OpenBSD Journal

Call for testing: pcc and the OpenBSD kernel

Contributed by weerd on from the 32-more-bits dept.

Michael Dexter from BSD Fund writes in with an update on pcc developments:

Anders Magnusson (ragge@) reports that pcc can now build a bootable OpenBSD -current x86 kernel and that amd64 support is coming soon. Your testing using a fresh snapshot is greatly appreciated.

Please report any bugs in the pcc bug database and be as precise as possible. Code samples are welcome.

We'd like to thank Jonathan Gray (jsg@) for finding many code-generation bugs that were revealed by the kernel and also the dozen donors who contributed a total of over $750 to this effort this month, bringing us less than $3,000 from our goal.

This is great news for software projects in general, as it is another step to try to diminish the GCC monoculture and for OpenBSD specifically as this marks the first architecture kernel that can be compiled with this compiler with hopefully many more to come.

(Comments are closed)


  1. By Venture37 (venture37) on http://www.geeklan.co.uk

    very cool, well done :)

    As far as testing goes, what's the best way to get the ports build process to use pcc instead of gcc??

    1. By phessler (phessler) on http://theapt.org

      > very cool, well done :)
      >
      > As far as testing goes, what's the best way to get the ports build process to use pcc instead of gcc??

      env CC=/usr/bin/pcc make

      1. By Venture37 (venture37) on http://www.geeklan.co.uk

        > env CC=/usr/bin/pcc make

        Thanks for the pointer :)

  2. By Anonymous Coward (bodie) on http://www.openbsd.org

    Oh really good news for whole BSD world.

  3. By ventejuy (ventejuy) ventejuy@yahoo.es on www.ventejuy.es

    Nice to see a "keep it simple" compiler growing.

  4. By Clever Monkey (clvrmnky) clvrmnky@gmail.com on http://clevermonkey.org

    I'm pretty sure my first C compiler was PCC. I think I bought it as a sort of shareware release, and it was shipped on a series of 5.25 floppies.

    I wonder if this is the same compiler? I recall it did not have the (new, at the time) ANSI syntax -- K&R all the way. But it was fast, and it made tight code.

    1. By Brynet (Brynet) on

      > I'm pretty sure my first C compiler was PCC. I think I bought it as a sort of shareware release, and it was shipped on a series of 5.25 floppies.
      >
      > I wonder if this is the same compiler? I recall it did not have the (new, at the time) ANSI syntax -- K&R all the way. But it was fast, and it made tight code.

      Considering it's from the 70's, that may be possible.. has been various incarnations of it during the years, appears to be well designed.

      BSD used it up until the 4.4 release, later switching to GNU's cc under pressure.

      Seems like a good thing to start using the original BSD compiler, it served the community once.. it can do it again. :-)

    1. By ragge (ragge) on

      Hm, good question, I'll fix it ASAP.

  5. By James (jturner) james@bsdgroup.org on http://bsdgroup.org

    Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?

    1. By Janne Johansson (jj) jj@inet6.se on .

      > Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?

      People have been using it for years, some 5800 pre-built packages are available for it and most devs have access to such machines so its kept maintained. Did you have anything specific in mind I should have mind-read?

      1. By Gilles Chehade (gilles) gilles@openbsd.org on http://www.poolp.org/

        > > Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?
        >
        > People have been using it for years, some 5800 pre-built packages are available for it and most devs have access to such machines so its kept maintained. Did you have anything specific in mind I should have mind-read?
        >

        I think he implied "in pcc" :-)

        Gilles

        1. By Simon Lundström (simmel) on

          > > > Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?
          > >
          > > People have been using it for years, some 5800 pre-built packages are available for it and most devs have access to such machines so its kept maintained. Did you have anything specific in mind I should have mind-read?
          > >
          >
          > I think he implied "in pcc" :-)
          >
          > Gilles

          Give him a break, he's on vacation! ; P

          (I have no idea why he's up at 8:30 when on vacation though, I'm guessing the kids woke him up ; ()

          1. By James (jturner) on http://bsdgroup.org

            > > > > Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?
            > > >
            > > > People have been using it for years, some 5800 pre-built packages are available for it and most devs have access to such machines so its kept maintained. Did you have anything specific in mind I should have mind-read?
            > > >
            > >
            > > I think he implied "in pcc" :-)
            > >
            > > Gilles
            >
            > Give him a break, he's on vacation! ; P
            >
            > (I have no idea why he's up at 8:30 when on vacation though, I'm guessing the kids woke him up ; ()

            Ha, yes I meant pcc's amd64 support :). Thanks for the reply ragge.

    2. By ragge (ragge) on

      > Is amd64 support on OpenBSD ready for primetime yet?

      There are two bugs that I must shake out, one is related to PIC code and the the other is in struct passing as function arguments.

  6. By Bernd Schoeller (schoelle) bernd@fams.de on

    My $100 new-year donation on its way to BSD Fund, knowing that this project is the most important puzzle-stone to make OpenBSD GPL-free.

    1. By Medina Clavijo (ventejuy) on www.twitter.com/ventejuy

      > My $100 new-year donation on its way to BSD Fund, knowing that this project is the most important puzzle-stone to make OpenBSD GPL-free.

      I don't see PCC like a GPL liberator. Really I have no much problem with GPL, but I don't like big pieces of code, and GCC is a colossus. That is what I like from PCC, few code lines, clear and manageable.

      1. By Bernd Schoeller (schoelle) on

        There have always been technical reasons for going away from GCC, that is true. I am looking forward to see a much better compiler in terms of correctness.

        On the other hand, OpenBSD has a long history in trying to become consistent with its BSD license model and using the huge ugly GPL beast GCC just does not fit.

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