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Developers Keep Striving To Build The Linux Kernel With LLVM Clang

Linux Kernel

Published on 27 March 2014 12:16 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
14 Comments

With another Linux Foundation Summit means another time to hear an update about LLVMLinux, the Linux Foundation backed project to build the mainline Linux kernel with LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler in place of GCC.

Behan Webster is talking today at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Napa Valley about the project itself plus the latest achievements. If you're a Phoronix reader, you've likely read about this initiative already at least a dozen times on the site about building Linux with Clang. The effort has been ongoing for several years now and while they're running the latest Clang compiler, there's still outstanding kernel patches needed to build outside of the GNU Compiler Collection.

Besides wanting to build the Linux kernel under Clang for faster compiler times and potentially faster performance of the resulting kernel, they remain interested in using Clang's powerful static analysis tools on the kernel, having various kernel checkers, and other benefits of this BSD-licensed compiler stack.

Some of the recent accomplishments for the project include:

- Besides testing the latest mainline Git, they are also beginning to test the latest linux-next code under Clang to see the direction the kernel is moving with the next kernel release cycle with regard to Clang compiler compatibility.

- They are also looking at compiling the Android Linux kernel with Clang (besides the Android user-space too).

- Supporting Linaro's LLVM work is also now a goal of the project.

- Roughly 48 kernel patches are needed still against the kernel code-base for different architectures for Clang to generate a complete, working build. Of the patches, 16 are needed for all architectures, 12 needed for ARM, ten needed for AArch64 ARM 64-bit, and ten needed for Intel 64-bit x86_64.

- All LLVMLinux patches are upstream in LLVM and Clang (and have been for some time now) so using the latest version of the compiler is fine without modifications.

Those wishing to learn more about the project can checkout the PDF slides and visit llvm.linuxfoundation.org. I'll have more updates after the actual presentation today where I'll be in attendance.

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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