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Continuing the development of awesome-c list on GitHub


aleksandar-todorovicaleksandar-todorovic/awesome-cUpdated 1628 147 183

awesome-c AwesomeList Status

A curated list of C good stuff. This list contains only free software for code, and sellers who aren't evil for physical resources.

LOOKING FOR MAINTAINERS: This list is currently pretty much inactive. I'm looking for maintainers that can make it great again. See #26 for more info, but the process is simple: add or fix a couple of things in this list and you'll become a contributor to a 850+ stars list.

This list was previously maintained by @kozross. He decided to switch the list to a new platform, so I've decided to fork it so we could keep it on GitHub.



Build Systems

These are tools to automate the building and testing of projects in C.

  • 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
  • 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
  • Libtool - Generic library support script. Part of the Autotools. GNU GPL3 or later
  • Meson - Extremely fast, user-friendly build system. Based on Ninja. Apache 2.0
  • Premake - 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
  • Ninja - Small, simple build system with a focus on speed. Apache 2.0
  • Bazel - Build system for various operating systems and targets. Apache 2.0
  • Buck - Build system created and used by Facebook. Apache 2.0
  • Qbs - Modern build tool for software projects. LGPL3
  • qmake - Build system included with the Qt Framework. GNU GPL3 with Qt Exception
  • xmake - Cross-platform build utility based on lua. Apache 2.0


Compiler libraries

Libraries for use in compilers, interpreters, and low-level based projects.


  • libzip - A C library for reading, creating, and modifying zip archives. 3-clause BSD
  • lzo - Very fast data compression library. GNU GPL2.1
  • zlib - Massively-spiffy yet delicately-unobtrusive compression library. 3-clause BSD
  • bzip2 - Patent free, high quality data compressor. 3-clause BSD
  • lz4 - Fast Compression algorithm.
  • snappy - Fast compression library (implementation in C++, native bindings to C).
  • zstd - Fast real-time compression algorithm 3-clause BSD
  • brotli - Generic lossless compression algorithm based on LZ77, Huffman coding and 2nd order context modelling MIT
  • quicklz - Fast compression library. GNU GPL2.1
  • pixz - Pixz (pronounced pixie) is a parallel, indexing version of xz. 2-clause BSD



This lists databases and data stores with C APIs.

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.

Documentation Generation

  • Cxref - Generates documentation of C programs in either LaTeX, HTML, RTF or SGML. GNU GPL2.1
  • DocOnce - Modestly-tagged markup language that can be used to generate a range of formats. 3-clause BSD
  • Doxygen - The de-facto standard tool for generating C documentation from annotated sources. Can generate a large range of formats. 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


These are specifically fancier, IDE-type editors. If you want a programmer's text editor, look elsewhere. Besides, whatever choice you make most likely supports C anyway.

Embedded Systems

These are projects that allow one to work with microcontrollers and other resource constrained architectures.


A real-time operating system (RTOS) is intended to serve real-time applications that process data with low latency delay.

  • Amazon FreeRTOS - RTOS for microcontrollers that makes small, low-power edge devices easy to program. MIT
  • ChibiOS - RTOS with complete development environment (HAL, drivers, support files, and tools). Various Licenses
  • Contiki - Connect low-cost, low power microcontrollers to the Internet. 3-clause BSD
  • Zephyr Project - Scalable real-time RTOS supporting multiple hardware architectures, optimized for resource constrained devices. Apache 2.0
  • 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


This is a list of technologies designed to bring Windows into the 21st century with respect to support for C.


This section has big libraries that provide data structures and other stuff you expect of a 'modern' standard library.

Game Programming


These are provided as examples of C game programming code.


These are libraries of all sorts that are useful for game programming.

  • Allegro - Cross-platform, video game development and multimedia library. zlib
  • Chipmunk2D - Fast and lightweight 2D game physics library. Expat
  • CSFML - Binding for SFML in C. zlib
  • FreeGLUT - Alternative to the OpenGL Utility Toolkit. Allows the creation and management of windows with OpenGL contexts. X11
  • GLFW - Multi-platform library for creating windows with OpenGL contexts. zlib
  • libao - Cross-platform audio library with a wide variety of outputs. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • RetroArch - The reference frontend for libretro. GNU GPL3
  • 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
  • raylib - Simple and easy-to-use library to learn videogames programming. zlib

Generic Programming

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


Graphic APIs

  • OpenGL - Industry adopted 2D and 3D graphics API. More resources at awesome-opengl.
  • 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-vulkan.

Graphical User Interface

These are specifically widget toolkits.


All hashing related libraries, cryptographic or not.

