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Use all the cores or CPUs when compiling

Terminal - Use all the cores or CPUs when compiling
make -j 4
2009-08-05 22:50:57
User: kovan
Functions: make
16
Use all the cores or CPUs when compiling

Force make command to create as many compile processes as specified (4 in the example), so that each one goes into one core or CPU and compilation happens in parallel. This reduces the time required to compile a program by up to a half in the case of CPUs with 2 cores, one fourth in the case of quad cores... and so on.

Alternatives

There are 2 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Is there an easy way to know how many CPUs you have?

Then the command could be:

make -j $(cat /proc/cpus)
Comment by matthewbauer 368 weeks and 1 day ago

Your compilation only experience a n-fold linear speedup (with n being the number of CPU/cores) if your code has only parallel components and no serial components (dependencies in your code).

In the case of even a slight amount of serial components (i.e. 1-2%), speedup is greatly affected. This is the essence of Amdahl's Law.

Comment by DeusExMachina 368 weeks and 1 day ago

@mattthewbauer in Linux you could do somethink like make -j $(grep -c ^processor /proc/cpuinfo). It doesn't do any bad to use a higher number than the actual number of cores thought.

@DeusExMachina: true but usually the speed increase is linear or nearly linear, because AFAIK in Makefiles interdependencies only exist between targets, so all the source files of each target can be compiled in parallel.

Comment by kovan 368 weeks and 1 day ago

From my make manpage, "If the -j option is given without an argument, make will not limit the number of jobs that can run simultaneously." That suggests this command shouldn't help at all. Am I wrong?

Comment by tremby 365 weeks and 3 days ago

Oh, facepalm. I read it (more than once) as "If the -j option is not given". Never mind.

Comment by tremby 365 weeks and 3 days ago

Your point of view

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