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To: Nathan Chancellor <>,
	Masahiro Yamada <>
Cc: Tom Rix <>, Nicolas Schier <>,
	Jonathan Corbet <>,
	Paul Walmsley <>,
	Palmer Dabbelt <>,
	Albert Ou <>,,,,,,
	Nick Desaulniers <>
Subject: [PATCH] Documentation/llvm: refresh docs
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2023 11:03:17 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

Recent fixes for an embargoed hardware security vulnerability failed to
link with ld.lld (LLVM's linker).  [0]  To be fair, our documentation
mentions ``CC=clang`` foremost with ``LLVM=1`` being buried "below the

We want to encourage the use of ``LLVM=1`` rather than just
``CC=clang``. Make that sugguestion "above the fold" and "front and
center" in our docs.

While here, the following additional changes were made:
- remove the bit about CROSS_COMPILE setting --target=, that's no longer
- Add ARCH=loongarch to the list of maintained targets (though we're
  still working on getting defconfig building cleanly at the moment;
  we're pretty close).
- Promote ARCH=riscv from being Maintained to being Supported. Android
  is working towards supporting RISC-V, and we have excellent support
  from multiple companies in this regard.
- Note that the toolchain distribution on has been built with
  profile data from kernel builds.

Link: [0]

Signed-off-by: Nick Desaulniers <>
 Documentation/kbuild/llvm.rst | 102 +++++++++++++++++++++++-------------------
 1 file changed, 55 insertions(+), 47 deletions(-)

