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.org

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 Hardware Reviews
  1. Btrfs On 4 x Intel SSDs In RAID 0/1/5/6/10
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290 On Ubuntu 14.10: RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
  3. MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux
  4. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Offers Great Linux Performance
Latest Linux Articles
  1. NVIDIA's Linux Driver Can Deliver Better OpenGL Performance Than Windows 8.1
  2. Windows 8.1 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 With Intel HD Graphics
  3. 6-Way Ubuntu 14.10 Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Driver Comparison
  4. NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers On Ubuntu 14.10
Latest Linux News
  1. Wine 1.7.30 Continues Work On DirectWrite & Offers Regedit Fixes
  2. Has The Sky Fallen? Qualcomm Contributes To Freedreno's DRM/KMS Driver
  3. Manjaro Works To Make Calamares A Distribution-Independent Installer
  4. DisplayLink USB 3.0 Support Sounds Like A Mess
  5. PulseAudio Gains A Native Bluetooth Headset Backend
  6. X.Org Foundation Decides On Its Women Outreach Project
  7. GTK+ 3.16's New GtkGLArea Widget Gets Improved
  8. X.Org Server 1.17 ABI Bumped
  9. Fedora 21 Beta To Be Released Next Week
  10. Go 1.4 Beta Release Brings Big Runtime Changes
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. How to get rid of Linux
  2. Closed source to opensource
  3. What Would You Like To See Next?
  4. Is foolish currently develop in machine code, hexadecimal and assembly?
  5. Reducing The CPU Usage In Mesa To Improve Performance
  6. Help diagnosing problems with a Readon HD 4670 on Mesa 10.3.2-1
  7. Advertisements On Phoronix
  8. nv and xorg.conf under Debian PPC