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LLVM with Program Repository Support

Commit Tests

This git repository contains a copy of LLVM (forked from llvm/llvm-project@7b556541 with work-in-progress modifications to output to a Program Repository.

The changes are to add support for the program repository that was first shown at the 2016 US LLVM Developers’ meeting in the talk catchily titled “Demo of a repository for statically compiled programs”. You can relive the highs and lows by watching it on YouTube. The early implementation demonstrated there has its own Github repository. This repository implements the same thing in LLVM to give you the anticipated build-time improvements in a C++ compiler targeting Linux.

This implementation was the subject of a lightning talk at 2019 Euro LLVM Developers' meeting, also available on YouTube.

The Program Repository and ccache together can achieve still faster builds. Data was presented in the 2020 Virtual LLVM Developers' meeting and is available on YouTube.

Further documentation can be found on the project wiki.

Building the Compiler

The process to follow is similar to that for a conventional build of Clang+LLVM, but with an extra step to get the pstore back-end.

  1. Clone llvm-project-prepo (this repository):

    git clone
  2. Clone pstore:

    cd llvm-project-prepo
    git clone
    cd -

    Ultimately, we envisage supporting multiple database back-ends to fit different needs, but there’s currently a hard dependency on the pstore (“Program Store”) key/value store as a back-end.

  3. Build LLVM as normal enabling the clang and pstore subprojects (e.g.):

    mkdir build && cd build

Using the Program Repository


The program-repository is implemented as a new object-file format (“repo”) in LLVM. To use it, you need to request it explicitly in the target triple:

clang -target x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-repo -c -o test.o test.c

Note that this is the only triple that we’re currently supporting (i.e. targeting X86-64 Linux).

Furthermore, the path to the program-repository database itself is set using an environment variable REPOFILE; it that variable is not set, it defaults to ./clang.db (eventually, you’d expect to be able to specify this path with a command-line switch).

The command-line above will write the object code for test.c to the program-repository and emit a “ticket file” test.o. This tiny file contains a key to the real data in the database.


A program-repository aware linker is very much on the project’s “TODO” list. Until that happens, there's a repo2obj tool in the project tree. This generates a traditional ELF file from a repository ticket file. Using it is simple:

clang -target x86_64-pc-linux-gnu-repo -c -o test.o test.c
repo2obj test.o -o test.o.elf

The first step compiles the source file test.c to the repository, the second will produce a file test.o.elf which can be fed to a traditional ELF linker.

clang -o test test.o.elf

The LLVM Compiler Infrastructure

This directory and its sub-directories contain source code for LLVM, a toolkit for the construction of highly optimized compilers, optimizers, and run-time environments.

The README briefly describes how to get started with building LLVM. For more information on how to contribute to the LLVM project, please take a look at the Contributing to LLVM guide.

Getting Started with the LLVM System

Taken from


Welcome to the LLVM project!

The LLVM project has multiple components. The core of the project is itself called "LLVM". This contains all of the tools, libraries, and header files needed to process intermediate representations and converts it into object files. Tools include an assembler, disassembler, bitcode analyzer, and bitcode optimizer. It also contains basic regression tests.

C-like languages use the Clang front end. This component compiles C, C++, Objective-C, and Objective-C++ code into LLVM bitcode -- and from there into object files, using LLVM.

Other components include: the libc++ C++ standard library, the LLD linker, and more.

Getting the Source Code and Building LLVM

The LLVM Getting Started documentation may be out of date. The Clang Getting Started page might have more accurate information.

This is an example work-flow and configuration to get and build the LLVM source:

  1. Checkout LLVM (including related sub-projects like Clang):

    • git clone

    • Or, on windows, git clone --config core.autocrlf=false

  2. Configure and build LLVM and Clang:

    • cd llvm-project

    • mkdir build

    • cd build

    • cmake -G <generator> [options] ../llvm

      Some common build system generators are:

      • Ninja --- for generating Ninja build files. Most llvm developers use Ninja.
      • Unix Makefiles --- for generating make-compatible parallel makefiles.
      • Visual Studio --- for generating Visual Studio projects and solutions.
      • Xcode --- for generating Xcode projects.

      Some Common options:

      • -DLLVM_ENABLE_PROJECTS='...' --- semicolon-separated list of the LLVM sub-projects you'd like to additionally build. Can include any of: clang, clang-tools-extra, libcxx, libcxxabi, libunwind, lldb, compiler-rt, lld, polly, or debuginfo-tests.

        For example, to build LLVM, Clang, libcxx, and libcxxabi, use -DLLVM_ENABLE_PROJECTS="clang;libcxx;libcxxabi".

      • -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=directory --- Specify for directory the full path name of where you want the LLVM tools and libraries to be installed (default /usr/local).

      • -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=type --- Valid options for type are Debug, Release, RelWithDebInfo, and MinSizeRel. Default is Debug.

      • -DLLVM_ENABLE_ASSERTIONS=On --- Compile with assertion checks enabled (default is Yes for Debug builds, No for all other build types).

    • cmake --build . [-- [options] <target>] or your build system specified above directly.

      • The default target (i.e. ninja or make) will build all of LLVM.

      • The check-all target (i.e. ninja check-all) will run the regression tests to ensure everything is in working order.

      • CMake will generate targets for each tool and library, and most LLVM sub-projects generate their own check-<project> target.

      • Running a serial build will be slow. To improve speed, try running a parallel build. That's done by default in Ninja; for make, use the option -j NNN, where NNN is the number of parallel jobs, e.g. the number of CPUs you have.

    • For more information see CMake

Consult the Getting Started with LLVM page for detailed information on configuring and compiling LLVM. You can visit Directory Layout to learn about the layout of the source code tree.


Fork of LLVM with modifications to support a program repository







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