Malcolm J Harwood on 17 Dec 2005 17:34:09 -0000

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Re: GCC Compilers

On Saturday 17 December 2005 10:34 am, Doug Crompton wrote:

>  Well I already have a compiler (gcc4) so I just wondered what the
> procedure was to get and install an additional compiler. I know how to
> compile. My concern was how do you get and install an older compiler given
> that you have a newer one. So does this three step process take place when
> you already have a compiler installed?

Yes. If I remember correctly, it compiles the bootstrap (which is a minimalist 
c compiler that only implements enough to compile the compiler) using your 
existing compiler, which is then uses to compile a full gcc, then it uses the 
full gcc to recompile itself (in order to make use of optimisations not in 
the bootstrap).

> I did check the distro DVD. It does not show up in the installable
> packages. I did not look directly on the DVD. It might be that Novell did
> not want to cause themselves problems with people who installed the older
> gcc and then compiled the kernel or mixed and matched things and then
> wanted support.

It's quite likely Novell didn't want the support mess that can come from 
mixing compilers.

I'm used to Mandr[ake|iva] which provides an 'alternates' system (and 
gcc3.3.4) for exactly this situation. I assume at least some of the other 
distros have something similar. (The only other one I'm up to date on right 
now is Arch, which is very minimilist).

I'd suggest putting anything compiled with gcc3 (including itself) in it's own 
directory. That way you can add to PATH and LDLIBRARYPATH when you want to, 
but don't interfere with the rest of your system.

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