Qt Creator Can Be Compiled In Under 3 Minutes With Clang
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler on 21 May 2014 at 08:07 AM EDT. 13 Comments
One of LLVM's Clang compiler benefits that has long been trumpeted has been about its speedy compiler times in comparison to GCC. The latest results of using Clang with Qt Creator further reinforce the insanely fast compile times.

Jussi Pakkanen has been toying around with Clang static analysis and Clang compiling for Qt Creator. Long story short, he's very happy with his compile-time results. He's been playing around with building Qt Creator from scratch using the Meson automatic unity build generator and the Clang compiler, which has led him to having compile times under three minutes.

From a MacBook Pro with a solid-state drive and 16GB of memory (the CPU model wasn't mentioned in his post), a regular, unoptimized build takes almost 27 minutes for building Qt Creator... An optimized build meanwhile takes just over 32 minutes. This is with Qt Creator's default build system. However, with Jussi's changes and using Clang with the Unity build system, a build drops down to two and a half minutes for an unoptimized build or just over six minutes for an optimized build.

Those building Qt Creator and wishing to learn more can see this Qt mailing list post. The numbers jive with our findings too about fast compile times with Clang not only on x86 but also on ARM while the performance of the resulting binaries is mixed. It's common for many game developers and other commercial software studios to do their debug builds with LLVM/Clang for the expedited compile-times and static analysis while most of them are shipping their "release binaries" with GCC.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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