Yutian Tang

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Build an LLVM Bitcode for Linux

09 Jun 2019 » llvm

This post shows how to build an LLVM bitcode (namely .bc image ) for Linux;

1. Introduction

This repository presents how to build an LLVM bitcode. Specifically, here, we focus on Linux.

  • LLVM/Clang version 7.0.1
  • Python 3+

2. Download Linux Source Code

Here, we demo how to download the v4.12-r5 linux source code with git

git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git
cd linux-stable
git reset --hard v4.12-rc5

3. Install LLVM, Python

The next step is to install LLVM, python;

  1. Install LLVM:
    • Install LLVM on a Mac machine, please reference the tutorial here. Install LLVM on an Utunbu machine, please reference the tutorial here.
  2. Install python: Install python 3 on a Mac or an Utunbu, please download and install from the official site.

3. Use Whole Program LLVM to build bc

  • Install WLLVM

    bash pip install wllvm

  • Setup the system environment WLLVM includes four python executables: wllvm for compiling C code and wllvm++ for compiling C++, an auxiliary tool extract-bc for extracting the bitcode from a build product (object file, executable, library or archive), and a sanity checker, wllvm-sanity-checker for detecting configuration oversights.

    Three environment variables must be set to use these wrappers:

    • LLVM_COMPILER should be set to either dragonegg or clang.
    • LLVM_GCC_PREFIX should be set to the prefix for the version of gcc that should be used with dragonegg. This can be empty if there is no prefix. This variable is not used if $LLVM_COMPILER == clang.
    • LLVM_DRAGONEGG_PLUGIN should be the full path to the dragonegg plugin. This variable is not used if $LLVM_COMPILER == clang.

    Once the environment is set up, just use wllvm and wllvm++ as your C and C++ compilers, respectively.

    In addition to the above environment variables the following can be optionally used:

    • LLVM_CC_NAME can be set if your clang compiler is not called clang but something like clang-3.7. Similarly LLVM_CXX_NAME can be used to describe what the C++ compiler is called. Note that in these sorts of cases, the environment variable LLVM_COMPILER should still be set to clang not clang-3.7 etc. We also pay attention to the environment variables LLVM_LINK_NAME and LLVM_AR_NAME in an analagous way, since they too get adorned with suffixes in various Linux distributions.
    • LLVM_COMPILER_PATH can be set to the absolute path to the folder that contains the compiler and other LLVM tools such as llvm-link to be used. This prevents searching for the compiler in your PATH environment variable. This can be useful if you have different versions of clang on your system and you want to easily switch compilers without tinkering with your PATH variable. Example LLVM_COMPILER_PATH=/home/user/llvm_and_clang/Debug+Asserts/bin.
    • WLLVM_CONFIGURE_ONLY can be set to anything. If it is set, wllvm and wllvm++ behave like a normal C or C++ compiler. They do not produce bitcode. Setting WLLVM_CONFIGURE_ONLY may prevent configuration errors caused by the unexpected production of hidden bitcode files. It is sometimes required when configuring a build.
  • Install Patches

    Note that using LLVM to compile Linux directly will fail. Therefore, patches should be applied first.

    Please download patches from clang-kernel-build.

      patch -p1 -i <path-to-clang-kerenl-build>/clang-flags.patch
      patch -p1 -i <path-to-clang-kerenl-build>/clang-uaccess.patch
      # boot-workaround-PR18415.patch has been copied here from LLVMLinux buildbot,
      # which is currently down.
      patch -p1 -i <path-to-clang-kerenl-build>/boot-workaround-PR18415.patch
      patch -p1 -i <path-to-clang-kerenl-build>/llist.patch
  • Build the Linux
    1. cd linux-stable
    2. make CC=wllvm defconfig
    3. make CC=wllvm -j64 2>&1 | tee build.log

With the above step, an exectuable vmlinux is generated

  • Extract the bitcode

    extract-bc vmlinux

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