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Benchmarks for Rust compiler performance

Each subdirectory contains a single benchmark. Although benchmarks may contain multiple crates, each benchmark has one "crate of interest" which is the one whose compilation time is measured. However, to test incremental, the full benchmark may involve building that same crate many times in succession, applying a different patch each time.

How benchmarks work

Each benchmark contains a makefile. This makefile defines various standard targets. The basic procedure for running a benchmark is defined in process.sh and looks like this:

  1. Invoke make patches to get a list of patches. This target should output a series of patches, or else output nothing. If it outputs nothing, that indicates that this is a non-incremental benchmark, and is treated as having a patches array with a single empty string (""). For incremental benchmarks, it would output a series of patch names like @000-base or @010-foo. By convention these begin with an @ and a number that increments by 10 (000, 010, 020) --- this leaves room for inserting steps later. They then have a brief description.
  2. To run the benchmark, you then invoke make all$PATCH for each patch. So, for non-incremental tests, this is just make all. For incremental tests, it would be something like make all@000-base, followed by make all@010-foo, etc.
    • Each stage should run cargo to build the target crate. The basic invocation should be something like this, where CARGO_OPTS and CARGO_RUSTC_OPTS are variables set by process.sh:
      • cargo rustc -p target_crate $CARGO_OPTS -- $CARGO_RUSTC_OPTS
    • These CARGO_RUSTC_OPTS will include -Z time-passes, causing the compiler to emit timing information. This information is saved (by process.sh) into an intermediate file. It can later be scraped.
  3. After executing all the make all@... targets, make touch is used to reset the state to the initial state. We can then repeat step 2 as many times as desired.
  4. Finally, make clean is used to restore everything and remove any temporary data.

Local runs

Local runs comparing two different compilers can be performed with compare.py. Invocation is simple:

./compare.py <rustc1> <rustc2>

This is useful when evaluating compile-time optimizations.