[Rd] Does R use "computed gotos" - a gcc extension of C?

Dr. David Kirkby david.kirkby at onetel.net
Sat Mar 5 00:18:15 CET 2011

The R manual says R will not build with gcc on 64-bit Solaris x86 with gcc


"Tests with gcc32 on ‘x86’ and ‘amd64’ have been less successful: ‘x86’ builds 
have failed on tests using complex arithmetic33, whereas on ‘amd64’ the builds 
have failed to complete in several different ways, most recently with relocation 
errors for libRblas.so. "

I know what the "relocation errors" problem is. That library (and in fact two 
other R libraries) all have non-PIC code in them, despite the fact the source is 
compiled with the -fPIC option.


shows how to prove this. If one runs this command on Solaris:

$ elfdump -d libRblas.so | fgrep TEXTREL

there is some output showing that theres non-PIC code present in the R library.

R is compiled with -fPIC on Solaris, but certain things can cause non-PIC code 
to be generated even with that option. One is by the use of "computed gotos" 
which is a gcc extension. I'm wondering if R uses any of these.

I'd love to track down this problem, so R can build with gcc. R is used in the 
Sage maths project


and R is the only component of Sage which will not build with gcc on 64-bit 
Solaris x86. Many components will not build with Sun Studio, but this R issue 
means we need to have two compilers, not just one.

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