This chapter shows you how to perform the basic steps required to create a C or C++ Linux program. In particular, this chapter shows you how to create and modify C and C++ source code, compile that code, and debug the result. If you're already accustomed to programming under Linux, you can skip ahead to Chapter 2: Writing Good GNU/Linux Software; pay careful attention to Section 2.3, "Writing and Using Libraries" for information about static versus dynamic linking that you might not already know.
Throughout this book, we'll assume that you're familiar with the C or C++ programming languages and the most common functions in the standard C library. The source code examples in this book are in C, except when demonstrating a particular feature or complication of C++ programming. We also assume that you know how to perform basic operations in the Linux command shell, such as creating directories and copying files. Because many Linux programmers got started programming in the Windows environment, we'll occasionally point out similarities and contrasts between Windows and Linux.