CpCd0y CpCd0y - 3 months ago 68
C++ Question

Using GCC's link-time optimization with static linked libraries

I'm trying to use link-time optimizations with the

-flto
flag of GCC (6.1.1).

While it works fine with my code, it doesn't link with a static linked library I'm also building and linking with my project (which is Engine and the library is glsl-optimizer, just for reference).

Here is the output:

...
/usr/bin/ranlib: ir_expression_flattening.cpp.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
/usr/bin/ranlib: opt_function_inlining.cpp.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
/usr/bin/ranlib: opt_copy_propagation_elements.cpp.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
...


And after that, of course, I get several "undefined references" to some functions.

I did some research and found out that it might be because of
ar
and I should try to use
gcc-ar
, but I'm not sure how I might do that.

Also, I'm using CMake that does not support lto (except on intel's compiler on some platforms, so I read...). Even though, I tried using :

set_property(TARGET glsl_optimizer PROPERTY INTERPROCEDURAL_OPTIMIZATION True)


Which didn't work.

Also, I tried GCC's
-fuse-linker-plugin
flag which didn't work.

I guess I'll have to do it "manually" the old way directly using
gcc-ar
, or maybe there's some other method ?

So that's where I'm blocking and don't really know how to proceed.

Thanks for any help.

Answer

Here is an MVCE CMake project that reproduces the problem:

$ ls -R hellow
hellow:
CMakeLists.txt  hello.c  libhello.c

$ cat hellow/CMakeLists.txt 
cmake_minimum_required (VERSION 2.6)
project (hellow)
SET(CMAKE_C_FLAGS "${CMAKE_C_FLAGS} -flto")
SET(CMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS "${CMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS} -flto")
#SET(CMAKE_AR  "gcc-ar")
#SET(CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_CREATE "<CMAKE_AR> qcs <TARGET> <LINK_FLAGS> <OBJECTS>")
#SET(CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_FINISH   true)
add_library(hello STATIC libhello.c) 
add_executable(hellow hello.c)
target_link_libraries(hellow hello)
add_dependencies(hellow hello)


$ cat hellow/hello.c 
extern void hello(void);

int main(void)
{
    hello();
    return 0;
}

$ cat hellow/libhello.c 
#include <stdio.h>

void hello(void)
{
    puts("Hello");
}

Configuration is good:

$ mkdir build_hellow
$ cd build_hellow/
$ cmake ../hellow
-- The C compiler identification is GNU 5.4.0
-- The CXX compiler identification is GNU 5.4.0
-- Check for working C compiler: /usr/bin/cc
-- Check for working C compiler: /usr/bin/cc -- works
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info - done
-- Detecting C compile features
-- Detecting C compile features - done
-- Check for working CXX compiler: /usr/bin/c++
-- Check for working CXX compiler: /usr/bin/c++ -- works
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info - done
-- Detecting CXX compile features
-- Detecting CXX compile features - done
-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /home/imk/dev/so/build_hellow

Build fails as per problem:

$ make
Scanning dependencies of target hello
[ 25%] Building C object CMakeFiles/hello.dir/libhello.c.o
[ 50%] Linking C static library libhello.a
/usr/bin/ar: CMakeFiles/hello.dir/libhello.c.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
/usr/bin/ranlib: libhello.c.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
[ 50%] Built target hello
Scanning dependencies of target hellow
[ 75%] Building C object CMakeFiles/hellow.dir/hello.c.o
[100%] Linking C executable hellow
/tmp/ccV0lG36.ltrans0.ltrans.o: In function `main':
<artificial>:(.text+0x5): undefined reference to `hello'
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status
CMakeFiles/hellow.dir/build.make:95: recipe for target 'hellow' failed
make[2]: *** [hellow] Error 1
CMakeFiles/Makefile2:67: recipe for target 'CMakeFiles/hellow.dir/all' failed
make[1]: *** [CMakeFiles/hellow.dir/all] Error 2
Makefile:83: recipe for target 'all' failed
make: *** [all] Error 2

There is more than one solution. One is to uncomment the 3 commented lines in CMakeLists.txt above. Then:

$ cmake ../hellow/
-- The C compiler identification is GNU 5.4.0
-- The CXX compiler identification is GNU 5.4.0
-- Check for working C compiler: /usr/bin/cc
-- Check for working C compiler: /usr/bin/cc -- works
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info - done
-- Detecting C compile features
-- Detecting C compile features - done
-- Check for working CXX compiler: /usr/bin/c++
-- Check for working CXX compiler: /usr/bin/c++ -- works
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info - done
-- Detecting CXX compile features
-- Detecting CXX compile features - done
-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /home/imk/dev/so/build_hellow

$ make
Scanning dependencies of target hello
[ 25%] Building C object CMakeFiles/hello.dir/libhello.c.o
[ 50%] Linking C static library libhello.a
[ 50%] Built target hello
Scanning dependencies of target hellow
[ 75%] Building C object CMakeFiles/hellow.dir/hello.c.o
[100%] Linking C executable hellow
[100%] Built target hellow

$ ./hellow 
Hello

This fix makes use of the following facts.

The build-breaking problem:

/usr/bin/ar: CMakeFiles/hello.dir/libhello.c.o: plugin needed to handle lto object
...
/usr/bin/ranlib: libhello.c.o: plugin needed to handle lto object

can solved by giving ar and ranlib the option:

--plugin=$(gcc --print-file-name=liblto_plugin.so)

However, GNU ranlib is merely a synonym for ar -s, and gcc-ar is a wrapper for ar that supplies that plugin.

CMake's build template for a C static library is:

CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_CREATE ( = <CMAKE_AR> qc <TARGET> <LINK_FLAGS> <OBJECTS>)
CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_FINISH ( = <CMAKE_RANLIB> <TARGET>)

which for GNU ar is equivalent to:

CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_CREATE ( = <CMAKE_AR> qcs <TARGET> <LINK_FLAGS> <OBJECTS>)
CMAKE_C_ARCHIVE_FINISH ( = true) # Or any other no-op command

So with these settings plus:

SET(CMAKE_AR  "gcc-ar")

we're good.

For a C++ project, of course, set CMAKE_CXX_ARCHIVE_CREATE and CMAKE_CXX_ARCHIVE_FINISH