diff --git a/Documentation/kbuild/llvm.rst b/Documentation/kbuild/llvm.rst
index c3851fe1900d..00b26a0a6bf1 100644
--- a/Documentation/kbuild/llvm.rst
+++ b/Documentation/kbuild/llvm.rst
@@ -25,50 +25,38 @@ objects <>`_. Clang is a front-end to LLVM
 that supports C and the GNU C extensions required by the kernel, and is
 pronounced "klang," not "see-lang."
-The compiler used can be swapped out via ``CC=`` command line argument to ``make``.
-``CC=`` should be set when selecting a config and during a build. ::
-	make CC=clang defconfig
+Building with LLVM
-	make CC=clang
-Cross Compiling
+Invoke ``make`` via::
-A single Clang compiler binary will typically contain all supported backends,
-which can help simplify cross compiling. ::
-	make ARCH=arm64 CC=clang CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
+	make LLVM=1
-``CROSS_COMPILE`` is not used to prefix the Clang compiler binary, instead
-``CROSS_COMPILE`` is used to set a command line flag: ``--target=<triple>``. For
-example: ::
+to compile for the host target. For cross compiling::
-	clang --target=aarch64-linux-gnu foo.c
+	make LLVM=1 ARCH=arm64
-LLVM Utilities
+The LLVM= argument
-LLVM has substitutes for GNU binutils utilities. They can be enabled individually.
-The full list of supported make variables::
+LLVM has substitutes for GNU binutils utilities. They can be enabled
+individually. The full list of supported make variables::
 	make CC=clang LD=ld.lld AR=llvm-ar NM=llvm-nm STRIP=llvm-strip \
 	  OBJCOPY=llvm-objcopy OBJDUMP=llvm-objdump READELF=llvm-readelf \
 	  HOSTCC=clang HOSTCXX=clang++ HOSTAR=llvm-ar HOSTLD=ld.lld
-To simplify the above command, Kbuild supports the ``LLVM`` variable::
-	make LLVM=1
+``LLVM=1`` expands to the above.
 If your LLVM tools are not available in your PATH, you can supply their
 location using the LLVM variable with a trailing slash::
 	make LLVM=/path/to/llvm/
-which will use ``/path/to/llvm/clang``, ``/path/to/llvm/ld.lld``, etc.
+which will use ``/path/to/llvm/clang``, ``/path/to/llvm/ld.lld``, etc. The
+following may also be used::
+	PATH=/path/to/llvm:$PATH make LLVM=1
 If your LLVM tools have a version suffix and you want to test with that
 explicit version rather than the unsuffixed executables like ``LLVM=1``, you
@@ -78,31 +66,46 @@ can pass the suffix using the ``LLVM`` variable::
 which will use ``clang-14``, ``ld.lld-14``, etc.
-``LLVM=0`` is not the same as omitting ``LLVM`` altogether, it will behave like
-``LLVM=1``. If you only wish to use certain LLVM utilities, use their respective
-make variables.
+To support combinations of out of tree paths with version suffixes, we
+	PATH=/path/to/llvm/:$PATH make LLVM=-14
-The integrated assembler is enabled by default. You can pass ``LLVM_IAS=0`` to
-disable it.
+``LLVM=0`` is not the same as omitting ``LLVM`` altogether, it will behave like
+``LLVM=1``. If you only wish to use certain LLVM utilities, use their
+respective make variables.
+The same value used for ``LLVM=`` should be set for each invocation of ``make``
+if configuring and building via distinct commands. ``LLVM=`` should also be set
+as an environment variable when running scripts that will eventually run
-As explained above, ``CROSS_COMPILE`` is used to set ``--target=<triple>``.
+Cross Compiling
-If ``CROSS_COMPILE`` is not specified, the ``--target=<triple>`` is inferred
-from ``ARCH``.
+A single Clang compiler binary (and corresponding LLVM utilities) will
+typically contain all supported backends, which can help simplify cross
+compiling especially when ``LLVM=1`` is used. If you use only LLVM tools,
+``CROSS_COMPILE`` becomes unnecessary.
-That means if you use only LLVM tools, ``CROSS_COMPILE`` becomes unnecessary.
+As an example, for a target like ``ARCH=s390`` which does not yet have
+``ld.lld`` support, you could invoke ``make`` via::
-For example, to cross-compile the arm64 kernel::
+	make LLVM=1 LD=ld.bfd CROSS_COMPILE=s390x-linux-gnu-
-	make ARCH=arm64 LLVM=1
+``CROSS_COMPILE`` is not used to prefix the Clang compiler binary (or
+corresponding LLVM utilities), but it will be for any GNU toolchain utilities.
+This example will invoke ``s390x-linux-gnu-ld.bfd`` as the linker, so ensure
+that is reachable in your ``$PATH``.
-If ``LLVM_IAS=0`` is specified, ``CROSS_COMPILE`` is also used to derive
-``--prefix=<path>`` to search for the GNU assembler and linker. ::
+The LLVM_IAS= argument
-	make ARCH=arm64 LLVM=1 LLVM_IAS=0 CROSS_COMPILE=aarch64-linux-gnu-
+Clang can assemble assembler code. You can pass ``LLVM_IAS=0`` to disable this
+behavior and have Clang invoke the system assembler instead (or the assembler
+based on ``CROSS_COMPILE``). ``CROSS_COMPILE`` is necessary when ``LLVM_IAS=0``
+is set when cross compiling in order to set ``--prefix=`` for the compiler to
+find the corresponding non-integrated assembler.
 Supported Architectures
@@ -135,14 +138,17 @@ yet. Bug reports are always welcome at the issue tracker below!
    * - hexagon
      - Maintained
      - ``LLVM=1``
+   * - loongarch
+     - Maintained
+     - ``LLVM=1``
    * - mips
      - Maintained
      - ``LLVM=1``
    * - powerpc
      - Maintained
-     - ``CC=clang``
+     - ``LLVM=1``
    * - riscv
-     - Maintained
+     - Supported
      - ``LLVM=1``
    * - s390
      - Maintained
@@ -171,9 +177,11 @@ Getting Help
 Getting LLVM
-We provide prebuilt stable versions of LLVM on ` <>`_.
-Below are links that may be useful for building LLVM from source or procuring
-it through a distribution's package manager.
+We provide prebuilt stable versions of LLVM on `
+<>`_. These have been optimized with profile
+data for building Linux kernels. Below are links that may be useful for
+building LLVM from source or procuring it through a distribution's package

base-commit: 93f5de5f648d2b1ce3540a4ac71756d4a852dc23
change-id: 20230824-docs-c17a5de7f103

Best regards,
Nick Desaulniers <>

             reply	other threads:[~2023-08-24 18:04 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2023-08-24 18:03 ndesaulniers [this message]
2023-08-24 18:49 ` [PATCH] Documentation/llvm: refresh docs Nathan Chancellor
2023-08-24 20:32   ` Nick Desaulniers
2023-08-24 21:12     ` Nick Desaulniers
2023-08-24 20:55   ` Nick Desaulniers

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