nickclifton (nickclifton) wrote,

March 2014 GNU Toolchain update

Hi Guys,

  It has been a fairly quite month in GNU toolchain land this month.  The GCC mainline is getting very close to being ready to branch for the 4.9 release and the GDB and BINUTILS projects have mainly been working on bugfixes.  But there are a few things worth noting:

  * The ARM simulator now has some tracing options so that you can follow the instructions as they are simulated.

  * The linker now automatically add a a default manifest to any fully linked cygwin or MingGW binary.  This is necessary in order to be able to execute the binary under Windows 8 (or later).  If an application supplies its own manifest then the default one will not be used.

  * The ARM port of the linker has a new command line option --long-plt which enables the generation of larger PLT entries that can support up to 4Gb of code.  The default is to use smaller PLT entries that only support up to 512Mb of code.

    The ARM linker can now also support generating PLT entries that use only Thumb2 instructions for those cores which do not support the ARM instruction set.

  * One limitation of the PE file format, used mainly by Windows binaries, is that it only supports a maximum of 2^15 sections.  This can be an issue with big projects, especially if gcc command line options like -ffunction-sections and -fdata-sections are used.  Microsoft recently released a little variation of the PE format that extends a few fields to support up to 2**31 sections, and the GNU linker now supports this extension.

  * The MIPS gcc port now supports a command line option -mvirt to enable the use of the MIPS Virtualization Application Specific instructions.

  * The TileGX gcc port now supports both big-endian and little-endian targets.


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