Nick Clifton

Born in Canada, raised in the UK. Joined Cygnus in the US, which then became part of Red Hat. Now back in the UK, working remotely and enjoying every minute of it.

Areas of Expertise

Compilers & Linkers

Recent Posts

February/March 2016 GNU Toolchain Update


The GNU Toolchain is a collection of  programming tools produced by the GNU Project. The tools are often packaged together due to their common use for developing software applications, operating systems, and low level software for embedded systems.

This blog is part of a regular series covering the latest changes and improvements in the components that make up this Toolchain.  Apart from the announcement of new releases however, the features described here are at the very bleeding edge of software development in the tools.  This does mean that it may be a while before they make it into production releases, although interested parties can always build their own copies of the toolchain in order to try them out.

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December ’15/January ’16 GNU Toolchain Update

December ’15/January ’16 GNU Toolchain Update

First of all I have an apology to make. I managed to reformat my hard drive over the holidays, wiping away all of my notes for this blog. In particular I was contacted by a reader about an enhancement to gcc’s inline assembler support which I have now totally lost. 🙁 So, dear reader, wherever you are, I apologise, and if you contact me again I will make sure that the extended asm enhancement gets mentioned in the next blog post.

The big news, for me at least, is that binutils 2.26 is now out.  This release contains lots of bug fixes of course, plus a few new features:

  • A new configure option:  –enable-compressed-debug-sections=[all,gas,gold,ld,none]
    This decides whether DWARF debug sections should be compressed by default. For now this option is off for all of the tools, although of course it can be enabled via a command line option.  In future releases of binutils however, the option will be enabled by default.
  • Support for the ARC EM/HS and ARC600/700 architectures.
  • Support for the LLVM plugin.
  • Continue reading “December ’15/January ’16 GNU Toolchain Update”

October/November 2015 GNU Toolchain Update

October/November 2015 GNU Toolchain Update

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to a new blog about changes and new features in the GNU toolchain (compiler, assembler, linker and debugger).  My intention is to post monthly updates highlighting what is new in these tools so that developers can keep abreast of the developing technologies.  This first post covers changes made to the development versions tools in October and November of this year.  Earlier posts in this series can be found in my live journal blog here, but future posts will continue on this site.

Note – these features have not yet made it into released products like Fedora or RHEL, so if you want to play with them now, you will have to download the sources from the FSF and build your own toolchain.

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