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FreeBSD 13 Is Preparing To Finally Retire GCC 4.2

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  • FreeBSD 13 Is Preparing To Finally Retire GCC 4.2

    Phoronix: FreeBSD 13 Is Preparing To Finally Retire GCC 4.2

    GCC 4.2.1 has been out since 2007 and while there have been many big updates to the GNU Compiler Collection over the pase decade, that version remains somewhat common in the BSD land due to being the last version under the GPLv2 license. GCC 4.2.2 and newer switched over to GPLv3+ and that is why several BSDs have stuck to using GCC 4.2.1 or at least keeping it in their base repository. But now for FreeBSD 13, this old version of GCC is set to be retired with FreeBSD already being quite focused on LLVM Clang as its default compiler while also offering newer GCC versions via its package management system...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag....2-EOL-FreeBSD

  • #2
    Waiting for someone to come yell, claiming them to be fanatics.

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    • #3
      The old trusty GCC supports a much wider range of platforms than Clang/LLVM. However FreeBSD doesn't support *that* many legacy platforms so I suppose they can get away with it.
      Otherwise it would be sad to drop an entire platform (albeit old) just because clang/llvm doesn't support the architecture. I suppose that would be the Linux approach

      One thing we do need to watch out for with relying on upstream Clang is dropping support for 32-bit x86. This possibly isn't Apple's priority or many Linux distros. Luckily the BSDs have shown that they can maintain a compiler quite effectively on their own if it comes to that.
      Last edited by kpedersen; 08-14-2019, 11:20 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
        I suppose that would be the Linux approach

        One thing we do need to watch out for with relying on upstream Clang is dropping support for 32-bit x86.
        Linux still supports x86, don't confuse downstream distributions with the actual upstream kernel development project.

        It's not as if FreeBSD's support of i386 is stellar, one can just look at some of the mailing list posts from this year to see that, and it's understandable as well. There's essentially zero 32-bit x86 hardware that is worth keeping around if your primary use case is servers and high performance embedded applications.

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        • #5
          Typo:

          Originally posted by phoronix View Post
          and while there have been many big updates to the GNU Compiler Collection over the pase decade,

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          • #6
            PowerPC is in no danger of being dropped. The switch to Clang is going very well and should be done within the next month.

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            • #7
              RIP last version of GCC that didn't require a C++ compiler to build. 4.2 could be bootstrapped with C compiler alone

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              • #8
                Originally posted by foobaz View Post
                PowerPC is in no danger of being dropped. The switch to Clang is going very well and should be done within the next month.
                Hasn't PowerPC64LE been the only relevant one from that family for ages anyway? No one is suggesting its removal.

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                • #9
                  Why GCC under GPLv2 was fine as main compiler for FreeBSD, but not for GPLv3. Or was a pure political decision from FreeBSD at that time, not about license GPL3+ legally conflicting with BSD license?

                  Modern versions of FreeBSD can't be compiled with GCC8/9/10?
                  Last edited by onicsis; 08-15-2019, 05:18 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by foobaz View Post
                    PowerPC is in no danger of being dropped. The switch to Clang is going very well and should be done within the next month.
                    Same applies to the MIPS and SPARC backends which have received quite some fixes from the Debian side.

                    When FreeBSD is switching over to LLVM/clang, they will hopefully also help polish the backends even further.

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