[LLVMdev] Standalone compiler

Chris Lattner clattner at apple.com
Wed Apr 1 20:32:16 PDT 2009

On Apr 1, 2009, at 6:04 PM, Melvin Smith wrote:
> First off, I like the look of this project.
> I am considering retargeting my language from .NET &  Parrot to  
> LLVM. Its either this, or add a Java backend. I’m probably going to  
> scrap the Parrot support, but it will still leave me with 2  
> backends. The only reason I am considering LLVM is as a compiler /  
> code generator, not as a VM.


> Immediately I have several questions regarding dependencies. I  
> gather from the docs that the output is for GNU assembler, however,  
> does this require that gas be installed for a user of my compiler,  
> or is there a direct code generation option (as I see there is a JIT)?

You have a couple options:

1. You can output a .s file and use an existing assembler to build it.
2. You can use the JIT, which requires no external tools.
3. You can output a C file with the C backend (subject to many  
restrictsions) if you have a C compiler.
4. You can make use of some of the direct .o file writing stuff that  
is being worked on, but you still need a native linker for it.  This  
will probably become real sometime in the next 3-12 months.

> Is it practical to implement a standalone compiler with LLVM, or are  
> there dependencies that will require GNU / GPL packages?

I think that there are decent BSD-licensed assemblers and linkers out  
there, if that is more to your style.

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