Fedora 29 Might Make Change To Eliminate Unnecessary Linking
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 3 July 2018 at 05:18 AM EDT. 80 Comments
FEDORA --
Yet another notable change proposal for Fedora 29 is to "remove excessive linking", which could help program start-up times, but may be too late for happening with the current Fedora Linux release cycle.

This change proposal is about always passing the "--as-needed" flag by default to the linker as part of the LDFLAGS. The "--as-needed" flag informs the linker to only link the libraries containing symbols used by the executable/library being linked. If a library trying to be linked against a binary isn't used, it won't end up being linked, which could be helpful particularly for large frameworks.

By being able to avoid unnecessary linking, it's possible to improve startup times by not needing to load as many libraries while also yielding smaller metadata.

The problem with this change though for the current cycle (F29) is that this change would require a mass rebuild of all packages. The deadline for changes requiring mass rebuilds was in mid-June. We'll see how the FESCo committee acts on this ticket if they will let it through or decide to postpone it until Fedora 30.

Their plans anyhow can be found via this Wiki page.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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