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TUTORIALS 》 Compiling a C Compiler with a C Compilter | Compile gcc with gcc

As we know the fundamental aspect of a programming language compiler is to translate code written from language to other. But most commonly compilers will compile(i.e translate) code written in high-level human friendly language such as C, C++, Java, etc. to native CPU architecture specific (machine understandable) binary code which is nothing but sequence of CPU instructions.

If we see that way we should able to perfectly compile a source-code of a C compiler with another C compiler run-time binaries. In that way we should able to perfectly compile an entire gcc compiler source-code with an installed gcc compiler. We can get the gcc compiler sources via github: https://github.com/gcc-mirror/gcc or in a Ubuntu system we can get the desired gcc source code for a specific version via:

$ apt source gcc-9

NOTE: since we are getting sources via apt-get(or apt) command, we do not have to provide sudo access.

However it is important to know that source code downloaded via github may require different run-time dependencies vs what is currently installed in your Linux system, vs when you get gcc source via Ubuntu apt command and choose a version which is close to your installed gcc compiler, then the run-time dependencies which are required for this source may match with whatever currently installed on your Ubuntu OS install.

Like any open-source project you can browse through any compilation/installation steps/documentation. Typially you should get in files such as README, or INSTALL, etc. But in the case of gcc, they provided few user-friendly web html documentation (as should below) which you can open in a browser and follow the steps and mainly various options and prerequisites.
gcc soruce code and Installation Guide
gcc HTML Installation Guide page 1
gcc HTML Installation Guide page 2
gcc HTML Installation Guide page 3
gcc HTML Installation Guide page 4
gcc HTML Installation Guide page 5

You can now proceed compilation and before that install dependencies(i.e third-party libraries) if any. Once everything is done, you can see the the custom compiled gcc binaries are installed in a custom directory path so as to not disturb the Ubuntu OS module installed gcc binaries.

kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$ ls
test  test.c  usr
kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$ ./usr/local/bin/gcc -v
Using built-in specs.
COLLECT_GCC=./usr/local/bin/gcc
COLLECT_LTO_WRAPPER=/code/gcc/install/usr/local/bin/../libexec/gcc/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/9.2.0/lto-wrapper
Target: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
Configured with: ./configure --disable-multilib
Thread model: posix
gcc version 9.2.0 (GCC) 

You can now do a test compilation of a sample C source-code file (test.c) with the current compiled gcc compiler (i.e ./usr/local/bin/gcc) as shown below:

kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$ ./usr/local/bin/gcc -o test test.c
kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$ ./test
hello world
kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$ cat test.c
#include 
void main()
{	
	printf("hello world\n");
}
kiran@1TBSGBR:/code/gcc/install$

Here is my two-part Youtube video episode series which shows you all the steps from start to finish in a live demo screen capture.
If you have any queries or anything to discuss, kindly send me a mail to: [email protected]

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