5.4. Binutils-2.18 - Pass 1

The Binutils package contains a linker, an assembler, and other tools for handling object files.

Approximate build time: 1 SBU
Required disk space: 213 MB

5.4.1. Installation of Binutils

It is important that Binutils be the first package compiled because both Glibc and GCC perform various tests on the available linker and assembler to determine which of their own features to enable.

Binutils does not recognize versions of Texinfo newer than 4.9. Fix this issue by applying the following patch:

patch -Np1 -i ../binutils-2.18-configure-1.patch

The Binutils documentation recommends building Binutils outside of the source directory in a dedicated build directory:

mkdir -v ../binutils-build
cd ../binutils-build


In order for the SBU values listed in the rest of the book to be of any use, measure the time it takes to build this package from the configuration, up to and including the first install. To achieve this easily, wrap the three commands in a time command like this: time { ./configure ... && make && make install; }.

Now prepare Binutils for compilation:

CC="gcc -B/usr/bin/" ../binutils-2.18/configure \
    --prefix=/tools --disable-nls --disable-werror

The meaning of the configure options:

CC="gcc -B/usr/bin/"

This forces gcc to prefer the linker from the host in /usr/bin. This is necessary on some hosts where the new ld built here is not compatible with the host's gcc.


This tells the configure script to prepare to install the Binutils programs in the /tools directory.


This disables internationalization as i18n is not needed for the temporary tools.


This prevents the build from stopping in the event that there are warnings from the host's compiler.

Continue with compiling the package:


Compilation is now complete. Ordinarily we would now run the test suite, but at this early stage the test suite framework (Tcl, Expect, and DejaGNU) is not yet in place. The benefits of running the tests at this point are minimal since the programs from this first pass will soon be replaced by those from the second.

Install the package:

make install

Next, prepare the linker for the “Adjusting” phase later on:

make -C ld clean
make -C ld LIB_PATH=/tools/lib
cp -v ld/ld-new /tools/bin

The meaning of the make parameters:

-C ld clean

This tells the make program to remove all compiled files in the ld subdirectory.

-C ld LIB_PATH=/tools/lib

This option rebuilds everything in the ld subdirectory. Specifying the LIB_PATH Makefile variable on the command line allows us to override the default value and point it to the temporary tools location. The value of this variable specifies the linker's default library search path. This preparation is used later in the chapter.

Details on this package are located in Section 6.11.2, “Contents of Binutils.”