The Speed Of LLVM's LLD Linker Continues Looking Good
Written by Michael Larabel in LLVM on 27 February 2017 at 08:35 AM EST. 25 Comments
LLVM's LLD linker still isn't too widely used yet on Linux systems, but the performance of this linker alternative to GNU Gold and GNU ld are quite compelling.

We've written many times before about the much progress and better performance of "the LLVM linker" while some new numbers were committed to the LLD documentation.

The LLD documentation was updated and it shows some impressive performance figures over GNU's LD/Gold linkers:
This is a link time comparison on a 2-socket 20-core 40-thread Xeon E5-2680 2.80 GHz machine with an SSD drive.

LLD is much faster than the GNU linkers for large programs. That's fast for small programs too, but because the link time is short anyway, the difference is not very noticeable in that case.

Note that this is just a benchmark result of our environment. Depending on number of available cores, available amount of memory or disk latency/throughput, your results may vary.

============  ===========  ======  ========  ======
Program       Output size  GNU ld  GNU gold  LLD
ffmpeg dbg    92 MiB     1.59s   1.15s     0.78s
mysqld dbg    158 MiB      7.09s   2.49s     1.31s
clang dbg     1.55 GiB     86.76s  21.93s    8.38s
chromium dbg  1.57 GiB     N/A     40.86s    12.69s
============  ===========  ======  ========  ======
While GNU Gold is much better than the commonly used ld linker, LLD is looking super and the linking time would be noticeable to those building larger applications like Chromium, Clang, LibreOffice, and other larger code-bases.
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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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