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Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power

Taking advantage of leading edge tools and libraries

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  • Ask your question in dW Answers
  • Subscribe to the linuxppc-users mailing list; monitor the discussion or ask a question
  • If you are using the Advance Toolchain as directed by an IBM product team (i.e. IBM XL Compiler or PowerVM Lx86), please report the suspected issues to the IBM Support using that product name and entitlement.
  • If you have a contract with IBM Support, contact IBM Support Line for Linux (Select option 2 (other business products or solutions) -> Option 2 (Software) -> Option 7 (Other OS/Linux).
  • If you have a GitHub account you can open an issue in the Advance Toolchain repository

The IBM Advance Toolchain for Linux on Power is a set of open source compilers, runtime libraries, and development tools which allows users to take leading edge advantage of IBM’s latest POWER hardware features on Linux.

This self-contained toolchain does not rely on the system toolchain and requires minimum dependencies. Nor does it override the default Linux distribution toolchain (it is installed in /opt). The latest release includes current stable versions of the following packages:

  • GNU Compiler Collection (gcc, g++ and gfortran), plus individually optimized gcc runtime libraries for supported POWER processors
  • GNU C library (glibc), individually optimized for supported POWER processors
  • GNU Binary Utilities (binutils)
  • Decimal Floating Point Library (libdfp), optimized with hardware DFP support for POWER
  • IBM Power Architecture Facilities Library (PAFLib)
  • GNU Debugger (gdb)
  • Python
  • Golang
  • Performance analysis tools (oprofile, valgrind, itrace)
  • Multi-core exploitation libraries (TBB, Userspace RCU, SPHDE)
  • Plus several support libraries (libhugetlbfs, Boost, zlib, etc)

Why should I use Advance Toolchain?

The Advance Toolchain provides toolchain functionality earlier and a group of optimized libraries. AT is highly recommended when you want to build an optimized CPU-bound application on POWER or want some of the new toolchain functionalities on POWER before they make into a distribution. Also, you must use AT when you link with a library built with AT.

In some scenarios you will not get many advantages using the Advance Toolchain, and it will be easier to use the distro’s toolchain that usually performs quite well. Such cases include building applications that are not CPU-bound and on I/O constrained environments.

Advance Toolchain features:

  • Support for big endian (ppc64) and little endian (ppc64le)
  • POWER8 optimized runtime libraries
  • POWER9 optimized runtime libraries
  • Advance Toolchain is supported by IBM

To find out which toolkit release is optimized for your distribution and version, see Installation. Always choose the latest version available.

Hardware features:

  • POWER9 enablement
  • POWER8 enablement
  • POWER8 optimized scheduler
  • POWER8 Crypto Operations enablement
  • POWER8 Fusion enablement
  • POWER8 Transactional Memory enablement

Did you know? The Advance Toolchain provides cross compilers that run on Intel x86 and generate code for Power which allows teams to start developing by compiling and linking an application targeted for the POWER architecture without requiring access to an actual POWER system. The binaries produced can then be run in a POWER runtime environment (either real or emulated).