Why Google Chrome Switched To The Clang Compiler On Linux
Since a few months back Google switched from GCC to Clang for compiling their production builds of the Chrome web-browser on Linux. A Google developer has now shed some light on the switch with backing up their own reasons for switching to Clang.
The two main reasons for switching over to Clang as the default Linux compiler for Chrome came down to many Chromium developers already were using Clang on Linux and they wanted to use modern C++ features in Chromium. Google found it easier on Linux systems to switch to Clang for tapping newer C++ features rather than upgrading GCC on their systems from GCC 4.6 to GCC 4.8~4.9.
For now though Google is still using GCC for the compiler on Chrome for Android and Chrome OS. Google developers are also working to make using Clang more viable on Windows. Switching to Clang as the default compiler on Windows will be the biggest challenge for competing with Microsoft Visual Studio's generated binary size and performance.
Those wishing to hear the lengthy explanation for why Google switched to Clang for Chrome on Linux, there's a new post today at the LLVM blog by a Chromium team member.