Compilation time

Moritz Angermann moritz.angermann at
Sat Jul 8 01:45:49 UTC 2017

For those of us who are on macOS,

you usually do not have any gcc, it’s all clang behind the curtains. E.g.

$ /usr/bin/gcc --version
Configured with: --prefix=/Applications/ --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Apple LLVM version 8.1.0 (clang-802.0.42)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin16.6.0
Thread model: posix
InstalledDir: /Applications/

ld, is apples ld64 (see

$ /usr/bin/ld -v
@(#)PROGRAM:ld  PROJECT:ld64-278.4
configured to support archs: armv6 armv7 armv7s arm64 i386 x86_64 x86_64h armv6m armv7k armv7m armv7em (tvOS)
LTO support using: LLVM version 8.1.0, (clang-802.0.42)
TAPI support using: Apple TAPI version 1.33.11

if you end up having clang+llvm-4.0.0-x86_64-apple-darwin/bin or similar
in your path, you WILL have `ld.lld`, but that one is an ELF linker,
which on a MachO platform won’t be very useful (and will therefore fail
to link MachO objects).

Llvm’s `lld` will provide you with the following semi helpful note:
$ lld
lld is a generic driver.
Invoke ld.lld (Unix), ld (Mac) or lld-link (Windows) instead.

however, my copy of clang+llvm, does only ship ld.lld, and lld-link, but
not `ld`.

Thus, if you end up having the llvm tools (and ld.lld) in your PATH, you
will need to set `--disable-ld-override` during configure on macOS, or your
ghc build will fail, because you end up trying to link MachO object files
with an ELF only linker.


> On Jul 8, 2017, at 7:33 AM, Ben Gamari <ben at> wrote:
> Evan Laforge <qdunkan at> writes:
>> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 9:28 AM, Ben Gamari <ben at> wrote:
>>> In short, ./configure will now choose to use or ld.lld if
>>> available (although this can be disabled using the --disable-ld-override
>>> configure flag).
>> Just from curiosity, does this apply to OS X?  Of course, gold is
>> ELF-only, so it surely doesn't apply, but there's still lld.  OS X
>> uses clang to compile so I thought it might already use lld, but the
>> 'ld -v' output looks different, and implies it's a
>> replacement for OS X ld, so maybe not.  But it doesn't look like GNU
>> ld either, so maybe it's not affected by the BFD bug?
>> I'll try 8.2 on OS X and see if the link time changes.
> 8.2 will prefer both gold and lld over bfd ld. However two conditions
> must hold for these to be used,
> * The ld.lld/ executable must be in $PATH (or explicitly named
>   by passing the LD variable to configure)
> * $CC must understand the `-fuse-ld={gold,lld}` option. For (IMHO quite
>   silly) political reasons, gcc doesn't support `-fuse-ld=lld`. Debian
>   happens to patch gcc to add support but I don't know how common this
>   is in other distributions.
> Unfortunately, some earlier `gcc` versions didn't fail if given a
> `-fuse-ld` option that they didn't understand. Sadly we have no reliable
> way to detect this, so in this case we may end up passing a `-fuse-ld`
> option that gcc simply ignores.
> In the case of OS X we use Apple's own home-grown linker. I'm not sure
> whether/how OS X's gcc wrapper treats `-fuse-ld` (beyond that it doesn't
> error if the flag is given). I also don't know whether lld is currently a
> capable replacement for OS X ld.
> Cheers,
> - Ben
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