Clang is my compiler of choice as I found it to be the fastest for development and it works on all desktop platforms.
In this post I’ll talk about how you can setup Clang on Windows without having to cross-compile from Mingw or Cygwin.
Flavors of Clang on Windows
LLVM Clang is, at the time of this writing, mostly feature complete but is not able to generate PDB debugging information. It comes with two executables:
clang-cl.exe. The former supports normal Clang-style command-line options, while the latter supports MSVC-style command-line options.
Clang with Microsoft Codegen, uses the Clang frontend and Microsoft’s MSVC backend to generate machine code, so it can output PDB files. It can be installed as part of Visual Studio 2015 and can be uses from the IDE or command-line.
Using Clang with GDB on Windows
In order to make Clang emit DWARF debug symbols that GDB understands, you have to use the LLVM linker so you the full LLVM installation.
The following line will compile and link an executable that can be debugged on GDB:
Using Clang with Visual Studio
Using Clang with Visual Studio is straightforward if you use the version that comes bundled width the IDE. To enable it follow the steps described in the official blog post. I personally haven’t tried this, as I don’t use Visual Studio.
Using Clang with CMake and Ninja
The main problem I had to wrestle with was that CMake kept incorrectly detecting MSVC no matter what flags I set.
The hackish solution I found that works with version 3.6.0 is to use the following command:
As you can notice I have to force the C and CXX flags to
TRUE. This seems to be the only way stop CMake from detecting MSVC.