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Subject: Re: [Boost-build] Extremely slow gcc launches on Cygwin
From: Emil Dotchevski (emil_at_[hidden])
Date: 2010-08-18 18:15:13

On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:09 PM, Belcourt, Kenneth <kbelco_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On Aug 18, 2010, at 12:43 PM, Emil Dotchevski wrote:
>> It appears that on Cygwin bjam uses fork() to spawn a new instance of
>> it when it launches gcc. I have 2 reasons to suspect that: 1) I see a
>> second bjam.exe in Process Explorer and 2) while building a very very
>> large Jamfile, every launch of gcc takes *forever*, which can be
>> explained by the inefficient Cygwin fork() implementation (on Windows,
>> fork() has to copy all of the memory that belongs to the process.)
> I thought we were using vfork, a more efficient fork that doesn't copy as
> much of the old process address space, and is generally much faster.
> Can you check if the Cygwin built bjam is using vfork?  If it is, perhaps
> there's a known issue with vfork on Cygwin?

In process explorer I can see the bjam.exe (the cygwin version)
process, then I see another instance of bjam.exe (the same cygwin
version) started as a child of the first one. And I don't see any
bash.exe child processes.

>> If my suspicion is correct, then my question is can the fork() be
>> replaced by posix_spawn() or some such? If not, what could be causing
>> the extremely slow gcc launches?
> Can you check for zombies or other dead processes?  Perhaps bjam isn't
> properly killing processes that time out or is not releasing resources after
> processes terminate?

Perhaps it wasn't clear what I mean by slow. Admittedly, the Jamfile
is *huge*, it has hundreds of targets; on any OS it takes ~10 minutes
for Boost Build to *begin* to check what targets are out of date. The
issue on cygwin is that once that starts, each gcc launch takes ~4-5

Emil Dotchevski
Reverge Studios, Inc.

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