How to Fix 'The Selection Cannot Be Launched' Error in Eclipse C: A Comprehensive Guide

Experiencing the "Selection cannot be launched" error in Eclipse C can be frustrating. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to fix this error and get back to coding as soon as possible. Follow the step-by-step instructions provided in this documentation, and you'll be back on track in no time.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Possible Causes of the Error
  3. Step-by-Step Solution
  4. FAQs
  5. Related Links


Eclipse IDE is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for developing applications in various programming languages, including C and C++. However, users may occasionally encounter the "Selection cannot be launched" error when attempting to execute their code. This guide will provide you with a detailed solution to this issue.

Possible Causes of the Error

The "Selection cannot be launched" error in Eclipse C can be caused by several factors, including:

  1. Incorrect project configuration
  2. Missing or improperly configured launch configurations
  3. Invalid build configurations

Step-by-Step Solution

Follow these steps to fix the "Selection cannot be launched" error in Eclipse C:

Step 1: Ensure that the C/C++ Perspective is Active

  1. Open Eclipse IDE and click on Window in the menu.
  2. Select Perspective > Open Perspective > Others.
  3. Choose C/C++ and click OK.

Step 2: Verify the Project Configuration

  1. Right-click on your project in the Project Explorer pane.
  2. Select Properties from the context menu.
  3. In the C/C++ General section, ensure that the Paths and Symbols and File Types settings are configured correctly.

Step 3: Configure the Launch Configuration

  1. Click on Run in the menu.
  2. Select Run Configurations or Debug Configurations, depending on your needs.
  3. In the left pane, right-click on C/C++ Application and select New Configuration.
  4. Configure the settings in the Main and Debugger tabs as per your project requirements.
  5. Click Apply and Close.

Step 4: Build the Project

  1. Right-click on your project in the Project Explorer pane.
  2. Select Build Project from the context menu.
  3. Wait for the build to complete and check the Console for any errors.

Step 5: Run the Project

  1. Right-click on your project in the Project Explorer pane.
  2. Select Run As > C/C++ Application.

If the steps above do not resolve the error, consider reinstalling Eclipse IDE or installing the latest CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) plugin.


1. What is Eclipse IDE?

Eclipse IDE is an open-source integrated development environment that supports multiple programming languages and platforms. It is widely used for Java, C, and C++ development, among others. Learn more about Eclipse IDE.

2. What is the C/C++ Development Tooling (CDT) plugin?

The C/C++ Development Tooling (CDT) plugin provides tools and features to develop C and C++ applications in Eclipse IDE. It offers a fully integrated development environment that includes a source editor, build system, debugger, and more. Learn more about CDT.

3. Can I use other IDEs for C/C++ development?

Yes, there are several other IDEs that support C/C++ development, such as Visual Studio Code, CLion, and Code::Blocks.

4. How do I update the CDT plugin in Eclipse?

To update the CDT plugin in Eclipse, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Help in the menu.
  2. Select Install New Software.
  3. Replace "VERSION" with the desired CDT version (e.g., 9.11).
  4. Select the CDT Main Features and CDT Optional Features you want to install.
  5. Click Next and follow the prompts to complete the installation.

5. How can I improve my C/C++ development experience in Eclipse?

You can enhance your C/C++ development experience in Eclipse by installing additional plugins, such as Eclipse Code Recommenders, Eclipse Memory Analyzer, and Eclipse Linux Tools.

  1. Eclipse IDE Official Website
  2. Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling) Official Website
  3. Eclipse Community Forums: C / C++ IDE (CDT)
  4. Stack Overflow: Eclipse CDT Questions

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