Zack's Kernel News

Zack's Kernel News

Article from Issue 256/2022
Author(s):

Chronicler Zack Brown reports on the latest news, views, dilemmas, and developments within the Linux kernel community.

A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings

Andy Shevchenko, who is not a butterfly, happened to remark one day on the Linux Kernel Mailing List: "would it make sense to enable -Werror for default warning level, let's say W=0, at some point?" And this ended up producing great storms of change across the world.

The -Werror option is a command-line option for the GNU C Compiler (GCC). When compiling, GCC will detect many errors in your code, report them to you, and abort the attempt to compile your code. Perhaps you haven't quite made a real error, but your code is still not a good usage of the C language. In that case, GCC produces a warning instead and continues chugging away to build your executable. However, maybe you are so enthusiastic about proper C usage that you want GCC to treat those bad usages as if they were errors. The -Werror option tells GCC to do that.

Masahiro Yamada pointed out to Andy that "Every GCC release adds new warning options." And that "Enabling -Werror by default means the kernel build is suddenly broken with new compilers."

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