Image Processing


Learning, Reference and Tutorials

This is a list of resources for learning C programming in general, or something useful relating to C programming.



Language Standards




Self-study courses







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

Memory Allocators

Implementations of memory allocators for various systems and platforms.

  • jemalloc - General purpose malloc(3) implementation that emphasizes fragmentation avoidance and scalable concurrency support, commonly used in production systems. FreeBSD
  • dlmalloc - Doug Lea's malloc(3) implementation, useful for academic and research purposes. Public Domain
  • 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
  • rpmalloc - Cross platform, lock-free memory allocator. Public Domain


Networking and Internet

Web Frameworks

  • balde - Microframework for C based on GLib. GNU LGPLv2.1
  • onion - C library to create simple HTTP servers and Web Applications. Apache 2.0
  • 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.
  • duda - Duda I/O is an event-driven and high performant web services framework written in C. Apache 2.0


  • apophenia - Library for statistical and scientific computing. GNU GPL2.1
  • ATLAS - Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software. 3-clause BSD
  • BLAS - Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms; a set of routines that provide vector and matrix operations. BLAS license
  • 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)
  • 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
  • Cuba - Library for multidimensional numerical integration. GNU LGPLv3
  • 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
  • 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
  • igraph - Library for creating and manipulating large graphs. GNU GPL2
  • KISS FFT - Very simple fast Fourier transform library. 3-clause BSD
  • LAPACKE - C interface to LAPACK. 3-clause BSD
  • PARI/GP - Computer algebra system for number theory; includes a compiler to C. GNU GPL2.1 or later
  • PETSc - Suite of data structures and routines for scalable parallel solution of scientific applications modelled by partial differential equations. FreeBSD
  • PROB - Library that handles various discrete and continuous probability density functions. GNU LGPL3
  • Yeppp! - Very fast, SIMD-optimized mathematical library. 3-clause BSD

Parallel Programming

  • cchan - Small library for channel constructs for inter-thread communication. Public Domain
  • ck - Concurrency primitives, safe memory reclamation mechanisms and non-blocking data structures. FreeBSD
  • mill - Go-style concurrency in C. X11
  • libdill - Structured concurrency in C. X11
  • MPICH - Another implementation of MPI. MPICH licence
  • OpenMP - Set of C pragmas designed to allow for easy parallelization of code. 3-clause BSD
  • OpenMPI - Message passing interface implementation. 3-clause BSD
  • pth - Portable implementation for non-preemptive priority-based scheduling for multiple threads of execution. GNU GPL3 or later
  • pthreads - The POSIX thread library.
  • SLEPc - Software library for the solution of large, sparse eigenvalue problems on parallel computers. GNU LGPL3
  • TinyCThread - Portable, small implementation of the C11 threads API. zlib



"Some people, when confronted with a problem, think 'I know, I'll use regular expressions'. Now they have two problems." - Jamie Zawinski.

  • PCRE - Implementation of regexes identical to that of Perl 5. 3-clause BSD
  • regexp4 - Simple and complete implementation of regular expressions with its own sintax. GNU GPL3 or later
  • SLRE - Super Light Regular Expression library; a very small implementation of a subset of Perl regex syntax. GNU GPL2.1
  • TRE - POSIX-compliant, feature-full regex library. FreeBSD


Check also: JSON, XML

Source Code Collections

This contains collections of small source code. If you want something big and integrated, check the Frameworks section.

Standard Libraries

This contains standard C libraries.

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


  • CHEAT - Very simple unit testing framework. FreeBSD
  • Check - Unit testing framework for C. GNU LGPL2.1
  • CMock - Mock/stub generator for C. Expat
  • cmocka - Unit testing framework with support for mock objects. Apache 2.0
  • Criterion - KISS, non-intrusive C test framework. Expat
  • CUnit - Another unit testing framework for C. GNU LGPL2.0
  • Cutest - Library for unit testing with memory leak detection (Linux, freeBSD and Windows). GPL2
  • minunit - Minimal unit testing framework for C. Expat
  • munit - Small but full-featured unit testing framework for C with no dependencies. MIT
  • Unity - Simple unit testing framework for C. Expat

Text Editor Extensions

While practically any decent programmer's text editor supports C, there are some extensions that make it more pleasant. This is categorized by editor.





This is a list of useful programs to help you write and debug C code which are not editors, libraries or compilers.


This is a 'catch-all' category for anything that doesn't fit well anywhere else.


"XML is crap. Really. There are no excuses. XML is nasty to parse for humans, and it's a disaster to parse even for computers. There's just no reason for that horrible crap to exist." - Linus Torvalds

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