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Old 6th April 2017
RJPugh RJPugh is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 45
Default checking whether the C compiler works... no {HELP!}

Hello, all.

I’m having trouble with my system C compiler. When I try to install something from the ports tree, I get a set or error messages, with this as the centrepiece:

checking for gcc... cc
checking whether the C compiler works... no
configure: error: in `/usr/ports/audio/libao/work/libao-1.2.0':
configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables

I’ve been digging around various forums, and this error is not unknown. There are a couple of things that can cause it, but the recurring solution seems to be rebuilding or re-linking the C compiler.

I don’t know exactly what caused this problem. But I can say that I’ve been rebuilding my system lately, so I’ve been shaking the ports tree a lot, and using the package registry (for larger programs). In the past, mixing those two has never been a problem. I recently applied the latest metadata patches to those two, and this wasn’t happening before that time. I do not know if that has any bearing on why the C compiler (clang?) isn’t working, and/or isn’t being seen/referenced. My point is that with all the installs I've been doing recently, something strange may have transpired along the way.

What I want to know is simply this: is there a straightforward way to correct this problem, and if so, what is it? If this is spelled out in the documentation somewhere, I have not yet found it, so please point me in the right direction.

If it matters, my system specs include:

getconf LONG_BIT -> 64
uname -mrs -> FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT amd64

In less technical terms, I’m using the most recent version of TrueOS on a Dell Inspirion series desktop computer. Why FreeBSD calls my processor an amd64, and Windows calls it an Intel series, I have no idea. But both OS’s work fine (up until now?), so I’m not going to worry about it unless I have to.

Also, these compilers are present:


The later is a dynamic link to gcc49, which is in the same directory.

If additional information is necessary, please let me know what is needed and where I can find it, and I’ll retrieve it.

If fixing this is something that strikes most FreeBSD hard core users as obvious or simple, well, please humour me, because it’s not obvious or simple to me. I’m not a FreeBSD newbie, but I’m not an highly experienced power user, either. I know enough about FreeBSD to know that this is likely to require some very involved command line codes, and in my (limited) experience those are inherently dangerous! So I’m not going to try anything until I know exactly what I’m doing.

At any rate, until this little mess is fixed, I’m sort of dead in the water. At least in terms of restoring my system. So any help will be appreciated. If people would rather speak to me in person, my email is RJPugh [at] cyberbard [dot] net. And if I put this question in the wrong forum or sub-forum, well, please accept my heartfelt apologies.

Thank you,

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Old 6th April 2017
jb_daefo jb_daefo is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 303

How is Culpeper? if I've spelt that right.

To more directly answer your question,


export CC=/usr/local/bin/clang39
export CXX=/usr/local/bin/clang++39
export CPP=/usr/local/bin/clang-cpp

IF you can prepend the make with those lines and have that
port installed, it may work for you in some instances. 'export' may
have to be adjusted per your shell.

Maybe other solutions.

All I have time for this morning, sorry! Also sometimes affected
by your Q. for which I have no answer except, usually. Does a
reboot help?
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