What are the Differences Between Gc and Gccgo?

Go is a popular programming language that offers high performance and easy concurrency and when it comes to compiling Go code, there are multiple options available. Two of the most frequently utilized compilers for Go are ‘gc’ and ‘gccgo’. While both aim to compile Go code, they have some fundamental differences in their design, implementation, and performance.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between ‘gc’ and ‘gccgo’, and how they can impact your Go development process.

What is ‘gc’?

The ‘gc‘ is a compiler that is used to translate the Go programming language into machine code that computers can understand. Due to how quickly and effectively it compiles code, it is very well-known among developers. The incremental compilation feature of ‘gc‘ means that it can recompile only the changed parts of code, making the process faster and more efficient. Another great feature of ‘gc‘ is its garbage collector, which helps manage memory allocation and deallocation.

What is ‘gccgo’?

The ‘gccgo‘ is another Go compiler, but it’s different from ‘gc‘. It’s part of a tool called the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). People might choose to use ‘gccgo‘ when they already have GCC installed. ‘gccgo‘ does the same job as ‘gc‘ by taking the Go code and turning it into machine code.

Difference Between ‘gc’ and ‘gccgo’?

When it comes to Go compilers, ‘gccgo’ and ‘gc‘ have some significant differences that developers should be aware of. How they manage waste collection is one of the biggest differences. GCCGO makes use of a moderate garbage collector. which may not free all unused memory. In some circumstances, this can result in higher memory consumption and worse performance. Additionally, ‘gccgo‘ may generate less optimized code than ‘gc‘, leading to slower performance in some scenarios.

Another notable difference between ‘gc’ and ‘gccgo‘ is the level of support for new language features. The ‘gc‘ is typically more up-to-date with the latest Go language features and improvements, while ‘gccgo‘ may lag in some cases. This can be important for developers who want to leverage the newest language features in their projects.

The ‘gc‘ compiler only supports x86 (32-bit and 64-bit) as well as ARM, the two most common processors, whereas ‘gccgo‘ supports any processor that GCC supports. Some of those processors, such as x86 (32- and 64-bit), SPARC, MIPS, PowerPC, as well as Alpha, have undergone thorough testing for ‘gccgo‘, though not all of them have.

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to take your unique demands and surroundings into account while choosing between ‘gc‘ and ‘gccgo‘. The ‘gc‘ is the recommended choice for most developers, as it’s reliable, efficient, and well-supported. However, ‘gccgo‘ may be a better option if you are already using the GCC toolchain or need specific features. When deciding, it is important to consider factors such as performance, garbage collection, and language feature support. Go is a strong and effective programming language that is excellent for contemporary software development, regardless of the compiler you select.

About the author

Komal Batool Batool

I am passionate to research technologies and new ideas and that has brought me here to write for the LinuxHint. My major focus is to write on programming languages and computer science related topics.