1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Decoupling GCC From Debian By Using LLVM/Clang

Debian

Published on 11 July 2012 02:28 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Debian
15 Comments

Back in March it was shared that LLVM's Clang compiler can build much of the Debian archive. This week at DebConf a status update was shared on using LLVM/Clang as an alternative compiler to GCC within Debian.

Sylvestre Ledru's presentation was entitled "Build Debian with another compiler" and was described at the Managua, Nicaragua event as "After extending Debian with two new kernels, Debian will soon be able to be built with a new free C, C++ and objc compiler called Clang. Based on LLVM, this compiler is now close to gcc on many different aspects (performances, build time, level of support of C and C++). This talk will present the current status of a clang-build version of Debian, the next steps and evolutions."

When beginning his 45-minute presentation, Sylvestre Ledru was quick to make it clear that his intentions on using LLVM/Clang to build the Debian package archive isn't for some GPL vs. BSD licensing ideology, anything to do with Apple, or on the basis of any other non-technical merits. His reasoning for playing with Clang in the Debian world is because "we can" and "because it's fun." [Though to some laughter, shortly after mentioning this, the power to the building was briefly lost. There were storms in Managua on Tuesday afternoon.]

In addition, he elaborated that using LLVM/Clang to build Debian packages only leads to better and more portable code within the archive. If the packages can be built with multiple compilers rather than being bound to just the GNU Compiler Collection, it's to everyone's benefit.

He's also doing this work with an aim to decouple GCC in Debian. Just as the Linux kernel has been decoupled within Debian thanks to the Debian GNU/Hurd and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD kernel ports, he wants to achieve the same with regard to compilers.

The plan at this point isn't to be like FreeBSD where they are using Clang by default and deprecated GCC (that's also what's been done with Apple OS X), but simply to better support LLVM/Clang as an alternative for users and developers. The switching of the base compiler is one of many features of FreeBSD 10.

It was also during this DebConf 12 presentation that the GCC vs. LLVM/Clang diagnostics / error messages were brought up along with briefly talking about the performance between the different compilers in terms of generated code and build times. For the latest benchmarks on this matter, see last month's 11-Way Intel Ivy Bridge Compiler Comparison.

The latest results of building the Debian archive with Clang are available from clang.debian.net. At the moment there's about 12% of the Debian packages that aren't yet building correctly under the Apple-sponsored open-source compiler.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. Ubuntu Benchmarking Workloads + Clouds
  2. Ubuntu Touch Is Making Progress On Porting To Systemd
  3. Macaw-Movies: A KDE Movie Organizing Application
  4. SteamOS 159 Drops Support For NVIDIA's Pre-Fermi Graphics Cards
  5. AMD Radeon R9 290: Linux 4.0 vs. Linux 4.1 Git
  6. Ubuntu 15.10 Will Use The GCC 5 Compiler By Default
  7. A Demo Of Ubuntu's Unity 8 On The Desktop
  8. The Unity 8 Items Being Worked On For The Ubuntu Desktop
  9. Fresh, 5-Way Linux Distribution Benchmarks On Amazon's EC2 Cloud
  10. OpenGL 4.1 Extension Implemented For Intel Mesa Sandy Bridge
  11. Xubuntu Team Announces "Xubuntu Core"
  12. Many Ubuntu Phone Updates Are Coming Up Soon
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. GeForce GTX 750 Series: Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux Driver Performance
  2. GLAMOR + RadeonSI 2D Acceleration Is Quite Good For Open-Source AMD 2D Performance
  3. AMD Radeon R9 290 OpenGL On Ubuntu 15.04: Catalyst vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D
  4. Ubuntu 15.04 Offers Faster OpenGL For AMD Radeon GPUs On Open-Source
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. A Lot Of Improvements Are Coming For Mir 0.13, Including Work Towards Libinput
  2. Improvements On The Way For GNOME's Nautilus File Manager
  3. Kodi 15.0 Beta 1 Released
  4. Wayland 1.8 Alpha Release Delayed
  5. Steam Linux Usage Drops Below 1%
  6. Mono 4.0 Makes Use Of Microsoft's Open-Source Code, C# 6.0
  7. Lucid Sleep Support Is Being Worked On For The Upstream Linux Kernel
  8. Microsoft's Visual C++ Team Is Improving Clang For Windows