Mold 1.0.2 Released For This High Performance Linker
Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 23 January 2022 at 06:22 AM EST. 18 Comments
PROGRAMMING --
For those interested in compilers, Mold as the "Modern Linker" is one of the interesting projects to watch in 2022.

Mold 1.0 came at the end of 2021 for this project developed by Rui Ueyama who is also known as the original developer of LLVM's LLD linker. Mold 1.0 is considered stable and production ready while delivering very promising results compared to LLVM's LLD or GNU's Gold linkers. Mold has been generating interest among developers and now Mold 1.0.2 is out this Sunday with fixes and minor updates.

While Mold is working towards native link-time optimization (LTO) support, for the moment Mold 1.0.2 will now fall-back to using ld.bfd or ld.lld if GCC/LLVM LTO support is requested. This at least will not break builds and so should work out fine until Mold's LTO support is ready.

Mold 1.0.2 is also now honoring more flags supported by other linkers, ARM64 range extension thunks are now in place, support for Mold on NetBSD is working, emitting compact 8-byte PLT entries rather than 16-byte entries on x86_64 when using "-z now", and support for RELR-type packed dynamic relocations.


Prior benchmarks from the Mold project showing off the very compelling linker performance.


There are also performance improvements with Mold 1.0.2 by way of rewriting the script processor which is especially beneficial if using * glob pattern matching behavior. There is also more optimized relocation processing for non-memory-allocated sections. This latter optimization work will help speed things up if the binary has lots of debug info.

Plus Mold 1.0.2 has numerous bug fixes, including the ability to handle archive files greater than 4GiB. More details on the changes with Mold 1.0.2 via the project's GitHub.
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