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Popular Software Applications and Games Written in C++ Language

This collection will show you a list of software applications, games and libraries available on Ubuntu which are written in C++ programming language. Included in this list 0 A.D. strategy game, Blender 3D animation maker, and Inkscape illustrator among others. We included a quick command to install each one in case you want to try to run or play it. We hope this helps promoting Free Software as well as inviting students to learn about C++ by real-world examples and practices. Lastly, we hope you enjoy them all. Let’s start reading.

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0 A.D. 

Zero Ante Dominion, one the most advanced video games from our Free Software Community, is written in C++. It is a 3D real time strategy (similar to Age of Empires III) where player builds a country and fight or establish diplomatic ties to other countries. In software terms, it is built using wxWidgets library (see below) and licensed under GNU GPL. 

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install 0ad ]




Aegisub, the famous movie subtitle maker from our community, is written in C++. It is widely used for making subtitles for anime, movie/video and even karaoke. In software terms, it is written with wxWidgets library (see below) and licensed under 3-clause BSD license. However, although it is still available on Ubuntu and Debian, today the
original homepage seems to be down and the development didn’t see any
updates for long time.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install aegisub ]


Ardour, the digital audio workstation of our community, is written in C++. People use it to record audio into hard disk and create digital music (to be more precise, recording – editing – mixing – mastering). It is aimed for audio engineers, composers, musicians, soundtrack editors, podcasters and radio producers. In short, it is a great alternative to the proprietary FL Studio or Cubase. It is developed by the same person who created JACK Audio. In software terms, it is explicitly explained that Ardour is written using GTKmm (see below) and licensed under GNU GPL.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ]


Audacity, the most popular audio wave editor from our community, is written in C++. People use Audacity for recording, editing and analyzing songs or audio recordings (this includes joining, cutting, modifying, and applying effects to the waves in multi-track ways). It supports many formats to import/export by default including MP3 and OGG Vorbis. Audacity is surprisingly famous with over 300 million downloads over its life recorded by FossHub, Sourceforge and Google Code. In software terms, Audacity is written using wxWidgets (see below) and licensed under GNU GPL.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install audacity ]



Blender, the most successful desktop free software, is written in C++. People use Blender for 3D drawing, creating 3D/2D animations, editing videos and compositing, rendering  (and architecture drawings now with BlenderBIM plugin). The most excellent examples of its capabilities can be seen on Blender movies primarily Elephants Dream (world-first open movie), Big Buck Bunny, Sintel, Tears of Steel and many more. In software terms, Blender is a primary example of free software which formerly proprietary and it is licensed under GNU GPL since 2002.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install blender ]


Chromium, the open source origin of the proprietary Google Chrome, is written in C++. It is the world-leading web browser in terms of technology and popularity. Because it is written in C++, so are its fully free software derivatives namely Iridium and Ungoogled Chromium (fully free distro Guix includes the latter).

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install chromium-browser ]



FreeCAD, the most feature-rich 2D/3D computer aided design tool and BIM software of our community, is also written in C++. People use it for drafting, architecture drawing, machinery drawing, and 3D printing. In software terms, FreeCAD is written with Qt library (see below) and is licensed under GNU LGPL. See also LibreCAD. 

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install freecad ]


Godot Game Engine 

Godot, one of the most feature-rich fully-crossplatform game maker software, is written in C++. People use Godot to develop video games and interactive applications for all platforms (PC, Mac and Mobile). Godot can create games by both dimensions (2D and 3D) and both networking types (offline and online). First released in 2014, now it is growing quickly and has produced a lot of video games created by the community (please notice that some of them are proprietary). Its capabilities can be seen in, take for example, Halls of Torment.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install godot3 ]



GParted, the hard disk partition software part of Ubuntu, is written in C++. We Ubuntu users always meet with GParted when running LiveCD to further format, resize, shrink, delete, rename disk partitions. We believe it is among the most useful software for any Ubuntu user. In software terms, GParted is written with GTKmm (the C++ version of GTK) and licensed under GNU GPL.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install gparted ]



Inkscape, the vector editor and illustrator software of our community, is written in C++. People use Inkscape for graphic design (i.e. making logos, brochures, posters etc.) as well as web design (i.e. making mockups or assets) in the similar ways they use CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator (note: in pairing with Scribus for CMYK and printing parts). In software terms, Inkscape is written with GTKmm and licensed under GNU GPL.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install inkscape ]



Kool Desktop Environment (now just KDE), the software technology from Germany mainly known for empowering Kubuntu, is written mainly in C++. KDE is known as the desktop software layer of GNU/Linux operating systems. It consists of a lot of beautiful yet useful applications and libraries, say for example, Kdenlive and Krita (see below) among many others. 

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ Kubuntu (Operating System) ]


Qt, the material (read: library) which Kubuntu and KDE were built upon, is written in C++ and created for use with C++. Qt, thus is an alternative or competitor to GTKmm (see above) and wxWidgets (see below).

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ Install Guide ]



Telegram, the free software fast and crossplatform messenger, is written in C++ for the Desktop Version. People use Telegram for telecommunication (i.e. group chat, voice & video calls, screen sharing, file sharing, etc.) in the same ways they use WhatsApp (in US) or LINE (in Japan) or QQ (in China). Surprisingly, Telegram is very popular and we believe it’s the most used free software messenger with 800 millions users reported in 2023. We know no other free software messengers to surpass the number of Telegram users today.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install telegram-desktop ]


Warzone 2100

Warzone 2100, the Starcraft-like 3D real-time strategy game of our community, is written in C++. Player will establish a base, build a lot of battle tanks, enhance technology bit by bit, then attack and destroy all enemy bases to win. Similar to Blender, this game is another excellent example of successful free software which was formerly proprietary. Among others in this collection, Warzone is the only one with Sony Playstation platform origin history.

[ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ $ sudo apt install warzone2100 ]



wxWidgets (formerly wxWindows), the widely used graphical user interface library, is written in C++ for use with C++. People use it in combination with C++ language to write GUI software for all desktop platforms and thus it is an alternative/competitor to Qt library (see above). In this collection alone we already mentioned examples written with wxWidgets including 0 A.D., Aegisub, and Audacity above.

 [ Wikipedia ] [ Homepage ] [ Install Guide using CodeBlocks ]



Category: Free software programmed in C++ (Wikipedia)

Category: Software that uses Qt 

Category: Software that uses wxWidgets 

List of Free and open source software packages 

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


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