Linux 4.19 Raises The GCC Minimum Version Required To Build The Kernel

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 20 August 2018 at 06:52 PM EDT. 38 Comments
Officially the Linux kernel listed GCC 3.2 as the minimum version of the GNU compiler needed. However, with Linux 4.19 that is being raised to GCC 4.6.

Various architectures on older GCC4 releases had already been failing to cleanly compile the Linux kernel so with Linux 4.19 that minimum version supported is being set at GCC 4.6.

The kernel will now be explicitly checking for GCC 4.6.0 or newer and otherwise erroring out. Dropping the GCC 3.2 to GCC 4.5 compiler coverage also means the kernel was able to strip out several dozen lines of workarounds it's had in place for working around compiler bugs and behavioral differences in these very old compiler releases.

The change happened to Linux 4.19 Git today via this commit. GCC 4.6.0 was released back in 2011.

Meanwhile, there is sadly nothing new to report on the LLVM Clang effort for building the mainline Linux x86_64 kernel. The LLVMLinux effort appears stalled though there has still been some work in the ARM Linux space to build the kernel with Clang.
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