GNU Compiler Collection
The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is a compiler system produced by the GNU Project supporting various programming languages. GCC is a key component of the GNU toolchain. As well as being the official compiler of the unfinished GNU operating system, GCC has been adopted as the standard compiler by most other modern Unix-like computer operating systems, including Linux, the BSD family and Mac OS X. A port to RISC OS has also been developed extensively in recent years.
GCC has been ported to a wide variety of processor architectures, and is widely deployed as a tool in commercial, proprietary and closed source software development environments. GCC is also available for most embedded platforms, for example Symbian (called gcce), AMCC and Freescale Power Architecture-based chips. The compiler can target a wide variety of platforms, including videogame consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast. Several companies make a business out of supplying and supporting GCC ports to various platforms, and chip manufacturers today consider a GCC port almost essential to the success of an architecture.
Originally named the GNU C Compiler, because it only handled the C programming language, GCC 1.0 was released in 1987, and the compiler was extended to compile C++ in December of that year. Front ends were later developed for Fortran, Pascal, Objective-C, Java, and Ada, among others.
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) distributes GCC under the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). GCC has played an important role in the growth of free software, as both a tool and an example.
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