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Linux Kernel Raising Compiler Build Requirement To GCC 4.9
Recently the compiler requirement was upped to GCC 4.8 while as a late change for Linux 5.8 is now bumping the base compiler version supported to GCC 4.9.
Torvalds updated the requirement on the basis of the Linux kernel currently having to workaround multiple pre-4.9 GCC bugs and other headaches. Shifting the requirement to GCC 4.9 will allow kernel developers to make better assumptions and clean-up a lot of code moving forward.
GCC 4.9 was released in 2014 so it's a relatively safe move to make. Torvalds does acknowledge that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 still relies on GCC 4.8 as its compiler. To the RHEL7 compiler, Torvalds noted, "the people who stay back on old RHEL versions [presumably] also don't build their own kernels anyway. And maybe they should cross-built or just have a little side affair with a newer compiler?"
The updated requirement was merged today for Linux 5.8 Git.