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Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 18:17:30 +0100
From: Emese Revfy <>
Subject: [PATCH v4 3/3] Documentation for the GCC plugin infrastructure

This is the GCC infrastructure documentation about its operation, how to add
and use a new plugin with an example.

Signed-off-by: Emese Revfy <>
 Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt | 82 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 arch/Kconfig                  |  2 ++
 2 files changed, 84 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt b/Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..ffb56a3
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,82 @@
+GCC plugin infrastructure
+1. Introduction
+GCC plugins are loadable modules that provide extra features to the
+compiler [1]. They are useful for runtime instrumentation and static analysis.
+We can analyse, change and add further code during compilation via
+callbacks [2], GIMPLE [3], IPA [4] and RTL passes [5].
+The GCC plugin infrastructure of the kernel supports all gcc versions from
+4.5 to 6.0, building out-of-tree modules, cross-compilation and building in a
+separate directory.
+Currently the GCC plugin infrastructure supports only the x86 architecture.
+This infrastructure was ported from grsecurity [6] and PaX [7].
+2. Files
+	This is the directory of the GCC plugins.
+	This is a compatibility header for GCC plugins.
+	It should be always included instead of individual gcc headers.
+	This script checks the availability of the included headers in
+	gcc-common.h and chooses the proper host compiler to build the plugins
+	(gcc-4.7 can be built by either gcc or g++).
+	These headers automatically generate the registration structures for
+	GIMPLE, SIMPLE_IPA, IPA and RTL passes. They support all gcc versions
+	from 4.5 to 6.0.
+	They should be preferred to creating the structures by hand.
+3. Usage
+You must install the gcc plugin headers for your gcc version,
+e.g., on Ubuntu for gcc-4.9:
+	apt-get install gcc-4.9-plugin-dev
+Enable a GCC plugin based feature in the kernel config:
+To compile only the plugin(s):
+	make gcc-plugins
+or just run the kernel make and compile the whole kernel with
+the cyclomatic complexity GCC plugin.
+4. How to add a new GCC plugin
+The GCC plugins are in $(src)/tools/gcc/. You can use a file or a directory
+here. It must be added to $(src)/tools/gcc/Makefile,
+$(src)/scripts/Makefile.gcc-plugins and $(src)/arch/Kconfig.
+See the cyc_complexity_plugin.c (CONFIG_GCC_PLUGIN_CYC_COMPLEXITY) GCC plugin.
diff --git a/arch/Kconfig b/arch/Kconfig
index fa158b2..dc901d3 100644
--- a/arch/Kconfig
+++ b/arch/Kconfig
@@ -370,6 +370,8 @@ menuconfig GCC_PLUGINS
 	  GCC plugins are loadable modules that provide extra features to the
 	  compiler. They are useful for runtime instrumentation and static analysis.
+	  See Documentation/gcc-plugins.txt for details.
 	bool "Compute the cyclomatic complexity of a function"
 	depends on GCC_PLUGINS

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