[distcc] can distcc speed up the compilation of a single compilation unit?

Nathan Ridge zeratul976 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 4 20:10:26 MDT 2010

Hi Mihai,


Thanks for your reply.


What I mean by a "compilation unit" is a source code file (which may include many header files) which is compiled into an object file. Assuming one follows standard conventions, each .cpp file constitutes one compilation unit (while .hpp files do not).


My project contains a single .cpp file which includes many header files. The header files contain the complete definitions of the classes they declare, including member function definitions (it has to be this way because they are all template classes, so separate compilation is not possible).


What I'm wondering is, can distcc help improve the compilation of my project, or is it only useful for projects with multiple compilation units?



Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 03:55:04 +0200
From: ionic at ionic.de
To: distcc at lists.samba.org
Subject: Re: [distcc] can distcc speed up the compilation of a single compilation unit?

Hi Nathan,
I am unsure about what you refer to by "compilation units".
distcc redistributes every single file to different locations (distcc 
The linking is (naturally) done on the host machine (that one 
redistributing, too).
Preprocessing can either be done on the local machine (normal mode), or 
on the other distcc hosts (distcc pump mode).
It cannot split up a file and distribute chunks of that to different hosts.
So, unless you've got only one file, distcc (at least theoretically) 
speeds up the build process.
If this is not what you asked for, please try explaining it again, as I 
could only guess what you really meant.
Best regards,
* On 05.09.2010 03:38 AM, Nathan Ridge wrote:
> Hello,
> I just came across distcc and it attracted my interest. I have a
> question about how it works: can it speed up the compilation of a single
> compilation unit, or can it only speed up the compilation of a project
> that involves several compilation units?
> In other words, does distcc simply distribute compilation by having
> different machines compile different compilation units and then linking
> them together at the end (in this case each machine is still compiling a
> complete compilation unit), or does it somehow split up a single
> compilation unit into chunks and give each chunk to a different machine?
> Thanks,
> Nate.

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