Chromium ships a prebuilt clang binary. It's just upstream clang built at a known-good revision that we bump every two weeks or so.

This is the only supported compiler for building Chromium.

Using gcc on Linux

is_clang = false will make the build use system gcc on Linux. There are no bots that test this and there is no guarantee it will work, but we accept patches for this configuration.

Mailing List

Using plugins

The chromium style plugin is used by default when clang is used.

If you're working on the plugin, you can build it locally like so:

  1. Run ./tools/clang/scripts/ --without-android --without-fuchsia to build the plugin.
  2. Run ninja -C third_party/llvm-build/Release+Asserts/ to build incrementally.
  3. Build with clang like described above, but, if you use goma, disable it.

To test the FindBadConstructs plugin, run:

(cd tools/clang/plugins/tests && \
 ./ ../../../../third_party/llvm-build/Release+Asserts/bin/clang)

Since the plugin is rolled with clang changes, behavior changes to the plugin should be guarded by flags to make it easy to roll clang. A general outline:

  1. Implement new plugin behavior behind a flag.
  2. Wait for a compiler roll to bring in the flag.
  3. Start passing the new flag in GN and verify the new behavior.
  4. Enable the new plugin behavior unconditionally and update the plugin to ignore the flag.
  5. Wait for another compiler roll.
  6. Stop passing the flag from GN.
  7. Remove the flag completely.

Using the clang static analyzer



clang is the default compiler on Windows. It uses MSVC's SDK, so you still need to have Visual Studio with C++ support installed.

Using a custom clang binary

Set clang_base_path in your to the llvm build directory containing bin/clang (i.e. the directory you ran cmake). This must be an absolute path. You also need to disable chromium's clang plugin.

Here's an example that also disables debug info and enables the component build (both not strictly necessary, but they will speed up your build):

clang_base_path = getenv("HOME") + "/src/llvm-build"
clang_use_chrome_plugins = false
is_debug = false
symbol_level = 1
is_component_build = true

On Windows, for clang_base_path use something like this instead:

clang_base_path = "c:/src/llvm-build"

You can then look in out/gn/ and check that the rule cc and rule cxx commands run your clang binary. If things look good, run ninja -C out/gn to build.

Chromium tries to be buildable with its currently pinned clang, and with clang trunk. Set llvm_force_head_revision = true in your if the clang you‘re trying to build with is closer to clang trunk than to Chromium’s pinned clang (which tools/clang/scripts/ --print-revision prints).

Related documents

  • Toolchain support gives an overview of clang rolls, and documents when to revert clang rolls and how to file good toolchain bugs.

  • Updating clang documents the mechanics of updating clang, and which files are included in the default clang package.

  • Clang Sheriffing contains instructions for how to debug compiler bugs, for clang sheriffs.

  • Clang Tool Refactoring has notes on how to build and run refactoring tools based on clang's libraries.