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Minimum compiler version (was: Re: [PATCH v5 0/4] Update gnulib and drop

From: Glenn Washburn
Subject: Minimum compiler version (was: Re: [PATCH v5 0/4] Update gnulib and drop some patches)
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 19:50:46 -0600

On Tue, 22 Feb 2022 18:17:51 +0100
Daniel Kiper <> wrote:
> The GRUB INSTALL file says:
>   The Requirements
>   ================
>   GRUB depends on some software packages installed into your system. If
>   you don't have any of them, please obtain and install them before
>   configuring the GRUB.
>   * GCC 5.1.0 or later
> So, even if it is old it is perfectly valid compiler according to the
> GRUB docs.
> Hmmm... What are the latest gnulib minimal compiler, linker, etc. 
> requirements?

In working on the testing system, I noticed that provides no
RISC cross compilers for x86_64 for GCC version < 7.3. I'm not sure if
that's because there isn't support in earlier versions. The other
recommended pre-built cross toolchain site only
has prebuilts for somewhat recent GCC versions (9.3 is the earliest for
risc32/64). So the documentation above may be misleading for RISC.

I like the idea of really old GCC versions be supported if its not a
burden, but are we actually testing that GRUB does compile with 5.1.0
(at a minimum even for releases)? I think the minimum supported version
of GCC should be a version that is actually tested with.

GCC 5.1.0 looks like it came out on April 22, 2015[1] and 5.2 was used
in Ubuntu Xenial from 2016 (which is no longer supported). At what
point do we bump up the minimum supported version? And doing so
wouldn't mean that GRUB can't be compiled with eariler versions of GCC,
it just means we don't test that. I also think it would be acceptable
to accept patches that fix issues with compiling on GCC versions less
than the stated minimum supported version (with in reason and subject
to discretion).

One idea is to update the minimum supported version every release cycle
to the lowest GCC version that is about 5 years old (that's artitrary
but seems reasonable).

I'm interested in this because it seems to imply that for the testing
system it should do two compilations for every target, one for the
munimum supported GCC and one for a somewhat recent version.



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