GoldPlugin.html   [plain text]

  <title>LLVM gold plugin</title>
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<div class="doc_title">LLVM gold plugin</div>
  <li><a href="#introduction">Introduction</a></li>
  <li><a href="#build">How to build it</a></li>
  <li><a href="#usage">Usage</a>
    <li><a href="#example1">Example of link time optimization</a></li>
  <li><a href="#licensing">Licensing</a></li>
<div class="doc_author">Written by Nick Lewycky</div>

<div class="doc_section"><a name="introduction">Introduction</a></div>
<div class="doc_text">
  <p>Building with link time optimization requires cooperation from the
system linker. LTO support on Linux systems requires that you use
the <a href="">gold linker</a> which supports
LTO via plugins. This is the same system used by the upcoming
<a href="">GCC LTO</a>
  <p>The LLVM gold plugin implements the
<a href="">gold plugin interface</a>
on top of
<a href="">libLTO</a>.
The same plugin can also be used by other tools such as <tt>ar</tt> and
<div class="doc_section"><a name="build">How to build it</a></div>
<div class="doc_text">
  <p>You need to build gold with plugin support and build the LLVMgold
  <li>Build gold with plugin support:
    <pre class="doc_code">
mkdir binutils
cd binutils
cvs -z 9 -d login
<em>{enter "anoncvs" as the password}</em>
cvs -z 9 -d co src
mkdir build
cd build
../src/configure --enable-gold --enable-plugins
make all-gold
    That should leave you with binutils/build/gold/ld-new which supports the
<tt>-plugin</tt> option.

    <li>Build the LLVMgold plugin: Configure LLVM with
    <tt>--with-binutils-include=/path/to/binutils/src/include</tt> and run
<div class="doc_section"><a name="usage">Usage</a></div>
<div class="doc_text">
  <p>The linker takes a <tt>-plugin</tt> option that points to the path of
  the plugin <tt>.so</tt> file. To find out what link command <tt>gcc</tt>
  would run in a given situation, run <tt>gcc -v <em>[...]</em></tt> and look
  for the line where it runs <tt>collect2</tt>. Replace that with
  <tt>ld-new -plugin /path/to/</tt> to test it out. Once you're
  ready to switch to using gold, backup your existing <tt>/usr/bin/ld</tt>
  then replace it with <tt>ld-new</tt>.</p>
  <p>You can produce bitcode files from <tt>llvm-gcc</tt> using
  <tt>-emit-llvm</tt> or <tt>-flto</tt>, or the <tt>-O4</tt> flag which is
  synonymous with <tt>-O3 -flto</tt>.</p>
  <p><tt>llvm-gcc</tt> has a <tt>-use-gold-plugin</tt> option which looks
  for the gold plugin in the same directories as it looks for <tt>cc1</tt> and
  passes the <tt>-plugin</tt> option to ld. It will not look for an alternate
  linker, which is why you need gold to be the installed system linker in your

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<div class="doc_subsection">
  <a name="example1">Example of link time optimization</a>

<div class="doc_text">
  <p>The following example shows a worked example of the gold plugin mixing
  LLVM bitcode and native code.
<pre class="doc_code">
--- a.c ---
#include &lt;stdio.h&gt;

extern void foo1(void);
extern void foo4(void);

void foo2(void) {

void foo3(void) {

int main(void) {

--- b.c ---
#include &lt;stdio.h&gt;

extern void foo2(void);

void foo1(void) {

void foo4(void) {

--- command lines ---
$ llvm-gcc -flto a.c -c -o a.o              # &lt;-- a.o is LLVM bitcode file
$ llvm-gcc b.c -c -o b.o                    # &lt;-- b.o is native object file
$ llvm-gcc -use-gold-plugin a.o b.o -o main # &lt;-- link with LLVMgold plugin
  <p>Gold informs the plugin that foo3 is never referenced outside the IR,
  leading LLVM to delete that function. However, unlike in the
  <a href="">libLTO
  example</a> gold does not currently eliminate foo4.</p>

<div class="doc_section"><a name="licensing">Licensing</a></div>
<div class="doc_text">
  <p>Gold is licensed under the GPLv3. LLVMgold uses the interface file
<tt>plugin-api.h</tt> from gold which means that the resulting
binary is also GPLv3. This can still be used to link non-GPLv3 programs just
as much as gold could without the plugin.</p>

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  <a href="">Nick Lewycky</a><br>
  <a href="">The LLVM Compiler Infrastructure</a><br>
  Last modified: $Date: 2009-01-01 23:10:51 -0800 (Thu, 01 Jan 2009) $