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Old 3rd February 2011
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Default [Link] Distributed compilation on NetBSD

A very nice article about getting compile time sped up by spreading work across multiple machines using distcc, and ccache. In this case it's two Sun SPARC machines running NetBSD sparc64, but it applies to multiple machines too.
Distributed Compilation, Part I


I have several old Sun machines, which are all still working fine, but partly lack performance of modern computers and/or RAM.

I usually install NetBSD on my computers, especially on those Sun-boxes. The advantage is that every machine has the same "look and feel", I know exactly what to do, etc. The downside is that for this kind of platform I have to use pkgsrc and build everything by myself, as the software I like to use is oftentimes not available as a pre-built binary, and besides that, I usually use special CFLAGS to tweak the performance of the software being built.

So, sitting in front of my new favorite toy, my Ultra-60, I was thinking about how I could probably speed up compilation timings. Looking around, and seeing several spare machines that were ready installed with a NetBSD 5.1, but switched off and doing nothing, I had the idea to create a compilation-cluster. I knew that there was already software available to achieve ths, called "distcc". All I needed to do, was to install it on every machine, read the man-pages a bit, and give it try.

The best way to learn UNIX is to play with it, and the harder you play, the more you learn.
If you play hard enough, you'll break something for sure, and having to fix a badly broken system is arguably the fastest way of all to learn. -Michael Lucas, AbsoluteBSD
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