On this last day of the Linux 6.3 kernel merge window, Linus Torvalds merged the patch dropping support for Intel (ICC) compiler support. Specifically this is Intel’s long-standing ICC compiler now known as the “Intel C++ Compiler Classic” prior to its transition to being LLVM/Clang-based with the modern Intel DPC++ compiler.
A few months ago was talk of the Linux kernel dropping support for Intel’s ICC compiler and now with Linux 6.3 it’s finally happening.
The mainline Linux kernel’s header file catering to the Intel compiler hasn’t been touched in three years, many developers/users forget or are even unaware of the ICC support for building the kernel, and there is at least one glaring issue that hasn’t been reported with the ICC kernel builds. Plus Intel’s ICC classic compiler has been deprecated in favor of their more modern oneAPI DPC++/C++ Compiler built atop LLVM. Since October when dropping ICC for kernel builds was first proposed, no one has stepped up either to voice their interest in being able to compile the latest kernel code with this classic Intel proprietary compiler.
So dropping this Intel ICC support shouldn’t come as any real loss. GCC and LLVM/Clang continue to be the two key compiler options for building the mainline Linux kernel. GCC has long been the de facto option for building the mainline kernel while over the past several years LLVM/Clang mainline has wound up being quite suitable for building the Linux kernel and is used in a number of production kernel builds as well as tailoring to LLVM/Clang for its various compiler features.
Thus farewell to the Intel compiler support with Linux 6.3.