Various Licenses
  • MinGW-w64 - Minimalist environment for C development on Windows with 64 bit support. Various Licenses
  • Frameworks

  • CPL - The Common Pipeline Library; a set of libraries designed to be a comprehensive, efficient and robust software toolkit. GNU GPL2.1
  • GLib - Library of utility functions and structures, designed to be portable, efficient and powerful. GNU LGPL2.1
  • GIO - Modern and easy-to-use VFS API. GNU LGPL2.1
  • GObject - Object-oriented system and object model for C. GNU LGPL2.1
  • libnihstars74 - Lightweight library of C functions and structures. GNU GPL2.1
  • PBL - Large library of utilities, featuring data structures, among other things. GNU LGPL2.1 or later (library) or GNU GPL2.1 or later (test code)
  • stbstars17.2k - Range of single-file libraries for C. Public Domain
  • Game Programming


  • Corangestars1.4k - Game engine in pure C. FreeBSD
  • Darkplaces - Modified version of the Quake2 engine. GNU GPL2.1
  • Quakestars3.4k - The Quake engine. GNU GPL2.1
  • Quake2stars1.9k - The Quake2 engine. GNU GPL2.1
  • Game Programming


  • CSFML - Binding for SFML in C. zlib
  • Graphics

  • Cogl - GPU graphics and utilities API. Expat
  • Clutter - UI library based on OpenGL. GNU LGPL2.1
  • giflib - Library for reading and writing gif images. MIT
  • hemanstars420 - Tiny library of image utilities dealing with height maps, normal maps, distance fields and the like. Expat
  • libcacastars364 - ASCII renderer for terminal-based interfaces. WTFPLv2
  • libimagequant - Small, portable library for high-quality conversion of RGBA images to 8-bit indexed colour images. FreeBSD
  • libjpeg-turbo - Faster library for reading and writing JPEG files. Various Licenses
  • libpng - The official PNG reference library. libpng license
  • Graphical User Interface

  • GTK+ - Cross-platform widget toolkit. GNU LGPL2.1
  • IUP - Another cross-platform widget toolkit. Expat
  • Tk - Basic widget toolkit. Part of Tcl/Tk. Tcl/Tk License
  • XForms Toolkit - Widget toolkit designed for the XWindow system. GNU LGPL2.1
  • nuklearstars13.3k - Single-header ANSI C gui library. Public Domain
  • libuistars10.1k - Simple and portable (but not inflexible) GUI library. MIT
  • JSON

  • Jansson - C library for encoding, decoding and manipulating JSON. Expat
  • jsmn - Minimalistic JSON parser. Expat
  • json-c - Library for working with JSON. Expat
  • parsonstars1.1k - Lightweight JSON library written in C. MIT
  • YAJL - Fast C JSON streaming parser library. ISC
  • Macros

  • P99 - Suite of macros to implement advanced features like default function arguments, scope-bound resources, etc. (Requires C99) Q Public License
  • Memory Allocators

  • dlmalloc - Doug Lea's malloc(3) implementation, useful for academic and research purposes. Public Domain
  • Multimedia

  • FFMPEG - Complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. GNU LGPL2.1 or later or GNU GPL2.1 or later (some parts)
  • GStreamer - Framework for audio and visual media. GNU LGPL2.1
  • libsoup - GNOME HTTP client/server library. Uses GObject. GNU LGPL2.1
  • Numerical

  • BLAS - Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms; a set of routines that provide vector and matrix operations. BLAS license
  • FFTW - The Fastest Fourier Transform in the West; a highly-optimized fast Fourier transform routine. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • FLINT - Fast Library for Number Theory; a library supporting arithmetic with numbers, polynomials, power series and matrices, among others. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • PARI/GP - Computer algebra system for number theory; includes a compiler to C. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • Regex

  • SLREstars488 - Super Light Regular Expression library; a very small implementation of a subset of Perl regex syntax. GNU GPL2.1
  • TREstars652 - POSIX-compliant, feature-full regex library. FreeBSD
  • Standard Libraries

  • dietlibc - C standard library designed for the smallest possible binaries. GNU GPL2.1
  • glibc - The GNU C Library; an implementation of the C standard library. GNU LGPL2.1
  • musl - Standard C library, compatible with POSIX 2008 and C11. Designed for static linking. Expat
  • String Manipulation

  • ICU - International Components for Unicode; a library for Unicode support. ICU license
  • SDSstars3.7k - Simple Dynamic Strings; a library for handling C strings in a simpler way, but one that is compatible with normal C string functions. Available via clibstars3.9k. FreeBSD
  • Testing

  • CUnit - Another unit testing framework for C. GNU LGPL2.0
  • Cuteststars17 - Library for unit testing with memory leak detection (Linux, freeBSD and Windows). GPL2
  • minunitstars385 - Minimal unit testing framework for C. Expat
  • munit - Small but full-featured unit testing framework for C with no dependencies. MIT
  • Text Editor Extensions


