Why GCC 4?

Ewan Mac Mahon ewan at macmahon.me.uk
Fri Mar 17 21:45:00 UTC 2006


On Fri, Mar 17, 2006 at 10:07:59PM +0200, Alan McKinnon wrote:
> On Friday 17 March 2006 15:41, Ewan Mac Mahon wrote:
> > On Tue, Mar 14, 2006 at 12:47:55AM +0200, Alan McKinnon wrote:
> > > I can see the sense in still compiling the kernel with 3.3 (heck,
> > > the kernel docs still recommend 2.95.3),
> >
> > It hasn't been recommended for ages, and as of 2.6.16-rc6 the
> > minimum required version of gcc is given in Documentation/Changes
> > as 3.2.
> 
> I don't think so. /usr/src/linux-2.6.12.6/Documentation/Changes:
> 
> "The recommended compiler for the kernel is gcc 2.95.x (x >= 3), and
> it should be used when you need absolute stability. You may use gcc
> 3.0.x instead if you wish, although it may cause problems. Later
> versions of gcc have not received much testing for Linux kernel
> compilation, and there are almost certainly bugs (mainly, but not
> exclusively, in the kernel) that will need to be fixed in order to use
> these compilers."
> 
The Changes file is usually good for the list of minimum versions,
everything else tends to lag a long way behind current practice. That
text is present verbatim in 2.4 kernels - just because it's in the
source doesn't mean it's actually true any more. The in kernel docs
don't get much attention unless (and not always even when) they're
full-on, flat-out wrong.

> That's the current stable kernel. 
It's the latest that's packaged in Ubuntu - it's not the latest from
kernel.org

>So not only has it not not been recommended for ages, 2.95.x (x >=3)
>*is* the currently recommended compiler. Unless Linus got around to
>changing the docs like yesterday
>
Five days ago for the 2.6.16-rc6 release, but I'm not sure it was Linus
that changed it.

Ewan
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