Building clang-format and friends on OSX Mountain Lion

Apple provides you with the clang compiler, so why should you want to compile it yourself? Because there are some utilities out there (e.g. clang-format), that Apple does - for whatever reason - not bring to your Mac. Strange considering the fact that they are heavily involved into clang development. For Mr. and Mrs. Average those tools aren't needed on a Mac, that's for sure but for developers? Come on Apple, wake up!

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Never mind, it's easy.


Have a look at the prerequisites and install the tools that are not on your Mac, e.g. auto tools.

Getting the sourcecode

Open you terminal and get download the code

$ # just for convenience
$ export build=~/devtools # or wherever you'd like to build
$ mkdir -p $build
$ cd $build
$ # first llvm, the basic infrastructure
$ svn co llvm
$ # followed by clang, the compiler
$ cd llvm/tools
$ svn co clang
$ cd ../..
$ # finally the tools, the reason for this all here
$ cd llvm/tools/clang/tools
$ svn co extra
$ cd ../../../..


llvm and clang

$ mkdir -p $build/clang
$ cd $build/clang
$ # As I already have a clang package from Apple that I don't want to mix up,
$ # I do not provide --prefix here
$ ../llvm/configure --enable-libcpp --enable-cxx11 --enable-debug-symbols=no --enable-optimized
$ $ ls
Makefile	bindings	docs		lib		runtime		unittests
Makefile.common	config.log	examples	llvm.spec	test		utils
Makefile.config	config.status	include		projects	tools
$ # compiling will take some time…almost an hour on my computer
$ make


The tools were automatically build, too.

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Just go on, have a look in $build/clang/Release+Asserts. If you want to have a glimpse on what those tools can do for you, watch Chandler Carruth's talk from Going Native 2013.