  • linter-clangstars56 - Lint C code in Atom, using Clang. MIT
  • linter-gccstars71 - Lint C code in Atom, using GCC. MIT
  • Text Editor Extensions


  • Syntasticstars11k - Syntax checking and linting. Do What The Fuck You Want To license
  • Utilities

  • ApeTagLibs - C library for working with APEv2 tags. Expat
  • CExceptionstars223 - C implementation of exceptions. Expat
  • docopt.cstars302 - C implementation of a command-line option parser. Expat
  • dyncall - Another foreign function interface library. Expat
  • FANN - Fast Artifical Neural Network library; an implementation of neural networks. GNU GPL2.1
  • Firm - C library that provides a graph-based intermediate representation, optimizations and assembly code generation suitable for use in compilers. Comes with an example C front-end under the same license. GNU LGPLv2.1
  • huffandpuffstars79 - Minimal Huffman encoder and decoder. Public Domain
  • libffistars2.3k - Portable foreign-function interface library. Expat
  • libimobiledevicestars4.6k - Cross-platform protocol library to communicate with iThings. GNU LGPLv2.1 or later (library) or GNU GPL2.1 or later (tools)
  • nope.cstars690 - C-language-based, ultra-light software platform for scalable server-side and networking applications (think node.js for C programmers). GNU GPL2.1
  • pbcstars1.5k - Protocol buffers library. Expat
  • Ragel - DSL for state machines that compiles to C. GNU GPL2.1
  • uthash - Hash table implementation, allowing existing structures to be stored in a hash table easily. 1-clause BSD
  • libelfstars25 - ELF object file access library in C. GNU GPL2.1
  • mcpp - Portable C preprocessor. 2-clause BSD
  • Capstonestars5.3k - Dissasembly/disassembler framework. BSD 3-clause
  • XML

  • Expat - Stream-oriented XML parser. Expat
  • libxml2 - Standards-compliant, portable XML parser. Expat
  • Mar 6th, 2018

    Deep Learning

  • Darknet - Open source neural network framework written in C and CUDA. It is fast, easy to install, and supports CPU and GPU computation.
  • Editors

  • Visual Studio Code - Code editing, redefined. Visual Studio Code.
  • Graphics

    Graphic APIs

  • OpenGL - Industry adopted 2D and 3D graphics API. More resources at awesome-openglstars1.6k.
  • OpenGL ES - Industry adopted 2D and 3D graphics API for mobile and embedded devices.
  • OpenGL SC - Graphic and compute standard for industry requiring system safety certification.
  • Vulkan - Explicit graphic and compute API for modern cross-platform development. More resources at awesome-vulkanstars2.3k.
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • SEI CERT C Coding Standard
  • C FAQ - comp.lang.c Frequently Asked Questions
  • Comparison of C/POSIX standard library implementations for GNU/Linux
  • GNU C Reference Manual
  • Robert Pike's notes on programming in C
  • Draft ANSI C Rationale
  • Draft C99 Rationale
  • C: A Reference Manual 5E - Full reference book for C99.
  • C Pocket Reference - Concise reference book for C99.
  • The C Programming Language 2E - The original book on C, by its creators.
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials

    Language Standards
  • Draft ANSI C (C89) standard
  • Draft C99 standard
  • Draft C11 standard
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • Building C Projects
  • C Programming Wikibook
  • Introduction to 'fun' C
  • Learning C with GDB
  • POSIX Threads Programming tutorial (a little dated, but most of it is still valid and useful)
  • The GNU C Programming Tutorial (online PDF)
  • Templating in C
  • C Primer Plus 6E - Complete tutorial on programming in C11.
  • C Programming: A Modern Approach - Excellent book to learn the basics of C.
  • Head First C - 'Head-first' style book for learning C.
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • 10 C99 tricks
  • Diving into concurrency: trying out mutexes and atomics
  • Introduction to OpenMP (video)
  • OpenMP tutorial (for the OpenMP3 standard)
  • memcpy vs memmove
  • MPI tutorial
  • Some unknown features or tricks in C language
  • The lost art of C structure packing
  • What every C programmer should know about undefined behaviour
  • 21st Century C - Very good second programming book on C.
  • Understanding and Using C Pointers - In-depth resource on pointers in C.
  • ZeroMQ - Book for using ZeroMQ with C.
  • Learning, Reference and Tutorials


  • Advanced metaprogramming in C
  • Quick tutorial on implementing and debugging malloc, free, calloc, and realloc
  • Bit twiddling hacks
  • I do not know C
  • Implementing smart pointers for the C programming language
  • Inline functions in C
  • Metaprogramming custom control structures in C
  • Some dark corners of C
  • Writing efficient C and C code optimization
  • What every programmer should know about memory
  • Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets - Interesting, in-depth and entertaining look at the innards of C.
  • Last Checked At: 2021-11-26T17:11:10.712Z


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