GNU's Gold Linker Is Stagnating, Fedora Looking To Punt It Off Into A Separate Package
Written by Michael Larabel in GNU on 24 February 2019 at 01:20 AM EST. 18 Comments
GNU --
While the GNU Gold linker has been quite promising especially in being faster than the conventional GNU linker, Google developers are no longer actively advancing this linker and thus raising concerns it could begin to suffer from bit-rot.

The Gold linker continues to be maintained by GNU Binutils developers, but with it not really marching forward, Fedora developers are becoming concerned that in the long-term they might have to drop this linker should its quality suffer.

While there are no plans at this immediate stage to drop "ld.gold" from Fedora, with the Fedora 31 cycle they are looking at moving the Gold linker outside of the main Binutils RPM and into its own sub-package. By doing so, it would be easier for them to phase out Gold support in the future if warranted by declining quality.

Hopefully Gold will go on and end up being picked up by others as an alternative to the GNU Linker or the LLVM Linker that is becoming quite popular (especially by Google), but in case it doesn't, the preparations by Red Hat's Nick Clifton with the F31 change proposal will at least have the Gold linker living separate from the main Binutils package.

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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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