Getting Familiar with GCC Parameters

Filed under

gcc (GNU C Compiler) is actually a collection of frontend tools that does compilation, assembly, and linking. The goal is to produce a ready-to-run executable in a format acceptable to the OS. For Linux, this is ELF (Executable and Linking Format) on x86 (32-bit and 64-bit). But do you know what some of the gcc parameters can do for you? If you're looking for ways to optimize the resulted binary, prepare for a debugging session, or simply observe the steps gcc takes to turn your source code into an executable, getting familiar with these parameters is a must. So, please read on.

Recall that gcc does multiple steps, not just one. Here is a brief explanation of their meaning:

* Preprocessing: Producing code that no longer contains directives. Things like "#if" cannot be understood directly by the compiler, so this must be translated into real code. Macros are also expanded at this stage, making the resulting code larger than the original. [1]

* Compilation:

Full Story.