[ccache] Stumbling blocks with ccache and embedded/encapsulated environments

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Thu Dec 2 17:24:36 MST 2010

On 3 December 2010 03:42, Christopher Tate <ctate at google.com> wrote:
>> I'd love to know whether you also tried distcc for it, and if so what
>> happened or what went wrong.  (Obviously it can only help for the
>> C/C++ phases.)
> distcc can certainly help a great deal.  For us, it's a bit
> problematic to use because more than half of our total build is
> non-C/C++ that depends on the C/C++ targets [e.g. Java-language
> modules that have partially native implementations],

... and you suspect that the Makefile dependencies are not solid
enough to safely do a parallel build?

> plus we have a
> highly heterogeneous set of build machines: both Mac hosts and Linux,
> not all the same distro of Linux, etc.  The inclusion of Macs in
> particular makes distcc more of a pain to get up and running cleanly.

That can certainly be a problem.

>> I'm just trying to understand how this happens.  Is it that when
>> ccache misses it writes out an object file both to the cache directory
>> and into the build directory, and both will be in the buffer cache?
>> So it's not so much they're paged in, but they are dirtied in memory
>> and will still be held there.
> Even on a ccache *hit* both copies of the .o file wind up occupying
> buffer cache space, because the ccached .o is read from disk [paging
> it in] in order to write the .o file to the build output directory.
> On a ccache miss the copy runs the other direction but you still wind
> up with both sets of pages in the buffer cache.

In the hit case I would have thought that the .o file you read would
still create less memory pressure than the working memory of running
the real compiler on that file?  Perhaps the difference is that the
kernel knows that when the compiler exits, its anonymous pages can be
thrown away, whereas it doesn't know which .o file it ought to retain.
 So perhaps madvise might help.  (Just speculating.)


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