Alternatives to gcc (was Re: gcc 4.3: when will it become standard compiler?)

David O'Brien obrien at
Sat Jan 31 18:51:33 PST 2009

On Wed, Jan 14, 2009 at 01:38:56PM -0000, Pegasus Mc Cleaft wrote:
>    If gcc 4.2 && buildtools 2.15 is the end of the road for what BSD is 
> able to include under GPL V2.

GCC 4.2.1, Binutils 2.17, GDB 6.6 are the end of the GPLv2 line.

We are already at GCC 4.2.1.  I am working on moving us to Binutils 2.17.
There is also an effort to move us to GDB 6.5 (not 6.6 because there is
existing work we can leverage; we could then move to 6.6).

> Can we draw a line under it and continue to 
> include it as buildable with the world if a configure option like
> "option BUILDGCC42" is in the kernel config file?

We have customizations to GCC that have not been accepted back into the
stock GCC (not that I haven't tried for years).  We use these options in
the kernel build.

As the person that upgraded us to many new GCC versions, the usual major
motivation for me was userland apps (my own and those in /usr/ports),
not /usr/src.  Though the benefit to /usr/src was also a motivation for

Given there isn't a new C standard being worked on post C99 (only
addendums), I think we have a suitable compiler for /usr/src.
Yes we know of some bugs, but we've disabled the options tickle them.

Given it is harder and harder to BSDize GCC as it grows more tentacles
and run-time requirements; I think we should consider a normal FreeBSD
installation as having a system compiler and a general purpose
application compiler.

The C++ ABI issues are behind us.  (Actually have been since GCC 3.2 in
that there was finally a C++ ABI standard, the issues in 3.3 and 3.4 were
fixing bugs in the GCC implementation of the standard).  I am not aware of
any C++ ABI issues 3.4->4.1->4.2.  [please educated me if you know of

-- David  (obrien at

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