Fix the Unrecognized Command Line Option '-std=c++11': Comprehensive Guide for Developers

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to fix the unrecognized command line option -std=c++11 error that developers may face when compiling C++11 code using GCC or Clang compilers. We'll provide a step-by-step solution to help you resolve this issue and move forward with your development.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Prerequisites
  3. Step-by-step solution
  4. FAQs


The -std=c++11 flag is used to instruct the compiler to use the C++11 standard when compiling your code. However, some developers may face an error that looks like this:

g++: error: unrecognized command line option '-std=c++11'

This error usually occurs when your compiler doesn't support C++11, or you're using an older version of the compiler that doesn't recognize the -std=c++11 flag.


Before proceeding, make sure you have the following:

  1. A C++ source file that uses features from the C++11 standard.
  2. A GCC or Clang compiler installed on your machine.

Step-by-step solution

Here's a step-by-step guide to fixing the unrecognized command line option -std=c++11 error:

Step 1: Check your compiler version

First, you need to check the version of your compiler to ensure it supports C++11. You can do this by running the following command in your terminal or command prompt:

For GCC:

g++ --version

For Clang:

clang --version

Note: C++11 support was introduced in GCC 4.8.1 and Clang 3.3. Make sure your compiler version is at least this version or higher.

Step 2: Update your compiler (if necessary)

If your compiler version is older than the versions mentioned above, you'll need to update it to a newer version that supports C++11. You can follow these guides to update your compiler:

Step 3: Compile your code with the correct flag

Once you've ensured that your compiler supports C++11, you can compile your code using the -std=c++11 flag:

For GCC:

g++ -std=c++11 your_source_file.cpp -o your_output_file

For Clang:

clang++ -std=c++11 your_source_file.cpp -o your_output_file

Step 4: Verify the issue is resolved

After compiling your code with the correct flag, you should no longer see the unrecognized command line option -std=c++11 error. You can now continue with your development.


What is the C++11 standard?

The C++11 standard, also known as C++0x, is a version of the C++ programming language that introduces several new features and improvements over previous standards. Some of these features include lambda expressions, range-based for loops, and smart pointers. You can learn more about C++11 by reading this overview.

Can I use other C++ standards in my code?

Yes, you can use other C++ standards by specifying the appropriate flag when compiling your code. For example, you can use -std=c++14 for the C++14 standard, -std=c++17 for the C++17 standard, and so on.

How do I know which C++ standard my code is using?

You can check which C++ standard your code is using by including the following lines in your code:

#include <iostream>
int main() {
    std::cout << "C++ version: " << __cplusplus << std::endl;
    return 0;

This will print the C++ version your code is compiled with when you run the program.

Do I need to update my compiler if I want to use newer C++ standards?

Yes, you'll need to update your compiler if you want to use newer C++ standards since support for new features is added in newer compiler versions. Make sure to check the compiler's release notes to see which versions support the C++ standard you want to use.

Can I use the -std=c++11 flag with other compilers?

Yes, most modern C++ compilers support the -std=c++11 flag or an equivalent flag. If you're using a different compiler, check its documentation to see how to specify the C++11 standard.

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