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Compiling Debian from source, with GCC 3.4.2


It's my task to compile a complete Debian distribution from source.  The
main goal is to test our version of the GCC compiler, SDE, which is based
on 3.4.2, and has more tuning/optimisations for the MIPS architecture. The
second goal is to be able to say: "Here is a Debian distribution, compiled
with our compiler, and look, it's smaller and faster". A third goal is
going to find every single package that wont compile out of the box.

So far, I've got a *small* tcsh script, that uses packages from a local
source mirror and calls pbuilder.  Soon I hope to set up a buildd +
sbuild, to keep up with releases.  The way I have pbuilder set up is to
use one of two chroots, one as default with GCC 3.3, the other has our SDE
compiler packaged to look like GCC 3.3.  This was the only way I could
find to let Debian compile things without using GCC.

I understand that the entire point of dependencies is to ensure things
just work, but I'm trying to find out where SDE breaks, so the
dependencies are impeding me.  What do people do when they want to use a
later version of GCC?  It has to work with apt, for the entire
distribution.  I could use the /etc/alternatives to redirect /usr/bin/gcc,
but then packages like libc6 call gcc-3.3 directly.  So yes, I have it set
up so this happens:
 $ gcc-3.3 --version
gcc (GCC) 3.4.2 mipssde-6.01.02-pre1-20041214
and it's funny also having a binutils that dpkg says is at version 3.3...

Now for the crunch:  as SDE is based on 3.4.2, all the C++ errors caused
by the daily abi change are appearing.  For example, see the achilles
package: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=258481
I could patch each package as I go, but I really want to know if there is
any effort to "migrate" to GCC 3.4, as there a lot more c++ packages
with similarly cryptic errors.

So in my effort to compile Debian, is there anything else you think I
should know?


Laurence Darby

MIPS Technologies (UK)             The Fruit Farm
+44 (0)1223 706210                 Ely Road, Chittering
www.mips.com                       Cambs, CB5 9PH

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