Intel's Clear Linux Distribution Switches Over To GCC 6.1 By Default
Written by Michael Larabel in Clear Linux on 9 May 2016 at 09:35 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Intel's Clear Linux operating system is now one of the first to be re-built under GCC 6 with using GCC 6.1 as its default compiler.

Most distributions won't be migrating from GCC 5 to GCC 6 until later in the year, but this daily-updating Linux distribution out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center that continues to be focused on delivering optimized performance has already re-based from GCC 5.3 to GCC 6.1.0.

As of this weekend, Clear Linux packages are compiled under GCC 6.1 and it's what is shipped as the default compiler alongside LLVM Clang 3.8. The compiler upgrade landed with Clear Linux 7980.

You can see the impact on performance for switching from GCC 5 to GCC 6 for the operating system via the results in the past few days from our Clear Linux daily performance tracker carried out on five systems. I also ran some extra Clear Linux GCC 5/6 compiler tests on the Xeon E3-1245 v5 box.

You can see that extra benchmark data via this result file.

For many tests, there's barely any change in performance between GCC 5.3 and GCC 6.1. This is similar to what we've been seeing with other Linux distributions too during our GCC 6 trials.

While in other tests there's only small differences in performance...

GCC 6 though does take longer to build software than with GCC 5.

It looks like PostgreSQL may have regressed with the newest GNU Compiler Collection release.

You can explore more via this result file. If you want to give the latest Clear Linux release a whirl, visit
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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 or contacted via

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