Linux 6.3 drops support for the Intel ICC Compiler

On this last day of the Linux 6.3 kernel merge window, Linus Torvalds merged patch-release support with Intel (ICC) compiler support. Specifically, this is Intel’s long-standing ICC compiler now known as “Intel C++ Compiler Classic” before its transition to being LLVM/Clang-based with the modern Intel DPC++ compiler.
A few months ago there was talk of the Linxu kernel dropping support for Intel’s ICC compilers, and now with Linux 6.3 it is finally happening.

The mainline Linux kernel header file that targets the Intel compiler hasn’t been touched in three years, many developers/users forget or are even unaware of the ICC support to build the kernel, and there is at least one obvious problem, that have not been reported with the ICC core buildings. Plus Intel’s classic ICC compilers have been deprecated in favor of their more modern oneAPI DPC++/C++ compilers built on top of LLVM. Also, since October, when it was first proposed to drop ICC for kernel builds, no one has stepped up to express their interest in being able to compile the latest kernel code with this classic Intel proprietary compiler.

The Linux kernel no longer builds with ICC

So dropping this Intel ICC support should come as no real loss. GCC and LLVM/Clang remain the two main compilation options for building the Linux kernel. GCC has long been the de facto option for building the mainline kernel, while over the last several years LLVM/Clang mainline has ended up being quite suitable for building the Linux kernel and is used in a number of production kernel builds as well as tailored for LLVM / Clang for its various compiler features.

Hence, goodbye to Intel compiler support with Linux 6.3.

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