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LLVM/Clang Is Advancing To Build The Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 16 October 2013 10:00 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
8 Comments

Going back years there's been work to build the Linux kernel with LLVM's Clang compiler rather than GCC. It's taken a lot of work by many individuals and organizations, but it's becoming an easier task to accomplish for multiple architectures. Here's where the Clang'ed Linux kernel is at today.

Behan Webster of the LLVMLinux project gave a status update last month at LinuxCon North America. The slides are now available for those interested. Some of the key highlights include:

- On the compiler side, all the necessary Clang patches landed with LLVM 3.3 as previously talked about on Phoronix. With LLVM/Clang 3.3, the necessary compiler support is there but the Clang integrated assembler is still disabled.

- LLVM/Clang 3.3 can build the Linux kernel but there's still out-of-tree patches on the kernel side that need to be applied. The kernel patches range from Kbuild support to unsupported GCC language extensions. The LLVMLinux developers though still hope to upstream all of their patches.

- The LLVMLinux members are watching the Linux kernel in real-time for any code changes that break support and are then working to fix them whether it's on the compiler or kernel side.

- The LLVMLinux project can be helped by testing patches, reporting bugs, working on unsupported features, and if you're up for it to work on your own patches.

More details can be found by the PDF slides.

P.S. In case you missed it, Microsoft is now experimenting with LLVM.

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 .
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