[lfs-dev] Building with gold

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Tue Feb 9 19:52:08 PST 2016

After last month's discussions on lfs-dev about building with gold, I
thought I would give it a go.  I'll CC this to blfs-dev and
blfs-support : if you reply, please consider which list is

For those who have not encountered it, gold is a different linker,
developed by google and supposedly much faster.  I was initially
dubious - when I last saw comments about it (a long while ago) I
recall that the linux kernel failed to link, perhaps only for some
.config options, and I anticipated problems in BLFS.

I built using LFS-svn from the 2nd of this month, and BLFS from the
4th - my normal desktop, plus all of TeX and most of kde5.

This was with GNU gold (GNU Binutils 2.26.20160125) 1.11 -
for LFS I had to add bison to the end of chapter five and pass
 --enable-gold --enable-plugins
to chapter six binutils.  I managed to get a vast amount of output on
my screen while running the tests (instead of to my test log), but
all that my log shows for the gold summary is:
All 3 tests passed

When I initially built gold on a completed system, I think there
were about 225 other tests before or after that, so I need to fix my
script (2>>&1 in the wrong place!).

I did not attempt to use gold until chapter 6 had completed (so, my
first package was the linux kernel) and I hacked up an ld symlink at
/usr/bin/gold/ld to avoid major changes to my scripts (i.e. just
alter the PATH in my main scripts - this also simplifies trying to
test if a build failure is because of gold: just drop that part of
the PATH).

In practice, my problems were few.  A list of the packages I built
is at
and of those only libglade [ patch now in patches ], firefox (! :
it told me to use --disable-elf-hack
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1246416) and
gtkimageview-1.6.4 (for ufraw : fixed with a sed which is in my

Please note that I did not attempt to compare build times with gold
and regular old ld.  This was just a test to estimate how many
packages will need fixes, and the number looks manageable.
I also have no idea whether gold can be used when building chapter

This email was written using 100% recycled letters.

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