GNU Highlights Of 2018 From Hurd To GCC

Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 27 December 2018 at 12:17 AM EST. Add A Comment
It was another busy year for the GNU with its massive collection of software projects. Of the 124 "GNU" original news articles on Phoronix during 2018, here is a look at the most popular ones.

The GNU project in 2018 saw the release of the feature-packed GCC 8 and great progress made towards releasing GCC 9 earlier next year, major updates to the GDB and Glibc and other key GNU toolchain components, the GNU Linux-libre kernel punctually re-basing against new upstream releases, Hurd still moving along, and more. Here's a look back at the biggest (most popular) highlights of the year.

The D Language Front-End Finally Merged Into GCC 9
The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has a new language front-end! The D language support has finally been merged.

The Big Features & Improvements Of The GCC 8 Compiler
The GCC 8 compiler will likely be introduced as stable this week or next in the form of the GCC 8.1 premiere release. Here's a look at the prominent changes for this annual update to the GNU Compiler Collection.

GCC's Conversion To Git Is Being Held Up By RAM, a.k.a. Crazy DDR4 Prices
After converting the GNU Emacs repository to Git a few years back, Eric S Raymond has been working on the massive undertaking of transferring the GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) repository in full over to Git. But the transition to GCC Git is being hampered since due to the massive size of the repository, Raymond's system is running under extreme memory pressure with 64GB of RAM.

Arch Linux Finally Rolling Out Glibc 2.27
Arch Linux is finally transitioning to glibc 2.27, which may make for a faster system.

GCC's Conversion To Git Is Still Turning Out To Be A Massive Headache
Remember earlier this month when GCC's long in the works conversion from SVN to Git was being held up by the lack of RAM on Eric S Raymond's system? Well, it turns out that's just part of the problem.

Glibc Support For Statx Is Finally Under Review
Red Hat developer Florian Weimer sent out a patch this week adding the statx function to the GNU C Library (glibc).

2018 Isn't The Year Of The GNU Hurd
We are now half-way through 2018 and the work on GNU Hurd and related components like GNU March have been very light.

GCC 9 Looks Set To Remove Intel MPX Support
Last year we reported on GCC deprecating Intel Memory Protection Extensions (MPX) and now it looks like with GCC 9 they will be dropping the support entirely.

What Makes GLIBC 2.27 Exciting To The Clear Linux Folks
Released at the beginning of February was Glibc 2.27 and it's comprised of a lot of new features and performance improvements. But what's the best of Glibc 2.27?

Nano 3.0 Text Editor Released - Reads Files 70% Faster, ~2x Faster ASCII Text Handling
For fans of the Nano text editor, version 3.0 was released today with some significant performance improvements among other enhancements for this common Linux command-line program.

GCC9 Lands Initial C++ Networking TS Implementation
The GCC9 compiler code as of Friday has an initial implementation of the C++ networking technical specification.

GCC 8 Hasn't Been Performing As Fast As It Should For Skylake With "-march=native"
It turns out that when using GCC 8 since April (or GCC 9 development code) if running on Intel Skylake (or newer architectures like the yet-to-be-out Cannonlake or Icelake) and compile your code with the "-march=native" flag for what should tune for your CPU microarchitecture's full capabilities, that hasn't entirely been the case. A fix is en route that can correct the performance by as much as 60%.

TLS 1.3 Via GnuTLS Is Planned For Fedora 29
The feature list for Fedora 29 continues growing and the latest is about shipping GnuTLS with TLS 1.3 support enabled.

GCC 8.2 Released, GCC 8.3 Coming Around Year's End
Jakub Jelinek of Red Hat today announced the relase of GCC 8.2 stable as the first point relase to the stable GCC 8 compiler that debuted earlier this year.

Red Hat Compiler Developer Working On Compiler-Assisted Performance Analysis For GCC
Longtime GNU toolchain developer at Red Hat, David Malcolm, has announced the work he is pursuing on compiler-assisted performance analysis with GCC.

GNU Hurd Hardware Support Remains In Very Rough Shape For 2018
Yesterday at FOSDEM 2018 Hurd developer Samuel Thibault talked about the work done on this GNU kernel for a PCI arbiter to allow different user-land drivers to access PCI devices concurrently. During this PCI arbiter talk he also went over the current state of the hardware support and recent achievements for GNU Hurd.

GNU FreeDink - One Of The Few Fully Free Software Games - Now Runs On The Web
When it comes to obscure projects under the official GNU Project umbrella, GNU FreeDink is one of them as being a free software game whose lineage traces back to the Dink Smallwood title from the late 90's. Nearly twenty years after the game's original release, the latest GNU FreeDink release is now available that allows it to be played within web-browsers.

GCC 9 Drops Support For Older ARM Microarchitecture Versions
Next year's GCC 9 compiler release will be eliminating support for older ARM versions.

H1-2018 Was Certainly Eventful For The GCC Compiler
The first half of 2018 was certainly eventful for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) with the stable release of GCC8, feature development on GCC9 kicking off, and all the associated fun.

Glibc 2.28 Adds Unicode 11.0 Support, RenameAt2
In addition to working on statx() for glibc, landing in the GNU C Library this week was Unicode 11.0 support along with a renameat2() function.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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