Re: RFC: Raise required gcc version to 3.2 ?

From: Adrian Bunk
Date: Fri Jul 29 2005 - 10:59:55 EST

On Thu, Jul 28, 2005 at 06:48:49PM +0200, Mikael Pettersson wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2005 14:00:12 +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> >What is the oldest gcc we want to support in kernel 2.6?
> >
> >Currently, it's 2.95 .
> >
> >I'd suggest raising this to 3.2 which should AFAIK not be a problem for
> >any distribution supporting kernel 2.6 .
> >
> >Is there any good reason why we should not drop support for older
> >compilers?
> You're asking the wrong question. The right question would be:
> "Is there any good reason to drop support for older compilers?"
> At least on i386, gcc-2.95.3 still works and has the advantage
> of being much faster compile-time wise on older machines with
> limited memory (like my 486 test box). And I'm not the only
> one with that POV -- akpm also uses 2.95.
> Of course, if keeping 2.95.3 support would somehow hinder the
> kernel's development, then it should be removed. But so far I
> haven't seen any real(*) evidence that this is the case.

The advantages are:
- reducing the number of supported gcc versions from 8 to 4 [1]
allows the removal of several #ifdef's and workarounds
- my impression is that the older compilers are only rarely
used, so miscompilations of a driver with an old gcc might
not be detected for a longer amount of time

My personal opinion about the time and space a compilation requires is
that this is no longer that much of a problem for modern hardware, and
in the worst case you can compile the kernels for older machines on more
recent machines.

> /Mikael


[1] support removed: 2.95, 2.96, 3.0, 3.1
still supported: 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.0


"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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