PathScale Gives FreeBSD, NetBSD A New C++ Runtime
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 25 May 2011 at 08:17 AM EDT. 35 Comments
PathScale, the compiler company that is behind the high-performance 64-bit EKOPath compiler suite and GPGPU computing solutions, has granted the FreeBSD and NetBSD foundations a copy of their libcxxrt C++ runtime. Libcxxrt provides a C++ ABI for Itanium and x86 architectures for BSD. This copy of libcxxrt will be provided to BSD users under a 2-clause BSD license rather than being under the GPL.

The libcxxrt library is meant to be a total replacement to tthe GNU libsupc++ library and to be a further step away from the GNU GPL on BSD. The press release announcing this effort by PathScale with a focus on NetBSD and FreeBSD can be read here. It looks like PathScale is setting their support sights now on the BSD operating systems, "This is a first step to PathScale offering first class support for both NetBSD and FreeBSD."

The Low-Level Virtual Machine developers meanwhile have been developing libc++, which is under the MIT and UIUC (BSD-like) licenses and with this C++ library they are targeting the C++0x standard. This library was written to avoid the mainline libstdc++ library in GCC that is now GPLv3 licensed, to provide performance improvements, and to ensure C++0x support. Right now, LLVM libc++ is currently limited to Mac OS X support.

This BSD licensing of libcxxrt isn't PathScale's first open-source work they have done for the community. PathScale is also the company that wanted to port the Nouveau driver to OpenSolaris and offered free NVIDIA graphics cards to open-source developers. Ultimately they ended up forking the Nouveau kernel driver to create a new PSCNV driver due to different views over memory management and other focuses. PathScale is primarily interested in the open-source NVIDIA/Nouveau driver for eventually empowering GPGPU/CUDA/OpenCL support.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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