Phoronix: LLVM's Clang Is Almost Good Enough For Debian
Clang, the C/C++ front-end compiler for LLVM, is progressing quite quickly and is capable of building the Debian archives quite well, at least for a majority of the packages and on popular architectures...
There are good reasons to use LLVM (especially the code analysis tools, and the license). But please don't try to make it out to be better than it is.
"Some performance benefits"?!
When there was a difference, more cases showed a performance loss.
Yes, there were some cases that showed Clang being ahead. But I would say that being faster at DES cracking is rather unimportant by now.
Also, if OpenMP is slower, don't even think that Clang is a good way to improve performance.
x86 is more common, but ARM is also common, MIPS is widespread in embedded applications, Power machines often run Linux, and Sparc is by no means dead.
Last I knew, LLVM worked on x86 and ARM but was a WIP on MIPS & Power.
For the forseeable future, using GCC will be guaranteed to work on any Linux system: otherwise, the kernel won't build/work, and using a compiler would be pointless. When trying to bootstrap, I'd rather build with one known-good compiler from the FSF*, that will build the entire system, than try to add a compiler from (cr)Apple** that is barely tested or functional outside a couple architectures, and will wreck performance for anything where someone actually tried to improve it (OpenMP).
Use LLVM if you want to for development, or for the warm fuzzy feeling of having a fully BSD-licensed toolchain. But don't expect Linux distros to switch to what's really an inferior option.
*At least they care about Linux stuff staying semi-functional, and do new development on Linux
**[rant]The patent troll/ogre that seems to be involved in a new lawsuit every week or two.
The folks who are breaking CUPS for Linux-users, unless you throw in an implementation of their flawed zeroconf specification on both server and client side, and install proper drivers from a third party.
The folks who provide no official way to use their mobile devices with Linux PCs.
(Some of) the folks who have been trying to stop VP8 dead and force H264 on the world.
....and so on--why would I expect them to be better about supporting Linux with a compiler? [/rant]
LLVM 2.9 was rather nasty on linux, because it hardcoded the few most popular distros' locations for as and ld. The hardcoded lists didn't even include the paths where binutils/gcc installs them by default, thus breaking nicely at runtime on more vanilla-oriented distros.
Just something that's clearly from not having linux as a main target...