Unstable codegen options

All of these options are passed to rustc via the -C flag, short for "codegen". The flags are stable but some of their values are individually unstable, and also require using -Z unstable-options to be accepted.


In addition to the stable set of linker flavors, the following unstable values also exist:

  • ptx: use rust-ptx-linker for Nvidia NVPTX GPGPU support.
  • bpf: use bpf-linker for eBPF support.
  • llbc: for linking in llvm bitcode. Install the preview rustup componentsllvm-bitcode-linker and llvm-tools to use as a self-contained linker by passing -Zunstable-options -Clink-self-contained=+linker together with -Clinker-flavor=llbc. Can currently only be used for Nvidia NVPTX targets (nvptx64-nvidia-cuda).

Additionally, a set of more precise linker flavors also exists, for example allowing targets to declare that they use the LLD linker by default. The following values are currently unstable, and the goal is for them to become stable, and preferred in practice over the existing stable values:

  • gnu: unix-like linker with GNU extensions
  • gnu-lld: gnu using LLD
  • gnu-cc: gnu using a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • gnu-lld-cc: gnu using LLD and a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • darwin: unix-like linker for Apple targets
  • darwin-lld: darwin using LLD
  • darwin-cc: darwin using a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • darwin-lld-cc: darwin using LLD and a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • wasm-lld: unix-like linker for Wasm targets, with LLD
  • wasm-lld-cc: unix-like linker for Wasm targets, with LLD and a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • unix: basic unix-like linker for "any other Unix" targets (Solaris/illumos, L4Re, MSP430, etc), not supported with LLD.
  • unix-cc: unix using a C/C++ compiler as the linker driver
  • msvc-lld: MSVC-style linker for Windows and UEFI, with LLD
  • em-cc: emscripten compiler frontend, similar to wasm-lld-cc with a different interface

This flag generally controls whether the linker will use libraries and objects shipped with Rust instead of those in the system. The stable boolean values for this flag are coarse-grained (everything or nothing), but there exists a set of unstable values with finer-grained control, -Clink-self-contained can accept a comma-separated list of components, individually enabled (+component) or disabled (-component):

  • crto: CRT objects (e.g. on windows-gnu, musl, wasi targets)
  • libc: libc static library (e.g. on musl, wasi targets)
  • unwind: libgcc/libunwind (e.g. on windows-gnu, fuchsia, fortanix, gnullvm targets)
  • linker: linker, dlltool, and their necessary libraries (e.g. on windows-gnu and for rust-lld)
  • sanitizers: sanitizer runtime libraries
  • mingw: other MinGW libs and Windows import libs

Out of the above self-contained linking components, linker is the only one currently implemented (beyond parsing the CLI options).

It refers to the LLD linker, built from the same LLVM revision used by rustc (named rust-lld to avoid naming conflicts), that is distributed via rustup with the compiler (and is used by default for the wasm targets). One can also opt-in to use it by combining this flag with an appropriate linker flavor: for example, -Clinker-flavor=gnu-lld-cc -Clink-self-contained=+linker will use the toolchain's rust-lld as the linker.