Replacing ld with gold - any experience?

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ld gold manual
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gold linker github
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Has anyone tried to use gold instead of ld?

gold promises to be much faster than ld, so it may help speeding up test cycles for large C++ applications, but can it be used as drop-in replacement for ld?

Can gcc/g++ directly call gold.?

Are there any know bugs or problems?

Although gold is part of the GNU binutils since a while, I have found almost no "success stories" or even "Howtos" in the Web.

(Update: added links to gold and blog entry explaining it)

Replacing ld with gold - any experience?, gold promises to be much faster than ld , so it may help speeding up test cycles for large C++ applications, but can it be used as drop-in replacement for ld? Gold is more efficient than gnu-ld, particularly for large C++ applications. There have been reports of 5x improvements for applications with link sizes on the order of 800M. Gold is also useful for GCC's link-time-optimizations and will likely be a required for incremental linking in the future.

As it took me a little while to find out how to selectively use gold (i.e. not system-wide using a symlink), I'll post the solution here. It's based on .

  1. Make a directory where you can put a gold glue script. I am using ~/bin/gold/.
  2. Put the following glue script there and name it ~/bin/gold/ld:

    gold "$@"

    Obviously, make it executable, chmod a+x ~/bin/gold/ld.

  3. Change your calls to gcc to gcc -B$HOME/bin/gold which makes gcc look in the given directory for helper programs like ld and thus uses the glue script instead of the system-default ld.

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Can gcc/g++ directly call gold.?

Just to complement the answers: there is a gcc's option -fuse-ld=gold (see gcc doc). Though, AFAIK, it is possible to configure gcc during the build in a way that the option will not have any effect.

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You could link ld to gold (in a local binary directory if you have ld installed to avoid overwriting):

ln -s `which gold` ~/bin/ld


ln -s `which gold` /usr/local/bin/ld

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