news about default kernel compliers

Bruce Dubbs bdubbs at
Wed Jun 25 09:04:04 PDT 2003

Greg Schafer wrote:

>On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 09:35:59AM -0500, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>>At Usenix a couple of weeks ago, I asked Ted T'so what compiler to use 
>>with the kernel and he told me gcc-3.2.
>> -- Bruce
>Bruce, I'm truly amazed that you could make such a vague statement, lacking
>in technical detail, even after attending a technical conference!
>How about at least specifying which kernel version you're talking about?
>This is a CRITICAL point which lots of folk seem to miss.
>FWIW, this is my current take on the situation:-
>2.95.x is still the preferred compiler for kernels 2.4.x. This is what LFS
>should be using in the book. No ifs or buts. 3.2.x or 3.3 will mostly work
>(at least on X86) but if anyone does so, they are on their own and will not
>get support or have bug reports taken seriously. Excuses like "but Suse or
>Redhat or DistroX compile their kernels with 3.x" just do not cut it. Those
>distros generally have real developers and real quality control i.e. a paid
>workforce to ensure things work. Not to mention massive userbases. For
>"absolute rock solid production quality stability" use gcc-2.95.x to compile
>your 2.4.x kernels.
>2.5/2.6 is a different kettle of fish. I get the impression from reading
>lkml that majority of developers are now using 3.2.x and now even 3.3. Even
>Linus himself appears to be using 3.2.x. Andrew Morton is a notable
>exception and has voiced his anti 3.x views on many an occasion. When 2.6
>gets released and goes into the book, we can then reevaluate. But one thing
>is for certain, just blindly using the latest "compiler of the day" is not
>the right thing to do.

Greg,  Sorry I was vague, but the whole conversation was about a minute 
long.  I went to a tutorial given by Ted on the Linux kernel internals.  
He discussed issues like handling 64-bit processors and massive (e.g. 
greater than 8) processor systems.  He said he thought Linus would be 
releasing 2.6 in the next two months or so.  He said that the current 
version of 2.5 was now pretty stable.

Later in the week, I saw Ted in the hall and asked, "BTW, what version 
of gcc should I use to compile the kernel?"  After thnking a few 
seconds, he said (paraphrasing) "gcc 3.2 is OK.  Probably not gcc.3.3."  
Theat was the whole conversation. 

I wasn't trying to do major research into building the system tool 
chain, but merely getting one data point.

  -- Bruce

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