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26.4.6.2 Supporting Building with a Cross Compiler in Makefiles

The main cross compiling issue in a `Makefile' arises when you want to use a subsidiary program to generate code or data which you will then include in your real program. If you compile this subsidiary program using `$(CC)' in the usual way, you will not be able to run it. This is because `$(CC)' will build a program for the host system, but the program is being built on the build system. You must instead use a compiler for the build system, rather than the host system. This compiler is conventionally called `$(CC_FOR_BUILD)'.

A `configure' script should normally permit the user to define `CC_FOR_BUILD' explicitly in the environment. Your configure script should help by selecting a reasonable default value. If the `configure' script is not being run with a cross compiler (i.e., the `cross_compiling' shell variable is `no' after calling `AC_PROG_CC'), then the proper default for `CC_FOR_BUILD' is simply `$(CC)'. Otherwise, a reasonable default is simply `cc'.

Note that you should not include `config.h' in a file you are compiling with `$(CC_FOR_BUILD)'. The `configure' script will build `config.h' with information for the host system. However, you are compiling the file using a compiler for the build system (a native compiler). Subsidiary programs are normally simple filters which do no user interaction, and it is often possible to write them in a highly portable fashion so that the absence of `config.h' is not crucial.

The gcc `Makefile.in' shows a complex situation in which certain files, such as `rtl.c', must be compiled into both subsidiary programs run on the build system and into the final program. This approach may be of interest for advanced GNU Autotools hackers. Note that, at least in GCC 2.95, the build system compiler is rather confusingly called `HOST_CC'.


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