The Tiny C Compiler also known as tcc is famously one of the smallest and fastest C compilers ever written. In addition to being a full-fledged ANSI C and C99 compiler, tcc also supports an interpreted mode. It was originally designed to be deployed on system rescue disks in an era when such media were limited to 5¼″ (1.2MB) or 3½″ (1.44MB) floppy disks. As such, the tcc executable has historically hovered around 100kB in size. Even today on an amd64 system the executable hovers around 300kB in size.
One of the reasons for its speed is the fact that the Tiny C Compiler does not use byte code as intermediate representation during the compilation process. This has two consequences:
- It sacrifices advanced compiler optimizations that improve performance or size of the compiled executable. The resulting executable may have been compiled quickly but it's probably larger and less efficient than if it had been compiled with gcc or clang.
- The compiler is architecture-bound to the x86 and amd64, arm, aarch64, riscv64 processors. The tcc compiler might compile on other architectures but it cannot generate native code for them.
USE flags for dev-lang/tcc A very small C compiler for ix86/amd64
|Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)
emerge --ask dev-lang/tcc
- CPATH specifies a list of directories to be searched as if specified.
- C_INCLUDE_PATH A colon-separated list of directories searched for include files.
- LIBRARY_PATH A colon-separated list of directories searched for libraries.
Tiny C Compiler 0.9.27 - Copyright (C) 2001-2006 Fabrice Bellard Usage: tcc [options...] [-o outfile] [-c] infile(s)... tcc [options...] -run infile [arguments...] General options: -c compile only - generate an object file -o outfile set output filename -run run compiled source -fflag set or reset (with 'no-' prefix) 'flag' (see tcc -hh) -std=c99 Conform to the ISO 1999 C standard (default). -std=c11 Conform to the ISO 2011 C standard. -Wwarning set or reset (with 'no-' prefix) 'warning' (see tcc -hh) -w disable all warnings -v --version show version -vv show search paths or loaded files -h -hh show this, show more help -bench show compilation statistics - use stdin pipe as infile @listfile read arguments from listfile Preprocessor options: -Idir add include path 'dir' -Dsym[=val] define 'sym' with value 'val' -Usym undefine 'sym' -E preprocess only -C keep comments (not yet implemented) Linker options: -Ldir add library path 'dir' -llib link with dynamic or static library 'lib' -r generate (relocatable) object file -shared generate a shared library/dll -rdynamic export all global symbols to dynamic linker -soname set name for shared library to be used at runtime -Wl,-opt[=val] set linker option (see tcc -hh) Debugger options: -g generate runtime debug info -b compile with built-in memory and bounds checker (implies -g) -bt[N] link with backtrace (stack dump) support [show max N callers] Misc. options: -x[c|a|b|n] specify type of the next infile (C,ASM,BIN,NONE) -nostdinc do not use standard system include paths -nostdlib do not link with standard crt and libraries -Bdir set tcc's private include/library dir -M[M]D generate make dependency file [ignore system files] -M[M] as above but no other output -MF file specify dependency file name -m32/64 defer to i386/x86_64 cross compiler Tools: create library : tcc -ar [rcsv] lib.a files
Inability to run tcc as a script
The Tiny C compiler can be run with a script if the proper shebang (#!) is set at the first line of the file. The official upstream documentation provides the shebang as:
However, this is inaccurate on a Gentoo system. Presently, the dev-lang/tcc ebuild installs tcc to /usr/bin, thus the shebang should be:
If the script is going to be run on multiple systems where the path to tcc might change, the following shebang is also technically possible:
#!/usr/bin/env -S tcc -run
Note that the -S option is widely available on Linux but it may or may not be present on other operating systems such as macOS or any of the BSD's. Thus, while it is technically valid it should be used with caution in highly homogeneous environments.
In addition, it's also possible to make a file that is also a valid C source file with:
//usr/bin/env tcc -run "$0" "$@" ; exit $?
emerge --ask --depclean --verbose dev-lang/tcc